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My Journey In To Clay


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#1 Pottery Walker

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 07:45 PM

Hello my soon to be new friends "I hope".
I am a complete beginner in clay, I am in the photography business by trade, a profession that was once a analog industrial art form. You bought film, that was made with silver and color dies, photographed your subject using precise exposure equations, and then you processed the film to exact specifications to reveal your creation. "film or slide" you held something you created, good or bad. All very rewarding, but as the digital age crept into photography, the act for me of creating a tangible item went away. The whole process changed, now cameras are computers that expose for you, and you see the image immediately, and if you don't like it, you can change it in a computer. But for me it all has become very detached... The photograph is just zero's and one's on a solid state circuit board, it has lost the feeling of making something, something you can hold and feel. But Pottery, that is analog!! It's real, you can feel it, touch it, it has weight, texture and it's functional! So I decided to take up pottery, I am really drawn to it. What goal do I have with pottery? I don't really have one, I am just on a journey of discovery right now. I have started taking lessons and I decided to document my journey via a video blog, I film my lessons (I am up to #3) and and I have a wheel at home I just bought to so I can record my small achievements and failures. I would love for people to join me on this journey and give me any advice they can. And if you see something I am doing wrong, please tell me, I want to grow and get better at this art. I guess the best way to follow me is to check out my facebook page or you tube page here where you can comment. YouTube or Facebook. Or you can see the videos on my webpage I started. www.potterywalker.com Why document this? I started doing it to just show my friends and family, but I soon realized that maybe I could learn something by sharing this with this community and maybe event pass along something to a beginner I learned along the way.
So, I will post here as much as I can and I hope you can join in on my journey.


here are links to all my videos so far.
The Beginning

The Wheel Arrives

Lesson #2

I attempt a pitcher

Lesson #3
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#2 Pottery Walker

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 07:47 PM

I have a small misstake that turned out in to a heart shaped mug, with a little help

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#3 Benzine

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 08:14 PM

Welcome to the ceramics world. I've been working with clay for years, but I'm new to these forums. From my experience so far, you will find all the help and dialogue regarding clay, that you could possibly want.

In regards to your mention of photography, do you still do some work with the traditional methods? I still teach my students darkroom work, along with digital, and they really enjoy. It gives them a better sense of accomplishment. That isn't to say that digital photography and art are easy. I became well versed in the various digital media programs in college, but I still don't know half of what those programs are capable of.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#4 Pottery Walker

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 08:37 PM

do you still do some work with the traditional methods? I still teach my students darkroom work, along with digital, and they really enjoy. It gives them a better sense of accomplishment. That isn't to say that digital photography and art are easy. I became well versed in the various digital media programs in college, but I still don't know half of what those programs are capable of.


Benzine, Thanks for the welcome, ...
I do dable in the older methods of photography, strictly for my own personal work. I own a sports photo agency so, in my world, it is a fast turn around, my clients want the images before the game is even over, so it is all about quantity and expedience. Film is the way of the artist now.
The standard programs in my business is Photoshop of course and a editing program called Photo Mechanic or all the IPTC info. Thats great your teaching and still keeping the darkroom work alive, I feel the same sense of accomplishment with this whole clay thing!
Les




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#5 Benzine

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 09:45 AM


do you still do some work with the traditional methods? I still teach my students darkroom work, along with digital, and they really enjoy. It gives them a better sense of accomplishment. That isn't to say that digital photography and art are easy. I became well versed in the various digital media programs in college, but I still don't know half of what those programs are capable of.


Benzine, Thanks for the welcome, ...
I do dable in the older methods of photography, strictly for my own personal work. I own a sports photo agency so, in my world, it is a fast turn around, my clients want the images before the game is even over, so it is all about quantity and expedience. Film is the way of the artist now.
The standard programs in my business is Photoshop of course and a editing program called Photo Mechanic or all the IPTC info. Thats great your teaching and still keeping the darkroom work alive, I feel the same sense of accomplishment with this whole clay thing!
Les






I fear for the day, that my administrators tell me I have to stop teaching traditional photography, either because of cost or safety concerns. Right now, they trust me that I know what I'm doing in both arenas. I would have to agree, that I do. Sadly, I talked to a fellow teacher at a nearby school district, who lost their darkroom, because OSHA came in and declared it to be a hazard.
I like digital, and it is very versatile, but I like traditional photo, for the very reasons you mentioned.

