In today's video, Matt Long demonstrates how to make one of his signature drinking vessels.
Today we bring you another video clip from Matt Long off of his full-length DVD Matt Long: Vessels for Victory. In this clip, Matt demonstrates how to make a hip flask. In addition to clearly explaining how the form is constructed, Matt delves into his design considerations and motivations. For example, when considering the shape of this flask form, he decided he wanted “the form to look like it’s kind of drunk” – perfect for a form that is designed to hold a beverage that can make you tipsy! Thinking through both the form and function of a piece before setting out to make it is a good habit for all potters to get into. It can be what separates a “so-so” piece from a really successful piece.So have a look at the video and follow Matt’s lead, remembering to carefully consider form and function in your own work. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Matt finishes his hip flasks through a combination of handbuilding and wheel throwing. After the form has set up to about leather hard, he adds a slab top and bottom and then makes a neck and lid using coil building and wheel throwing techniques.
To make the slab top, Matt uses a kidney-shaped hump mold (made of bisqued clay) that mimics the shape of the flask. He roughly traces the shape of the flask into a slab and cuts the slab so it is slightly larger than the actual piece. Then he drapes this piece over the hump mold and allows it to set up to about leather hard. This gives the top of the hip flask some curve and lift. The hump mold and the slab don’t have to be exactly the same size and shape as the flask because they will be trimmed down to fit when they are attached.
Next Matt cuts a hole in the top of the flask and uses a coil to build up the neck. After the coil is securely attached, he throws it to smooth it out and create a seat for the lid to sit on. He then throws the lid upside down off the hump, measuring with calipers to get the right fit. When the fit is right, he cuts the lid off the hump with a needle tool. Finished Hip Flasks