All Carved Up

Carved 1: Wheel-thrown, Hand-carved, White Stoneware, Cone 6 Electric Kiln, Red and Turquoise Glaze (Miki & Lance Rutter)

I often wondered how a husband and wife team can really work. I mean, you live together, sleep together and then you have to wake up and work together. How would they be able to separate their individuality? Or, how could the work show the best of both contributors? Plus, would we still like and appreciate each other after days and days of working together?

My husband, Lance, has always been a very supportive of my passion for pottery, of the time and efforts into making pottery. We have occasionally dabbled with collaboration—my forms to his paintings, but it always felt like he had to work with what I offered him, or to ask me to make a form to fit his designs.

This Carved series comes pretty close to bringing our combined aesthetic together to create something that we can equally contribute. We are still working with the glaze combination that I’ve developed, but applying it in a way that highlights the delicate details of his carvings. His designs explore the variety of curves, lines and depths that complement my forms. And I modify my forms accommodate with thicker walls. We also needed to adjust for the movement of the glaze over the forms and carvings and try to anticipate its path.

With all of this designing, creating and planning, the kiln opening is a shared element of surprise and excitement. Not being able to wait for the temperature to cool enough, we peak under the lid to satisfy our impatience at 500+ degrees. Waiting another 4-6 hours to open the lid and use heavy towels to finally take the pieces out while the pots are still too hot to handle. There have been plenty of half satisfaction and full disappointments. Still, the thrill of the one or two pieces, like the ones in this post, are what keep us working together to create something that we can share.

So, husband and wife teams of the world, I get it now. It’s not that you lose your individuality and get absorb into the work of one or the other. It is about celebrating the beauty of what each of you bring to the table—or the kiln—to share.

Carved 2: Wheel-thrown, Hand-carved, White Stoneware, Cone 6 Electric Kiln, Red and Turquoise Glaze (Miki & Lance Rutter)

2 thoughts on “All Carved Up”

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