When I was taking my first wheel throwing class, I remember staying in the studio late one night centering clay over and over again. Once I got centering mastered, I remember getting super frustrated because I kept throwing the clay off center when I tried to open it. Then, of course, there was the struggle to pull nice even tall walls. Sound familiar? Since these are not uncommon challenges, I thought I would post this helpful excerpt from Vince Pitelka’s Clay: A Studio Handbook (which is back in print!!). The cross section photos should be a helpful guide for beginners out there and those who teach them.
Today (and this weekend) we are having a sale on one of our popular DVDs: Jake Allee’s Assembly Required: Building Complex Pottery Forms by Throwing, Altering, and Assembling. So to give you a taste of Jake’s processes, I thought I would share this clip from his Hex Jar project. The clip is a good one because not only does Jake explain the cool way he makes his quilted texture, but he also gives an excellent explanation of each step of the throwing process. If you struggle with throwing, this video is for you.
Here in the U.S., we celebrate Thanksgiving today. So I thought I would say thank you to all of you all over the world for your continued support and enthusiasm for Ceramic Arts Daily. Over the past couple of years, this little old website has grown more than we could have ever expected and we couldn’t have done it without you! And for some Thanksgiving fun, I thought I would send out a recipe that’s a little different than our usual recipes. I am also including a little bonus video for making a vessel to go with it. Have a great day!
Mark Peters returns today with another great demo of a pot with some personality. In this clip, He shows us one of his techniques for making a square jar. Square jars are often made by throwing a cylinder with no bottom, squaring it off, and then adding a slab bottom.But in this demo the jar is made in one piece. Mark shares how he accentuates the interior volume and the corners and gives the pot some life. Then he makes a square variation of his thrown and dropped lid (see this post in the Ceramic Arts Daily archives for a more in-depth look at Mark’s thrown and dropped lid!). Happy Friday!
Throwing large bowls has been something that has dogged me for quite some time. There’s a certain size bowl that I just cannot seem to get past and while it’s ample, it is not necessarily what I would call large.
So I really like Martina Lantin’s bowl making process, which literally turns the typical bowl making technique on its head. In today’s post, Martina shares her upside-down bowl technique. Not only does this technique make larger bowls more achievable, but it opens the doors for adding gestural qualities as well. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Lorna Meaden considers all the details when designing a new form. That’s why when she came up with a new mug form recently, she decided to carry her mishima decoration around the corner of the rim to the inside of the pot. But this decoration didn’t start in the decorating phase. Paying attention to every detail, Lorna decided that it would make more of a visual impact to throw an interior ridge where the mishima decoration would stop and a different glaze would take over – a beautiful touch that makes for a successful form. In this video, an excerpt from her DVD Integrating Form & Surface with Porcelain, she shows us the cool trick she came up with to make the ridge.
Throwing in sections is a fantastic way to make large work. Rather than trying to muscle a lot of clay into center and pull a tall form, you can divide the clay into manageable quantities. In today’s post, an excerpt from his book Throwing, Richard Phethean takes this process a step further. He ovals the top section to make the pot more interesting. He also shows us an unconventional handle technique.
As a huge fan of Lorna Meaden’s work, today I am excited to share a preview of her new DVD Integrating Form and Surface with Porcelain. If you’re also a fan, this DVD is chock full of techniques and tips for making work that successfully merges surface decoration with form – a feat that takes careful consideration and lots of practice. No matter what Lorna says, I’d call the bowl she is throwing in this clip a large bowl, rather than a medium sized bowl – especially since it is porcelain. But as she points out, it took 25 years to be able to call this bowl medium sized.
Bill van Gilder is one of those potters with a million cool tricks up his sleeve. If you’re not able to make it to a Bill Van Gilder workshop, videos are the next best thing. In today’s post, an excerpt from his DVD Pottery Techniques: Making Lidded Forms and Trimming, Bill shares three nifty tricks that he has developed to help streamline his processes.
You may think bigger is better, but it bigger is not necessarily more difficult. As Tony Clennell demonstrates in his DVD Taking the Macho Out of Bigware, the size of a pot has more to do with technique than with muscle. A few basic throwing techniques — and a clever trick or two — will get you on your way to increasing the scale of what you can make and what you can imagine. In this clip, Tony demonstrates how to make a large vase in two parts.