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First time on a wheel...


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#21 atanzey

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:41 PM

bciskepottery - Cool tip on the rehydrating! Would that work with porcelain, too? I have a bunch that came with a used wheel, that's 'years' old. I don't think it's solid, but I haven't been looking forward to reclaiming it, because it is pretty hard.

Alice

#22 bciskepottery

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 06:50 PM

bciskepottery - Cool tip on the rehydrating! Would that work with porcelain, too? I have a bunch that came with a used wheel, that's 'years' old. I don't think it's solid, but I haven't been looking forward to reclaiming it, because it is pretty hard.

Alice


Works with clay . . . including porcelain. If the clay is pretty dry, I'd start out with a cup of water. Also, make sure there are no tears or holes in the plastic bag; you don't want excessive water leaking in and making a soft mush. I've got a couple of "bricks" coming back to life in the garage.

#23 Lucille Oka

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:07 PM

Ah, learning steps!

Until now, I've been playing with a clay labeled 'Terra Cotta'. I have since
learned this is a generic term, and not a specific brand. I'm not sure if my
clay is old, but it sure is tough to work!

I've been watching videos of kneading clay, and as hard as I tried, the clay
just didn't seem to behave as it did for those in the videos. Last night, I pulled
out the clay that came with my wheel, which is Riverside Grit from Highwater Clay.
WHAT a difference! I was able to achieve the Ram's head just like I'd seen! I formed
a deep saucer / bowl, used a lot of water, and this time didn't end up with a slurpy mess of a clay ball.
I'm sure Terra Cotta is a lovely clay, but perhaps not the best choice for me, as a beginner?

Other newbie noticings - the wheel does not spin nearly as fast as I thought it would.
I had visions of making an enormous mess in the house, when in fact, it was not.

Clay water vs. fresh water, WHAT a difference there, too. ♥

(Proud moment Posted Image )



Sorry I did not mean to interfere. If you had wanted instruction you would have taken a course, right? Sorry again.


John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#24 Dancing Earth Creations

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:48 AM

I bought a wheel when I got hooked after taking my 3rd ceramic class. The first two 7 week classes were all wheel and although I liked it very much I wasn't financially able to continue at the time. Years later it was taking a class that was a combination wheel and hand building that finally hooked me (and the kids grownup and gone.) Hand building taught me many things that I sometimes incorporate into my wheel thrown pieces and someday hope to have more time to get back to sculpture. After that class I made the plunge and bought the wheel. Then it was sheer determination that I would learn how to use it and started taking more Wheel I classes. Since I'm not a natural I can't imagine learning it without help from my teachers and the encouragement of potter friends. I know you said you don't have access to a community college or a commercial pottery studio but you might look for someone selling pottery in your area and see if they give lessons. It made a huge difference to have someone watch what I was doing and suggest another way.

Somewhere around here I have one or two of my first pieces--not nearly as nice as Big Electric Cat's! When I get frustrated and think I am not making progress I look at earlier pieces. But beware giving them away to friends and family because after awhile you will be asking if you can swap them so you can throw them away and not have to see them when you visit. Posted Image I also liked using the early pieces to test glazes.

Clay is not like any other creative pursuit I've done. Big Electric Cat expressed it very well. It has been my addiction for four years and has been getting me through the most difficult job in my life (actually boss who makes a stressful job pure hell.) When I wake up upset about work I divert my brain by thinking about ideas for clay or get up and go throw some pots before work.

Let us know how it's going!

#25 teardrop

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:36 AM

Don't forget about YouTube. Everyone and his brother in the pottery world has vids up....many offering "instruction" and a visual take on technique...just like being in class...

"Media" is changing things in a big way. "Class" will always be important stuff....but for those with no access to a school watching videos is the next best thing, IMO.

have fun. (the most important thing of all)

teardrop
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss US author & illustrator (1904 - 1991)

#26 WUVIE

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:08 AM

Don't forget about YouTube. Everyone and his brother in the pottery world has vids up....many offering "instruction" and a visual take on technique...just like being in class...

"Media" is changing things in a big way. "Class" will always be important stuff....but for those with no access to a school watching videos is the next best thing, IMO.

have fun. (the most important thing of all)

teardrop


Well, pooh! I just typed a long response to you and somehow managed to wipe it off the screen, no going back. :huh:

I couldn't agree more about the fun. I'm not in this to get rich, much less noticed. With any luck, I'll create a piece that
might inspire a future grandchild to look in the direction of creativity.

Sadly, we live in a rural area without much interest in clay. There are a few people, at least that are public about it,
who dabble in ceramics, but mainly things like chicken statues, kittens and puppies with patchwork ears, and the
holiday trees with plastic lights that glow when a bulb is placed inside.

I did find a wonderful lady in Tulsa, but will have to find a day off work (falls on floor laughing hysterically) in order
to visit with her, or make a special appointment. As one who appreciates what little play time is available, I hate to
take up her day with my virgin awe.

Videos - oh yes! We have very slow connections in the boonies here in Oklahoma, so my viewing is limited to workplace
watching. Hubby and I were just talking this morning about how much life has changed. You can see anything, and
I do mean anything, online these days. It is wonderful to know that people are no longer limited by distance or access
to things. Inter-library loan is another great source of instruction for those who live a distance from humanity. Okay, just
a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. :P
It is better to find glory in one's own merit. In fact it is more important to have self-respect than to gain respect from others,
and it is better to earn glory than to publicize it. - Madeleine de Scudéry (1607-1701)

“People of uncommon abilities generally fall into eccentricities when their sphere of life is not adequate to their abilities.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

#27 WUVIE

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:10 AM

It has been my addiction for four years and has been getting me through the most difficult job in my life (actually boss who makes a stressful job pure hell.) When I wake up upset about work I divert my brain by thinking about ideas for clay or get up and go throw some pots before work.


Seems we have yet another thing in common. Do we work at the same place? ;)
It is better to find glory in one's own merit. In fact it is more important to have self-respect than to gain respect from others,
and it is better to earn glory than to publicize it. - Madeleine de Scudéry (1607-1701)

“People of uncommon abilities generally fall into eccentricities when their sphere of life is not adequate to their abilities.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

#28 Laura A Strike

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:10 PM

I started working in clay 18 years ago when my first child left for college. He signed up for a pottery class, so I signed up at our community college to share the experience. I didnot realize how much it would help relieve the stress of my jobs, school teacher, and demands of home.

When I wanted to start the wheel, my teacher told me to read a book. Can't tell you how many bowls I kept that should have been tossed. I still keep bad bowls for glaze experiments.

Best advice I ever got was when a friend sat down with me and showed me how to center.
Quick tips I learned for beginers:
1. two hands should work together as team
2.Centering the clay, let the clay come to you, don't force it
3. quiet hands , don't take your hands off too fast
4. avoid using too much water
5. use a sponge to dry excess waterpull, especially usefull if you have nails
6. Try vinegar in water to keep clay from absorbing too much water.


Watching others help a lot. Those on line videos are great for learning new tips.

Good luck


#29 Prokopp

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 02:09 PM

Wow, many great tips that I am going to use! Thanks everyhone for posting these!




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