Critique: Loren Lukens Pitcher

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Mr. Lauren Lukens, of Brace Point Pottery makes some nice pots! (As pictured in the last post). This one above is the one that made me seem out the website: http://www.bracepointpottery.com

Here is what Loren has to say for himself:

My love affair with clay began in the early 1970’s as an undergraduate art student at a small Midwest liberal arts college. Counterculture influences and my farm boy background combined to make a career in pottery an appealing synthesis of practicality, art, and craft husbandry. Beth Kirchhoff, my wife of 37 years, is a musician (pianist, accompanist, chorus master). We enjoy comparing the similarities of our chosen careers. The respect, understanding and interpretation of traditional forms (pottery or music) are clear priorities for each of us.

The beginnings of pottery go hand in hand with the beginnings of humankind. Of contemporary crafts, only basket making is as fundamental. The shapes of pottery are the shapes of the human body, and are named such: lip, foot, shoulder. They are shapes we know very well on a level beneath our consciousness.

My forms are extensions of traditional pottery with contemporary variations. They are strong, sleek and sculptural with a bold painterly surface and rich glaze treatment. The pieces have a dynamic impact when viewed from a distance as well as an intensity of detail up close. Form and Function drew me to pottery, but painting has been an increasingly important part of my work. My best pots resolve the difficulty of painting in three dimensions, while maintaining the integrity of the form. My intent is to produce works of art for everyday living. It functions practically, as tableware for company and everyday use, or aesthetically, hung on the wall or as a stand-alone art piece.

What is even better here is what he hast to say about teapots (note that on the website jugs are under the teapot category and so as he said this about both forms I can hop on board and concur):

The teapot is always the potters’ greatest challenge because the accumulation and assembly of pieces yields a whole that is greater than the sum of these parts. The ceremonial, social and symbolic attributes of brewing and serving tea supply cross- cultural metaphors that attract teapot makers and collectors. My teapots are traditional in their usefulness and modernist in their concept. I intend that the shapes capture movement and a perhaps whimsical attitude. The color, texture and glaze design are meant to invoke an abstract sedimentary landscape and to augment and reinforce the forms.

So do his words ring true? Do you think whimsy? Do you think landscape?

Yes, yes I do.

It is interesting how color influences us so. I was admittedly attracted to this jug originally because of the orange pink and blue combo- specifically that pink circle. Then my eye followed that spout in the most pleasant fashion. For kicks years ago I color coded what I thought the strong points of each jug in 500 Pitchers was. As you can see this jug got all five merits acknowledged. Would you? What really should have been added to the list is lip and foot. Look at that lip! Look! The wide band that gently curves in it spectacular. Spectacular. The motif is incredibly suited to form- a very very difficult accomplishment. I feel the marriage of surface and form is the crucible of elegance.

My only complaint could possibly be the amount the handle comes out from the body. I’d prefer if its silhouette mimicked the curve of the form.

All the same, it is a beautiful pot.

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