What is Form?

What Is Form?

The English studio potter Michael Cardew expressed an idea, that form is a thing not of the self, separate from the maker, and existing by itself.  This thought has intrigued me since I first encountered it thirty-five years ago.  My musings on this idea have leant direction to my creative life.  The realization — that this search for form need not be crowded by an over emphasis on oneself as creator, artist, and maker — is liberating.  There is freedom in the idea that form is something to seek after, to look for in the world. 

Plans of Procedure

Plans of Procedure

When Starting out as a full time saddle maker, I kept a plan of procedure for each of the various rigging types that I was called on to build.  These plans were constantly being updated as I proceeded from saddle to saddle.  Here are some of the documents that I worked up back then.  I don't do things exactly like this now, and in some cases have changed things quite a bit.  My hope is that these might be helpful to some of you just starting out, and that they may provide a guide to your own note taking.  When I was building mostly contract saddles this approach really helped to develop efficiency and speed in my workflow.

The fourth PDF here is a copy of the notes I made when teaching other makers to build the hunting saddles that we were contracted to produce.

Fitting and Costructing-drop plate rigging
Fitting and Constructing in skirt
Fitting and Constructing in skirt and hubbard

Fitting hubbard skirt jockey