Critique: Rolf Plates

To have a conversation about these plates (featured below in yesterday’s post) we must speak firstly to their functionality. This is the case with all pottery. The pot has to work (pour liquid, contain grain, protect contents) and if it doesn’t have to work, the not working is its function. With “pottery” comes many conventions and parameters, long established through centuries of making and using, a potter must work with in to have a piece deemed as such. It is these constrictive parameters that I, as a potter, enjoy working around and in spite of. They prove challenging and make for fulfilling hard-earned successes. It is these parameters that embitter any sculptor or ceramic beginner when asked to make a pot that functions in the most formal and strictest sense. I argue it is the strength of the art to with hold these standards and still reach true expressiveness through conceptual means. Contemporary pottery is challenged by a history of traditional functionality in the sense of its structure. To create unique good work within this finitely structured and ancient system of art is an incredible feat and a dubious endeavor. The processes used in pottery are a great governing agent, but foremost is the intended use of a piece. (I say intended use because users are ingenious. I lived in a place where the most beautiful jug was used as a bedroom door stop. I’ve seen pots used at the top of thatched huts to disperse water at the apex. I love using floppy disks as coasters. Creative uses cause feedback loops to manufactures and makers that can alter productions, forms and functions of any item.) One hears the term “form and function” in ceramics all the time. This is because the  two are intimately connected you can not speak of one without the other. Let’s take these thoughts with us when chatting about Rolf’s plates.

The plates are pictured in the post below laden with a sumptuous dinner. To serve a fine meal is certainly one of their functions. How do they manage? Quite well by the looks of things. One clear visual strength of these two plates are the distinct broad rims that both visually and physically separate  food from the table. The change of texture and color from rim to inner plate is in both cases suave and effective. I am fond of uncovering something new and unexpected as I eat. There is no distinct physical ledge or drop from rim to inner plate. I have had users before dislike this as food can take a tumble. I, however, reckon that folks can just mind where and how they fill their fork. What’s your preference?

What do you think of the thickness of the rim edges?

What do you think of the patterns and colors, clay body choice, throwing lines, textures?

How do all these esthetic choices affect serving and food choices?

What do you think of the salmon and rice below? Good choice?

Are neutral pallets as in these plates advantageous as they are compatible with many food colors?

Are these everyday plates?


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