I already told you about my craving for handmade pottery wich compells me to search on the net for new artist whose work I can acquire.
A while ago I told you about Brandon Phillips' Support your local pottery site and of his wonderful tankard.
Brandon's purchase has paid off indeed and I still use it gladly, loving the heaviness in my hand and the smoothness under my finger, without discounting the well adjusted handle.
What I once said stays true, but...
Why yes, there is a but.
The tankard narrows in the middle and this, nonetheless it gives it that elegant hourglass shape, is a real problem when you pour some beer in it.
The frothy lady always "jumps" over the "bottleneck" and transforms itself in pure foam.
This technical issue has forced me to use that wonderful tankard only for Cider and low body density beers such as blond and white beers.
It was important to find a complementary piece that could fill in for the rest of the beers this lovely country has to offer.
Thanks Heaven there is no shortage of gifted potters on the net, making the search queite easy and the choice absolutely hellish.
So, after much scouting I met Sofia's Dad.
It's clay Jim!
Jim Gottuso is an Italian-american potter located in Kentuky were he lives and works with his family.
You can follow his day by day work his lovely Daughter Sofia ( codenamed The bug") his dogs and his legendary car on his blog "Sofia's Dad pots".
You'll find a hard working, steady artist with a coherent project that delivers high, ethereal shaped vessels with sunny and intricated decorative patterns.
Jim works with thrown porcelain and this alone already gives an idea of his technical level, since, for who does not know it, this white earth is the hardest to work at all.
If you compare it to the heavy, soft, fat mass of stoneware - which requires strenght indeed- porcelain is as easier to manipulate, but only for a few seconds.
This clay, rich in vitrous component that gives it its smooth, glassy almost transparent body, is quick to drying and hardening and seeing the regular tall forms of Jim's pots is a sure proof of the high degree of control this artist shows working with such a nervous earth body.
This potter does not stop to the form though, a long, patient work of decoration (mostly done with a brush) gives his pieces an astounding richness and a striking visual impact.
Such intricated are the patterns that you cannot help but be suprised each time you take the pot in the hand. Suddenly noticing a detail that you did miss the last time.
Nunc est bibendum
When Jim announced on his Blog he would start creating Beer mugs ( his cousin might have pushed him in this) I put myself in stand by and patiently waited for his kiln to deliver.
As soon said kiln opened, I was from the other side of his mail account placing the order.
Jim was leaving for an expo in Chicago in those days, but nonetheless he was so kind to send me some photos so that I could choose and took one of the mugs out from his catalogue so I could have it.
And here is the little one.
Beer I poured inside run flawlessly and the foam stays firm and does not overflow. Naturally the test has been enlarged, as every friday night with sausages, cheese and radish :)
Thank you Jim, your mug is already my favourite.
If you ever drop by bring your mug. I'll fill it up ;)