WENDY TATE – An intimate portrayal of making.
For me, making pots is a very spiritual, sensual and intimate experience.Clay is coiled or pinched into a shape, partly predetermined, partly in union with where the clay wants to go. The sense of touch is very important, the clay is caressed and cajoled into shape, often breaking or tearing leaving evidence of its making history as it allows me to partner it into shape.
Once the shape is formed, I gently rub all the rough areas, almost massaging them smooth, but leaving the shape unchanged.
The pot dries. It is rubbed all over for a final time with the soft part of my thumb. It is very important to me that the surface invites touch and doesn’t repel.
It is very fragile at this point.
The pot enters the furnace and submits to its heat, making permanent, once and for all, the shape it has become.
Once cool, the pot is wet sanded, and once dry it is smoke-fired for several days, which influences the surface pattern and patina.
The pot is almost at the end of its journey. It is rubbed with fine wire wool, wax is rubbed into its still-porous surface and then it is buffed. It is only then that its latent beauty can be seen.
I find that even the least promising shapes, when approached with a spirit of potential, can become beautiful.