Mitch Yung Missouri
BFA, Kansas State University, 1989
MFA, Arizona State University, 1991
My work over the past year has been a return to making pots and a return to the freedom of my youth. I decided I wanted to return to my beginnings and produce sound, well-designed functional pots. I also decided at this time that I wanted to further explore the methods and simplicity of the Korean buncheong pottery
This has been a challenge of patience: developing a technique to carve the small wooden stamps I use and applying the slip so it fills all the pattern without leaving voids. It is satisfying to scrape off the outer coating of slip to reveal the contrasting inlaid porcelain on a dark stoneware clay body. Using this technique to form clay into quality functional pots has become a satisfying reward.
Also this past year I decided to learn the Onggi technique. I have been learning how to roll fat coils, join them efficiently and paddle them to a uniform thickness. This process has allowed me to make larger more uniform pottery efficiently and with less wear on my body.
My returned focus on throwing has culminated with an increasing desire to finish these pieces in the less controlled firing method of wood firing… creating the best work I can and then leaving the finished result to the whimsy of the fire. This may go against many of the tried-and- true business models; however, the result is a smaller group of pots with more love and attention paid to the entire process. This yields fewer pieces, but these pieces have the specific qualities I am seeking.