Pottery and Knitting

Over the thirty or more years that I have been making my living as a potter, the work has changed dramatically from simple stoneware to intensely decorated porcelain. Yet there has been one constant element- my love for pattern and decoration. Throwing pots on the wheel is by necessity a quick activity, a burst of energy which I enjoy and find exciting.

My real love, though, is painting intricate patterns onto my pots. Decorating with wax resist (similar to batik) is a slow step-by-step process that cannot be rushed. The activity is meditative and peaceful, so when I became interested in, then addicted to, knitting a few years ago, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between both crafts and my approach to them. I love the sensuality of clay and yarn, their softness and pliability. Unlike wood, metal, or fabric, which require careful cutting and measuring, precision joining and finishing, the soft materials that I love allow for a more casual approach, an intuitive way of working where something can be “close enough” or where a slight mistake can be fudged.

The main attraction, though, is that both are vehicles for exploring pattern and colour. The fabric arts have always been an inspiration for the patterns on my pottery and lately, I have been playing with the idea of transforming some of the more static patterns from my pots into bands of colourwork on sweaters or garments.

Sometimes I am surprised that knitting, which I have taken up as a form of relaxation, is so closely related to what I do for a living, but the elements of repetition, sensuality of material, and creativity and problem solving are just too tempting to resist.

Our web site has more examples of patterns on my pots: http://www.mckenziemarcotte.ca/en/artists/maureen_marcotte.html



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