Mollie Bosworth | Episode 365
Mollie Bosworth has a ceramics career of more than thirty years, living in far north Queensland, Australia. Living in places limited access to ceramics courses, she has been mostly a self taught potter. She has explored many techniques with her current work utilizing porcelain, usually wheel thrown and featuring soluble metallic salts, decals or crater surfaces.
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So tell me, you are out in the middle of a rain forest, how do you keep yourself inspired with your work?
I like going out. I am a keen gardener as well so I like going out and photographing and just checking what’s new and what flowers have come out. A lot of my work is process driven so just seeing what the results are and then building on that for the next series of work.
How important is experimentation and playing for your work to be fresh and vibrant?
I think it’s very important. I don’t like to stick with one thing continually so I build on each series and try to make things a bit different.
You mentioned that you have a very seasonal buying season, there are the ups and the downs. How do you personally as a potter plan for the down seasons when the sales drop off?
It is a time to do more experimenting and developing work when you are not so rushed to get more product out there.
So you use that time for planning for another line. How do you know when a line is going to hit it?
It is hard to tell actually. It is good to have my work so close at hand (at the co-op) because I can put things there that may be experimental and just see what the reaction is. It is hard to tell which particular products to make for selling. Like my green series I started. I knew that would be popular and it has been. So I just started that as something to make for tourism and quick sales. Where as with my exhibition work I will go a bit deeper.
How much does the marketplace dictate what you are going to be making?
Sometimes it does as I said with the green series, and the botanical work with the decals, I think that is for the marketplace. But when I am doing work for exhibitions I am not thinking about whether it is going to sell. I really try to put that out of my head and develop something that I am interested in.
What is an important quality to have if you are going to be working in a co-op with others?
Yes, personalities can clash. So being polite and respectable of other people’s work and if you don’t like it all the time and treating all the artists work the same with the customers. And praising everyone’s work.
How do you go about pricing your work?
That is always difficult. I take into consideration the time it has taken. So pieces that have more surface decoration or more elaborate shapes, more throwing, they are priced higher. Now I am beginning to think that pieces that have worked out well after the firing are going to be priced higher even though they are the same size as something else. Because the firings that I do, there is an element of chance. I cannot control the results entirely of how they are going to come out.
How much loss do you experience when you are firing?
Probably ten percent. But then there are pieces I don’t really like but they are still sale-able.
What is your favorite piece or form to make and why?
I make a lot of bowls and they seem to be a very similar shape. Because I work in porcelain and translucent porcelain, I like the bowl shape because it actually catches light and I like to work with the inside and the outside of the bowl and see the patterns and the translucency of the bowl. So the bowl is my favorite form.