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Qotw: What Shape Do You Prefer?

Question of the week; shapes; design;

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#1 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 02:02 PM

Dear fellow potters


Days and weeks fly so fast.... sigh


My today's guest is... tataaaaa.... our one and only and much beloved oldlady!


Her question(s) for us is the following:


What shape did you like most when you first started out? Have you made it recently and if so, do you still like it?


I myself started out with trying different shapes because I was still looking for an own language in clay. Later I discovered the tripods and the bi-discs and that's what I still like doing.


What about YOU?


Warm wishes for a nice week ahead.



Evelyne Schoenmann
Studio: schoenmann ceramics

Advisory Board Member;
Potters Council of The
American Ceramic Society


Board Member of Swiss Ceramics Association

#2 Joseph F

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 02:14 PM

This is a tough one for me. At the moment my favorite form is a cup with a foot. There are just infinite possibilities to design them. Ridges, humps, bumps, indents, marks, etc etc. And they are so enjoyable to drink out of, looking at the designs and marks in the cup as you use it every day is just brilliant. 


The best part about making pots is that you can be an irresponsible creator and go nuts, but you have to be a very harsh editor of your work. I feel cups are the best form for that process. Although plates are starting to peak my interest. Thinking about doing some type of instagram of a plate a week or something for a year. Maybe 3 plates a week. Once I get enough plates in the process.


This is a really good QOTW. I can't wait to see peoples favorite shape.

#3 Mark C.

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 03:02 PM

I have always like bowls-since 1970s as I was not a good thrower when I started in 69. I still make them-in fact I threw a bunch of medium sized ones today-they are drying in the sun now.

Mark Cortright

#4 flowerdry


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Posted 14 March 2017 - 05:36 PM

Anything with graceful curves floats my boat! I love making them and admiring them whether it's a bowl, vase or something else.

Doris Hackworth

"Promoting the joy of handmade pottery"

#5 What?


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Posted 14 March 2017 - 11:57 PM

I really like bottle forms. I could not make any when I started out so I learned to love making bowls. I still make bowls. I now can make bottles and have been focused on that along with cup and mug forms for a good year now. Going to make some growlers soon. 

#6 RonSa


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:00 AM

Like Doris I like graceful curves on my forms. While I have thrown ceramic bowls I've turned so many wooden ones its not my go to form. At this time of my learning, I haven't really settled on what I like best but I usually throw mugs and jars.


I'm not sure what ceramicists call the shape but woodturners call them hollow forms, they're something between a bottle and a jar. I have a lot of ideas I want to explore with this shape.


#7 Denice


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:23 AM

I had to think for a minute about it,  I have been making coiled pieces for a couple of years now and I make one shape for a while and change because I am getting bored with that shape.  My favorite for now is a round balloon shaped pot with a small recessed lid.  Potter

#8 Pres


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 09:15 AM

I find that my skills and aesthetic tastes have changed so much over the years. When I first started out, I was interested in throwing cylinders, and that also included casseroles with lids. Most times lids would be included on almost anything. My prof in the undergrad school was from Alfred, and he always stressed people loving to lift a lid to look inside and that was a selling point. . . !. . .? The things we will believe when young! At any rate I made lot of pots with lids.


As my skills improved, I started making larger jars and such, early one were 18"-24", and then I learned about joining two sections, and about coil throwing. Jars went to 4-5' at State College. I soon got tired of that and went back to 24-30" jars, large bowls 36" diameter, and other things. 


Somewhere in the middle here I tried to do a teapot. .. .It was terrible. As I was not happy with my first effort, I read a ton of stuff, and then made a second, and a third, and. . . you get the idea.


Now I am trying to throw much looser, without so much worry about the perfect centering, or the mechanical precision of a pull, but just having fun, enjoying the feel of the clay. I impress into the wet cylinders before shaping, I gouge areas with tools, and then shape. I try to inflate the form as much as I possible can without it collapsing, sometimes even having to patch the holes that appear because of a stamp or gouge that was too deep. I'm having fun with the challenge of the inflated form, and hope to get more joy from it from day to day. The forms are bulbous, with nice necks, shoulder lines that define a border between the belly and the neck. The curve is extreme S in shape, but has irregularities in the belly from the marks that have expanded. I still have a lot to do with it, but then I am . . . . retired!





Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . . http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/

#9 Chilly


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 03:38 PM

Throwing - anything that survives

Slab - precise, sharp corners, structure

Coiled - curvy

Slip-cast - chunky mugs




#10 oldlady


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 03:41 PM

cylinders, cylinders was my aim.  i knew a potter who sold me her yellow cylinder vase.  about 10 inches tall, 3 inch diameter with a rim that folded out about half an inch.  i practiced that shape forever, it seems, before i got one i liked.   haven't done a straight cylinder for years.  but it was great skill building, trying to get the height and width and lip the same thickness.


the last tall one, about 15 inches was done and sold within the same week about 2007.  the buyer wanted the peonies that i had in it.  happily sold it.

"putting you down does not raise me up."

#11 glazenerd


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 06:56 PM

Flat- as in tile flat. Nothing in particular catches the eye, or is visually captivating other than the glaze that is on them. However, $100 bills are flat as well: and flat tiles produce flat bills: so it works (for now).



#12 Cavy Fire Studios

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:34 AM

Ummm...animal shapes! ^_^ Then, belly pots, annnnd I'm back to animals again. ♥
"I wheek; therefore, I am."
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#13 Magnolia Mud Research

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:49 AM

Asymmetrical circles and squares for pieces larger than a fist.
Smaller than a fist, “critter” shapes.


#14 claygram


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Posted 17 March 2017 - 06:51 PM

definitely bowls

#15 oldlady


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Posted 17 March 2017 - 07:56 PM

well, we all have some kind of favorite, and enjoy making what we like individually.  isn't it great to be self-employed, no boss telling us "Make 50 mugs, three inches wide and six inches tall with a three finger handle.  and do them by noon."

"putting you down does not raise me up."

#16 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 07:48 AM

I love throwing. Tea bowls, soup bowls, large pasta serving bowls, but my favorite form is the orb. I is like downhill skiing when your bringing the shoulder in for a small hole...focus focus focus!!
Marcia Selsor, Professor Emerita,Montana State University-Billings

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