This finished example of Judith Duff's triangular sake has been wood fired.

This finished example of Judith Duff's triangular sake has been wood fired.


North Carolina potter Judith Duff demonstrates how to make a sake set that is thrown on the wheel and altered using several different tools and techniques. If you have never tried making sake sets, give them a shot. Then you can impress your friends by serving sake using the proper serving implements!
– Jennifer Harnetty, editor.





The Bottle
To make my wheel-thrown and altered sake set, I begin with two pounds of clay centered on the wheel. Then I throw a narrow cylinder leaving the sides and bottom thicker than normal. I mark the top of the cylinder in thirds and then, using a wooden tool, I push out from the inside of the cylinder three lines to create three sides (figures 1 and 2).

After defining the three sides, I begin throwing the neck on bottle by closing in the top of the cylinder. After I am satisfied with the neck, I undercut the base and remove the bottle from bat (figure 3).

When the bottle is at a soft leather hard stage, I use a paddle on the three sides to extend the clay upward toward the neck and downward toward the bottom (figure 4 shows the form after one paddle). This forms a collar around the neck and an extension of clay around the foot (figure 5 shows the extension of clay beginning to form around bottom).

Then I use a small rasp tool to shave extra clay from the three sides, forming three distinct edges (figure 6). This accentuates the lines at the corners. The last step for the bottle is to hand trim the foot to remove some of the bottom and the sides (figure 7). Figure 8 shows the bottle after the bottom has been cut to form feet.

The Cup
For the sake cup, I center and open a half pound of clay and form a thicker than normal cylinder. From there it is basically the same process used on the bottle, except this form stays open with no spout. Using a wooden tool, push out from inside of the cylinder three lines to create three sides and remove from the bat. When the cup is leather hard, I use the rasp to shave extra clay from the three sides. Again, I hand trim the foot to remove some of the bottom and sides to create feet. A finished cup in the greenware stage is shown at left.

This technique is one of several that Judith will be presenting a workshop called “Creating Organic and Functional Shapes and Surfaces” at the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation’s (OCAF) School Street Studios August 30 – 31. Judith will demonstrate a combination of wheel thrown and slab construction to produce organic forms of irregular shape and texture. Participants will learn to impart character to their work with altering techniques such as faceting, fluting, incising, and adding deliberate anomalies. The workshop is part of Perspectives: 2008 Georgia Pottery Invitational, which takes place August 30 – September 17 and features exhibitions, sales and studio tours in addition to the Judith Duff workshop. For additional information, visit OCAF website at www.ocaf.com.
To see more images of Judith Duff’s work, visit www.judithduff.com.

For more great forming techniques, check out
Throwing and Handbuilding: Forming Techniques,
part of the Ceramic Arts Handbook Series,
in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore.



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