Luckily, I still also have my ceramics as well. Of course that can be just as pricey as photo, and be considered potentially dangerous. The bureaucrats don't like us to have any fun.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#6 Pottery Walker

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:23 AM

[/quote] Luckily, I still also have my ceramics as well. Of course that can be just as pricey as photo, and be considered potentially dangerous. The bureaucrats don't like us to have any fun.
[/quote]
I hear ya there. Do you have a link to your ceramics work? What are you into?
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#7 Benzine

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 11:37 AM

[quote name='Pottery Walker' date='16 September 2012 - 10:23 AM' timestamp='1347809016' post='22260']
[/quote] Luckily, I still also have my ceramics as well. Of course that can be just as pricey as photo, and be considered potentially dangerous. The bureaucrats don't like us to have any fun.
[/quote]
I hear ya there. Do you have a link to your ceramics work? What are you into?
[/quote]

I honestly don't photograph a lot of my work. I make things, and generally just give them away as gifts. I have sold some work, that I was commissioned for, but generally I just make pieces, because I enjoy it.
I dabble in a bit of everything. I do a bit of throwing, mostly smaller things, like cups, mugs and bowls. I also do some small relief sculptures as well. This summer I made a decent sized sculpture for my classroom to hold my hall passes. I had the idea a few years ago, but finally had the time to actually make it.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#8 Pottery Walker

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 01:35 PM

[quote name='Benzine' date='16 September 2012 - 09:37 AM' timestamp='1347813473' post='22264']
[quote name='Pottery Walker' date='16 September 2012 - 10:23 AM' timestamp='1347809016' post='22260']
[/quote] Luckily, I still also have my ceramics as well. Of course that can be just as pricey as photo, and be considered potentially dangerous. The bureaucrats don't like us to have any fun.
[/quote]
I hear ya there. Do you have a link to your ceramics work? What are you into?
[/quote]

I honestly don't photograph a lot of my work. I make things, and generally just give them away as gifts. I have sold some work, that I was commissioned for, but generally I just make pieces, because I enjoy it.
I dabble in a bit of everything. I do a bit of throwing, mostly smaller things, like cups, mugs and bowls. I also do some small relief sculptures as well. This summer I made a decent sized sculpture for my classroom to hold my hall passes. I had the idea a few years ago, but finally had the time to actually make it.
[/quote]

Thats cool, I started this whole thing just for my family to follow me, but friends told me to put it out there.
I look forward to seeing what you have done if you can dig up a photo or two
Les



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#9 Pottery Walker

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 06:49 PM

if a moderator reads this. Is this the right location for this thread?
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#10 Pottery Walker

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:02 AM

posted a new video
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#11 Pottery Walker

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:24 PM

Posted a new video MY NEW KILN ARRIVAL



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#12 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 12:58 AM

Welcome to the forum of clay workers. I can see you have been badly smitten by the clay bug...like the rest of us.
I have been working in clay for 45+ years and going strong . Spent 25+ years teaching university level ceramics and retired from that 12 years ago.
I have taught again in several university setting temporarily , and teach workshops regularly.
I have been enjoying my 'retirement' by working in Artists in Residence programs every so often.
So welcome to the Forum. There are people from everywhere with knowledge about all possible problems on can encounter in clay.
Many minds can help solve problems or at least provide considerations.

Marcia

#13 Pottery Walker

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 10:50 AM

Marcia, Thank You so much for the warm welcome.

I could sure use some guidance in making handles!! and advice?

Welcome to the forum of clay workers. I can see you have been badly smitten by the clay bug...like the rest of us.
I have been working in clay for 45+ years and going strong . Spent 25+ years teaching university level ceramics and retired from that 12 years ago.
I have taught again in several university setting temporarily , and teach workshops regularly.
I have been enjoying my 'retirement' by working in Artists in Residence programs every so often.
So welcome to the Forum. There are people from everywhere with knowledge about all possible problems on can encounter in clay.
Many minds can help solve problems or at least provide considerations.

Marcia




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#14 Pottery Walker

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:39 AM

Just posted a new video and images to my facebook and website

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#15 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:12 PM

To make handles, , try throwing a few cylinders and let them set up to trimming dryness. Make a cucumber size wod of clay and pull some long handles. Cut them into about 4 inch lengths.
When ready stick the 4" sections one at a time onto the cylinders. Push the section into the surface of the cylinder, use the back of your finger nail to work the section into the cylinder. Smotther around the attached area. Start pulling the section into a hndle. Do this as many times as you can fit onto the cylinder.
SOme people say it takes 1000 handles 'til you get it.
So..just practice.

Marcia

#16 Pres

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:46 AM

To make handles, , try throwing a few cylinders and let them set up to trimming dryness. Make a cucumber size wod of clay and pull some long handles. Cut them into about 4 inch lengths.
When ready stick the 4" sections one at a time onto the cylinders. Push the section into the surface of the cylinder, use the back of your finger nail to work the section into the cylinder. Smotther around the attached area. Start pulling the section into a hndle. Do this as many times as you can fit onto the cylinder.
SOme people say it takes 1000 handles 'til you get it.
So..just practice.

Marcia


Welcome to the forums, pottery walker. When I first started pulling handles in college, I went in on a Saturday and pulled handles all day long sticking them to everything that they would stick to. The stainless steel sink and splash board, the tables cabinets, backing boards etc. I think I pulled over 300 handles that day until I was able to manipulate the clay well enough to put handles on my poor little mugs I had made. Of course in order to do this, I had parked my car on the ground level and used the roof to climb in through a second floor window. It was a holiday weekend. Things we do when young and stupid. At any rate pull as many handles as you can before adding to your pots, and then realize that often times you might mess up the pots not understanding how much pressure to attach, how much to score etc etc. Good luck, you will find clay to be a constant journey with an uphill learning curve.

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





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