Monthly Archives: July 2004

Stacks of obsolete slides.

I have a love for functional objects…you might even say a soft spot. That’s why I make pots. Pots are interactive pieces of art. Then you can get even extra “wow” out of a piece if it functions well on top of being aesthetically pleasing. A teapot that pours without dripping, or a mug that becomes one with the hand of the user, gives me deep satisfaction.

I like to see the potential function in all objects – even after they have ceased their original function. The other day I was walking down an alley (here in Chicago). I found this huge 5 foot octagonal window leaning against a dumpster. It was really lovely and was in perfect condition.

I stared at it for a while. “What could I use this for?” “How could I get this home in my hatchback?” “Where could I store it until I can use it?” “Is there someone I know that would just have to have it?” The answers to these questions were not very positive. So I made a little deal with myself and left it up to fate. I went into a store (for about 20min.), and decided that if it was there when I came back, then I would figure out a way to take it. But if it was gone… then perhaps it was just not meant to be. It was gone.

This brings me to my stacks of obsolete slides. I think every working artist must have one. A potter’s stack might be a bit bigger since we probably make more pots than a painter makes paintings. (Not that I actually document all my pieces.)

Anyway.. my stacks consist of: compositions that didn’t work out; extra brackets; old dupes that will never be sent into any sort of show; incorrect exposures; the accidental roll of outdoor film that was used instead of the indoor film; first and very poor attempts to take my own slides on wrinkled sheets; booth shots from an old set-up. All images that have no more use. But the time, effort and money that went into all these makes it impossible for me to ever dispose of them. It’s nice that they’re small because I can store them guilt-free. But now I don’t think that I need to store them anymore. There is a perfect use for them thanks to one of my favorite magazines, Ready Made.

I think this lamp idea is great. Can you imagine how nicely the thick plastic mounts will hang?

So for now, I will hang on to my stack of obsolete slides. Someday I will get around to this project and give my slides a chance at a second function.

Useful coffee stains

These clever cups have foot rings in different shapes (thinking outside of the circle), so when you accidentally leave your dirty cup on the nice white linen, you’re just making it more beautiful.
Stamp Cups
As someone who is trying to make it in the world as a potter, I try to make nice pots and be confident that that will sell them. Sometimes I try to figure out some sort of clever quirk that might push someone over the edge to actually buy a piece- a nice detail that shows that I paid attention – something to show that it was handmade. This stamp cup idea is definitely not an innovation that I have thought about before, and I don’t actually think that I would make something with this idea…. but at least I can appreciate the cleverness.