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QotW: So what is your bad habit that is now just your style?

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Recent post in the QotW question pool by liambesawI am a firm believer that no matter how you were taught or got instruction that you develop a personal throwing style, which includes doing things that you know you aren't supposed to do.  Myself, I throw counter clockwise but use my right hand inside the form and lift with my left hand on the outside.  I've tried throwing clockwise and I've also tried switching my hands but something about throwing backwards feels natural to me.  So what is your bad habit that is now just your style?

A long time ago, I found that parts of my body would not do what I wanted them to. When it came to throwing, I used any finger or other area that  that fit to open up(discussed before).  Centering I would use the entire length of my rt arm in position with the rt elbow on the wheel head, and the fist hooked over the top of the cone. Left hand in traditional position. When pulling, I use the index, second and thumb braced together to give me a contact point about the size of a pencil eraser-less drag for me. Left hand in straight down with bent second braced by third.  I shape using my ribs going up and down the form, sometimes with ribs inside, sometimes outside, sometimes both. 

In the long run, I find that it really doesn't matter, so long as you can manipulate your pressure points in the right places inside and outside the form. Centering is a matter of rhythm and power.  Most people if they have the timing right could center by slapping the clay into place, they just quit a little early and take the easy way out with water and pressure. However you do it, makes for interesting demonstration and conversation. If you turn clockwise, counter  clockwise, no problem unless stuck in a situation where you need to use something opposite your usual. . . train to do both.

Yet if you are teaching, that is another thing. I make certain to be able to throw with first knuckle of index finger, pull upside down with the thumb and hands in reversed position, or with the thumb knuckle. All of this to show the student that there are several useful ways to pull, and many variations, but the prime elements of pressure inside higher than outside, gradual lessening of pressure as higher thinner walls, muscling the clay out of the base to keep from too much trimming, and pulling with walls leaning inward until shaped are essential basics that all potters need to follow successfully. 

All of this of course in my humble opinion.

 

best,

Pres 

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Pres, I throw like that as well. Can't do clockwise unless I am using it for a particular effect.  My "bad habit" is a deep aversion to taking notes.  I prefer the surprise and do not get too hung up on not being able to duplicate something, even when it is wonderful. Of course I have come to regret that bad habit more than once! The note-taking, whether by hand on paper or in the Pottery Logbook app or whatever is just too much minutia for my brain to handle-I lose steam fairly quickly. I've had to turn that lack of patience/sustained attention into an asset in terms of my style, which does seem to serve me well overall. I am making an effort to put more glaze detail into the Logbook, but have not attained any really useful consistency yet. 

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I used to tell my students “if it works for you, it’s not wrong.”

My “bad habit” is to skip foot rings on all pots that I am producing in high volumes. Foot rings are very time consuming. I still like to trim them on things I make in lower volumes. But for mugs and small bowls, no way!

I’ve heard potters say dogmatic things like “all good pots have foot rings,” but I'm like “nah.”

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Edited by GEP

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I don't know if this is from a bad habit or frustration.   I have been making  coiled pots for several years now and would usually have to flatten the bottom when I finish the piece.   This would leave me with a rough service to put my name on because of the sandy groggy clay.   I tried stamps and  and writing my name in stain and you couldn't read it.   If i can't read a signature on a piece of pottery at a sale I won't purchase it so why would someone purchase my unreadable signature.   I decided to scratch my name in block letters and come back and fill the lines with black stain.  I have just started selling some of my work,  the customer turns is over to make sure it is signed and usually says good I can read it!    Denice

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5 hours ago, GEP said:

I used to tell my students “if it works for you, it’s not wrong.”

My “bad habit” is to skip foot rings on all pots that I am producing in high volumes. Foot rings are very time consuming. I still like to trim them on things I make in lower volumes. But for mugs and small bowls, no way!

 

I actually prefer pots without foot rings.

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These time, foot rings have to be so well done as with the use of dish washers in most households means that the foot rings can be water gatherers that cause all sorts of drips when unloading. So the foot ring has to be designed with and inside bevel to release water when the dish is positioned in the dishwasher.  The use of wiggle wires on bottoms of late is interesting, but leaves little in the area for a signature or stamp. To remedy this on something like a mug where the wiggle wire looks neat, I find that trimming a smooth area in the middle of the bottom allows a great signature area. At the same time as I grind all of my bottoms now for glass like smoothness, the wiggle wire lines get softened.

 

best,

Pres

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I don't think all good pots have foots, but I hate using a bowl that doesn't have a foot. They're too hard to hold onto without one!

Feet on mugs, vases, bottles and jars seem pretty gratuitous to me.

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45 years ago I thought  pots all needed feet. That changed in the 1st 10 years for me. I like feet but not all wares need feet. I still feel bowls do need feet.If I have a form with no foot I still have a glaze catching ridge and it tapers under and appears as a foot to small degree. It also catches running glazes.Its one of my styles I'm know for along with the plate and platter nubbins-or any nubbin on the Botton which I sign.

Edited by Mark C.

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I'm in the stage where I'm questioning which pots need feet. I don't know that putting feet on something is a bad habit, I think it's just an aesthetic/ time choice. I personally prefer a footed bowl, but as long as the bottom is finished and given some consideration in terms of the overall design, the lack of one doesn't indicate a bad habit. 

I was forever and always being told I threw too fast while still in school. Now it's considered "efficient use of time."

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