The base of a mug of mine, admittedly stamped the wrong way round, normally I always impress the mark facing inward as opposed to outward like this. Black speckles litter the base, minute dots of iron pulled from the clay through reduction let to settle and flux on the surface, creating small beans of metal. It’s these, presumably which are the root of the larger iron blossoms seen on the surfaces sometimes. These smaller ones barely make an impact and beneath the dark green glaze clouded over, but every now and then and larger grain of iron punctures through.
I’ve had two distinct stamps, previously to this it was a square ‘g’ that enveloped an ‘f’, but it didn’t work on a small scale like this as well, there was too much detail and it was hard to read once fired. Makers marks are essentially a potters signature but they do change overtime, although it becomes difficult doing so if it’s recognised as being specifically yours. There’s little meaning behind mine, the character obviously relates to my name, but the runic nature of it came about simply through drawing and trying to figure out a mark another potter hasn’t already used before. I much prefer a hand carved stamp by the maker or scrawled mark compared to a laser cut and crystal-clear stamp. It feels a lot more personal.
I had been using my smallest mark, measuring only two by four milimetres before being fired, which works well on the very small foot-rings of my bowls, but in reality, on these larger expanses of bare clay it became quite difficult to spot. I’ve started to use one my larger marks since, to make it more pronounced. I’m a stickler for how the bottom of a pot is finished, like I’m sure many potters are. Whenever I run into pottery in my day to day life, be it in a restaurant, shop, exhibition or home I flip the pot over and check the base, it’s often the most interesting part—attention to detail is key.