JBaymore, on 03 January 2013 - 10:48 AM, said:
Benzine, on 02 January 2013 - 11:42 PM, said:
JBaymore, on 02 January 2013 - 02:52 PM, said:
Yeah, I almost consider it "Cheating". But it's not like the device is perfect. It appears you can only center a set amount of clay, which I guess would be fine, if you want all of your vessels to be roughly the same size.
Actually I don't consider it "cheating". It is derailing necessary learning.
Learning to center is not ONLY about centering the clay. The development of sensory awareness, the understanding of the motion of the plastic clay when acted upon by the forces like the driven wheel head and the friction of the fingers, and other such stuff is critically important to all throwing activities and developing to be a good thrower.
This device puts the goal posts in the wrong place for the beginning ceramist. It makes the object the goal, not the learning. TOTALLY wrong emphasis.
Tools like the Giffin Grip, the Strong Arm, and maybe even the centering device (I'm skeptical on that one ;)src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif"> ) are best used and evaluated AFTER you have acquired the skills to not NEED them. Then you can appropriately evaluate them as to their suitability for your work. Using them too soon, shorcuts important skill development.
Once you can quickly center clay to obsessively tight concentric levels.... then is the time to work on not centering the clay so rigidly......letting the clay have a voice as a raw material.
I taught my students to "master" the clay, the pushing up and down of the clay ball before the actual centering. I believed that when a student could successfully move the clay in this manner that they would understand the forces need to center, and to pull. On that strain, I taught the students that compression of the base and setting up of the walls of the pot were as important as getting the clay centered. More thoughts for one to 'sponge" up.