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Piepenburg Workshop IV - Creativity and Misc.

This is the final part covering the Piepenburg Workshop and includes some of his thoughts and techniques on creativity.

One quote he stated was,
"Ultimately it is your spirit, not your hands that will form your clay." Keep that in mind the next time you blame the wheel for ruining your latest piece.

Another quote was,
"Creativity equals being who you are." So your current style and techniques are all related to your creativity.

One thing that Piepenburg does to keep his work fresh it to switch between wheel throwing and hand-building. He will throw on the wheel for a few months and then spend the next few months hand-building.

Piepenburg also throws with music, but music without vocals. He feels the vocals causes you to focus too much on the music instead of the clay. His favorite CD right now is "Good Dog - Happy Man"

With Raku, Piepenburg tries to make the piece "strong" enough by itself unglazed so that if the glaze turns our good, it is just an added benefit to the piece.

A creativity exercise he suggested was to pick 10 "power" words and then create a poem using all 10 words. Then create a piece that symbolizes the poem.

Piepenburg also shared his idea of there being 4 basic types of work: Personal Image + Personal Form, Personal Image + Traditional Form, Traditional Image + Personal Form, and Traditional Image + Traditional Form.

Traditional refers to the standard, typical, or generally accepted. A traditional form may be considered mug or teapot.

Personal refers to something that is purely your own. A personal form would be like the abstract sculptures that Paul Soldner has created. It is not a traditional form, but once you see one, you know who created it.

Piepenburg suggests that everyone should take a look at their work and decide what category their work applies and then attempt to create work in another category to spark the creative juices.



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(c) Copyright 2005, Gary R. Ferguson