For my upcoming show at Corning Community College I chose to be less practical fashioning over a dozen different vases using the familiar shapes from my dishware as starting points. I also entertained various whims such as building a vase the size of my kiln (pictured), coiling giant bud vases, designing a random series of salad troughs and patching together a quilt of square bowls.
Early on when I first started making dishes for my children their interests such as dinosaurs and pink elephants adorned the ware. I would gather ideas from the pattern on their clothing or an illustration in a book we were reading. The year before we moved here, I made nothing but circus themed teapots partly because I had never really made a teapot despite having a MFA in ceramics and partly to improve my throwing skills to become a more versatile teacher but mostly just for the fun of exploring color. Soon textile patterns began to catch my eye as well as the trim and color of the Victorian homes here in Elmira. The bottom of a bowl or plate became a great place to test out new ideas. I like flitting from pattern to pattern from the quaint and wholesome to the exotic and bold. With so many choices I often just let the pattern book fall open to reveal the next motif as I did for some of the vases in this show with a book of Iznik Ceramics.