Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different

The last few weeks have been decidedly Metals-centric (and there will be one last post with the pictures of the remaining pieces, later this week) But I haven’t totally neglected clay- I’ve just neglected to bring the camera with me to the pottery!  So...

Two weeks ago:

Tumblers galore!  With a little less than two hours left on Friday I decided to try throwing some smaller, and slightly differently balanced, versions of those black slip/shino tumblers from last month (that would be the 2nd and 3rd boards in from the right).  When I threw this batch I weighed out all the clay equally, but eyeballed the rest...while I was cleaning up, Michael said “you should really try throwing thirty or forty consecutively, and not just weigh them, but measure bottom thickness, opening diameter, etc. for each one, and get a feel for the rhythm of working for a long time on the same form.”  Well, come Saturday I wedged up 36 balls of clay (our boards hold nine cups) and got down to work.  Not totally continuous (break for lunch and frequent pauses to help an open studio attendee) but I did definitely get the experience: the first couple boards were fun, the third was a little harder, especially towards the end...after which I had to stop and do some yoga to stretch my back out...and that last board was something that I had to force myself to do.  All this showed in the cups, too: the first were a little stockier, they peaked in evenness and grace of form from the second board to three-quarters of the way through the third...and that last board looks belabored- the individual cups are good, but there’s less continuity between them.  But...54 cups in a total of 6 hours of actual throwing time is pretty darn good- now I just have to do all the slip work on them!

Last weekend:

Saturday:  Weight and size success record- I’ve centered 25 lbs before, but never have actually produced anything successful that weight, and never anything of this size: this baby's 20 lbs, 20 inches in diameter.  Let me just say right here that I LOVE my heat gun (for those of you who weren’t already aware): after bringing up the walls on this charmer I dried it some, did one pass with a rib to bring it out, dried it more, ribbed it again, dried, ribbed, dried, ribbed, cont’d ad infinitum, never doing more than one pass between dryings...let me just say here that this was after a Friday in which I toasted several of these 20lb stinkers due to being overly impatient and trying to go too far too fast too wet, and having left the studio feeling like wet spaghetti.  Title this one “Learning From Past Mistakes”.  Needless to say this one is going to be babied through a very, very slow drying!

Note from the next day... Trimmed that big bowl beautifully, nice and even and balanced...picked it up and thought "this is so lovely and light too"...and that instant had it fold in half and fall on the floor!  Sigh, title the next one "Really Learning From Past Mistakes Now".

1 comment:

  1. Oh, no! I'm sorry to hear about the bowl but stick to it, you're learning with each one.