Visiting The Masters Of Philippine Pottery: “Within The Pottery Studio” (Part 5 of 8)

A well-planned pottery studio is crucial for an easy access to equipment and tools. Shelves need to be positioned in such a way that pots will be easily stored for greenware (drying pots) and glazed pots. Electric potter’s wheels should not block the flow of people coming in and out of the space.  Tools are placed within the potter’s reach. A sink plays a big role too for washing hands, tools, etc. A separate space for the kiln is important as well, whether it is fueled by gas, electricity, wood, etc. For selling pottery, a Potter’s showroom, gallery, or store, is where the newly fired pieces can be displayed.

Designing a pottery studio is like planning for a home. There are many things to consider in setting it up. It is a creative space, where influences from people, nature, stories, travel, music, emotions, and other inspirations will come to life through the Art of Pottery Making. It is not a space for resting, sleeping, and dining. It is a place where a Potter can go when he finds it hard to sleep and shapes start to form in his mind, a getaway after a frustrating time, a therapeutic spot for the tired soul, a private sanctuary, a place for healing, etc.

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Another room is ideal for chemicals. (Photo by Victor Guerrero)

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Wearing a proper mask is ideal while mixing glazes or preparing raw materials. (Photo by Victor Guerrero)

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Lighting is very important too. When the sun starts to set and the space gets dark plus the clay color is dark – one is bound to having eye problems. Ventilation is highly prioritized because clay gathers dust through time. (Photo by Victor Guerrero)

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What is outside the pottery studio? Where does a Potter get inspiration from? For Tessy Pettyjohn, she loves creating organic shapes with clay. (Photo by Victor Guerrero)

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We found some surprises around the Pettyjohn’s property like different plants and flowers. She takes time in observing petals, leaves, buds, etc. She then creates her own version of the beautiful things she sees around her. A mother of three daughters, she has mastered a skill in Pottery that brings out her femininity. (Photo by Victor Guerrero)

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Jon’s works are definitely more masculine. The way his pots stand on the floor, tables, shelves, and pedestals – shows his artistic taste in making functional pieces. His pieces are well-kept, displayed and used in a lot of private homes in The Philippines and abroad. His pots appear with so much pride. Knowing full well that a Master created them. (Photo by Victor Guerrero)

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It always makes me wonder, how it is like, to work with a spouse in the pottery studio. A question, I will ask Jon and Tessy, the next time I see them. This is going to be another sure feature for this blog site: What happens after a heated argument in the pottery studio? Do they ever get into mud fights? What about….. Hmmmm….I might as well save my very private questions for the couple. These are some of things that are hidden within their private sanctuary. Secrets that are kept within the pottery studio. A place possible for an argument, making love, and a sure spot for healing. (Photo by Victor Guerrero)

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