Friday, August 5, 2011

Rabbit yunomi

Browsing for yunomi, I find myself falling in love with the image of the cup - or the decoration, or the story - long before I get to hold the cup.  As a tactile person who thinks and senses in 3-D, I'm much more suited to a sidewalk art fair than the internet.

You always know a fellow potter at an art sale because the knowledgeable person picks up a piece in a certain way, testing the weight and the wall evenness then turning it over to check the foot. Next comes the critical twist and turn to judge the wrap around design or glaze effect.  Then the eye travels over the body of work on display to judge consistency of quality, trying to find the one piece that stands above the rest.  And there's always a silent little assessment in the back of the assessor's mind (you can see the wheels turning), asking "is this work better than mine, less than mine, different than mine, similar to mine?"

On the internet, however, cup sales are no longer about tactile assessment - or even "perfection" as a potter (whatever that is) - as much as conveying a story about the piece through image and back story.  In effect, after we potters make our wares, we have to lay down rabbit trails and try to get someone to chase our work through the burrows and tunnels of cyberspace.

Recently I was browsing etsy for yunomi, and a photo of Thea Patterson's work arrested me.  Her cups appear well done and her design work is appealing.

The cup I ended up buying from the fleurdelysarts shop is, indeed, now that it's in my hands, a well-thrown functional form.  It's decorated with a black underglaze slip removed in a scraffito method.  It reminds me of a primitive wood block carving.  A glossy, slight crazed clear glaze finishes the surface.

So, I like her style, but it was her subject - an excellent rabbit design - that really tickled my sense of humor.  

Looking at the cup brings back memories of raising rabbits.  I raised them as a kid, later with my wife, then again with my kids.  My favorite rabbit was the one I let run free range.  We have a dog now, and the dog believes rabbits are no longer allowed.

I've often used rabbits as a decorative element in the past.  I've painted a lot of rabbits.  Rabbits are a great subject that can have wonderful lyrical lines that take you around the pot and back again.

I bought this cup because it was fun to look at.  Unlike other cups that have haunted me and forced me to figure out why I like them, the appeal of this cup was obvious to me.  The rabbits grabbed my attention, and I did not want to let them out of my sight.

I imagine these rabbits are greeting each other or doing a victory dance because they outsmarted the dog.

I'm very pleased with the purchase, which was shipped quickly and well packaged.

Sitting here, holding the cup and thinking about the way I found it makes me realize that when we hunt for treasures on etsy, it's fun to go chasing rabbits, but we have to be mindful that we capture the rabbits when we find them so they don't disappear into someone else's collection!     


  1. these are some fab cups you are drinking from!

  2. This cup seems to be a one off the potter made in this style. It looks similar to the work of Ron Philbeck. I must say - I prefer his work. Like your tools and spoons!