The first pot is a tea bowl. It seems Kevin is a big fan of tea: it is both a Southern and Far Eastern ritual, and it only makes sense that tea would be a theme in an art that is capable of producing cups and tea pots to bring to the table. You can see from these pictures that the tea bowl is organic in shape, and he has incorporated natural elements (shells and fossils) in its decoration. One of the most difficult concepts of the workshop was letting go of the pursuit of perfection, and actually trying to create movement in the pot. Kevin uses a number of techniques to create the wavy rim and the organic form.
As I mentioned, he fires in a wood kiln, creating the beautiful finish.
One of our assignments during the workshop was to practice throwing the tea bowl form. It is difficult to let go of the desire to create straight, symmetrical pots. But in another way, it is freeing. After we threw the tea bowls, he later demonstrated trimming the foot on the bottom. Again, his techniques were a combination of practices that were familiar to me and mind-blowingly different than anything I had ever contemplated. Some of them were so simple, and producing such lovely results, that any one of them were worth the price of admission.
The second pot I bought from Kevin was this large bottle. There are elements of this pot that will remind me of what I learned in the workshop as well. Kevin alters forms both during throwing and afterwards, resulting in wonderful shapes.
I was also intrigued that someone could know their (gigantic) kiln so well that they would know how to place the pots to get certain finishes in certain areas of any given pot.
I love the chunky rims of his bottles, too.
Kevin creates his own stamps, and though he doesn't technically sign his pots, I think his particular aesthetic and the recurring themes in his work mark them as his, and he will leave a lasting legacy in the world of pottery.
I'm very grateful to Manassas Clay for offering this workshop, and to Kevin Crowe for taking two days to teach 8 potters as much of his wisdom as we could absorb. I'm looking forward to continuing to practice and hone the techniques he taught us, and his influence has surely made a mark on what will eventually become my "voice" as a potter.