Vasefinder Nationals 2010
Exhibitor 22

Scott Cooper

Fillmore, Indiana, USA

Title: Yellow Vase

Year of Creation: 2009

Glaze: Woo Yellow (alteration), fired to cone 10 in reduction

Clay Body: White stoneware

Dimensions: Height 9 inches, Width 5 inches

Artist's Statement: I aspire to make utilitarian pots that are well-crafted, aesthetically interesting and enjoyable to use. Striking a good balance between these qualities is difficult. There's no formula for doing so, which presents both challenge and inspiration. While some of my pots are less obvious than others in their intended function, none purposefully deny use. The utilitarian vessel format defines good parameters for me to work within.

My pots are primarily thrown on the wheel, assembled and decorated by hand, and fired using a variety of methods and kilns. Each is unique, and made without molds or automated equipment. My studio is a one-man operation, which means I perform each step in the process myself, from clay making to glaze firing and everything in between.

While there are many persistent qualities to my work over time, it's always in the process of slowly becoming something else. I usually have more new ideas than the time to try them, and the feeling of being perpetually on the way to the next discovery is addictive. I'm also driven by the seemingly endless potential for learning and improvement. So I'm constantly trying new forms, methods and surfaces.

I explore these using a process that mimics biological evolutioin: making small, organic variations while working in a series, then evaluating the results. The successes are re-used in a variety of ways, spawning more possibilities; the failures are abandoned to the scrap heap of good intentions. This approach is well-suited to working directly and intuitively, with a general direct in mind but making decisions in the moment. And I use it at every stage of makeing: throwing at the wheel, altering and finishing forms, decorating and glazing, and during firing.

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