Sunday, September 28, 2008

Journey Days 5 & 6 Cups and Bowls




I continued to work on my vases - concentrating on simplifying the design, and incorporating the design into the tops, and Stephens suggestion that perhaps the hair lines would add interest were spot on.

I also wanted to improve my bowls - how to get that wonderful curve in the bottom and his demo provided many tips. He leaves up to 1" for the base, and always makes sure to dig in at the bottom to get all the clay up. Be sure to throw higher that you want the bowl to be as once you start shaping and widening it, it will get shorter. Don't start with too bulbous a belly on the bowl and use a large stiff rib on the interior first, then continue shaping both the inside and outside with ribs. He tries to avoid shadow throwing rings - so the interior of his vessels are always smooth. When trimming a fresh pot while still on the bat he keeps one hand inside for support - making sure to spray the inside with water if the surface is too dry. When throwing plates, be sure to throw them with slight curve so that when you cut them off they will not hump up.

I also threw some cups as that was another area that I thought I was weak in and Stephen's suggestions helped me to see what I was doing wrong. He regards the foot and rim as punctuation marks and he likes them to be balanced so that neither one screams out at you. His handles are either 1 finger or 2-3 finger handles, with the 1 finger handles having the lower part of the handle coming in almost parallel so that it can support the other fingers.

I know that I will have to work on handles pulled off the cup - something that I have tried from time to time but never perfected. When a handles is not pulled off the cup there is a "gap" in the top area of attachment that detracts from the overall shape.

Kenyon, the resident potter showed me how to make a pinched handle - a technique that I had never seen before. His cups have great one finger handles that he makes that way.

1 comment:

Martin said...

I've never heard of a pinched handle. Can you explain what that is, please?