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They Do It Different In The East!

Throwing japanese chinese

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#1 potziller

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 12:31 PM

Hi Folks,

been watching with much interest some eastern YouTube folk throwing and I'm fascinated by difference in techniques in getting that blob of clay into shape.

I'm sure everyone is acquainted with the western moves that follow (approximately) as, 'opening up and then pull/coning to make a cylinder, then shaping as required'.  But in the east...............!, these folk often, after 'opening up',  pull outward as if making a bowl, then compress and 'shape up' into a cylinder (then shape into a bottle/vase shape if required). Often this is done when throwing 'off the hump'.

 

What the difference?  Obviously both work, but is there any advantage / disadvantages in either technique that is worth knowing?

Thanks,

V:)

 



#2 Wyndham

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 01:53 PM

Got a youtube link for that method?

Wyndham



#3 potziller

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 02:00 AM

Hi Wyndham,

with pleasure!  Here's some urls from my YouTube 'Watch History'.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEJ646CokUI&list=WLD853F56843B46077     The 'action' starts at 1min 20secs for this one.

 

The only repeatedly flagged caution for throwing 'off the hump' (that I've come across) is the issue of 's' cracks  developing in the bottom of your pot (when dried/fired - or whenever they show up!).  The url below tells you what you need to do to avoid this. 

If you don't want the full nostalgia trip, start the YouTube url at around 7mins 40secs.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kS7JEKMgZFQ

 

Hope these inform.  Essentially, once you hit the YouTubes with Chinese/Japanese characters (and I don't know the difference between the two),  you're on a home run.  They'll just keep on appearing in the right-hand column/listings. 

Enjoy,

V:)



#4 Wyndham

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 08:51 AM

Thanks for the links,

 

I've notices also that most the eastern video's Ive seen the clay looks very plastic and soft. The other thing is I believe that these are native clays, not commercial clays, dried and processed to death. Natural clays have a different life in them.

Wyndham



#5 emptynester

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 01:28 PM

They make it look easy! It is not easy. I noticed that the wheel is turning counter clockwise. Isn't that a western not eastern norm?

#6 potziller

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 02:33 PM

I think the clockwise / counter - clockwise thing depends which hemisphere you're in ! :lol:



#7 Benzine

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:57 PM

It seemed like the wheel was kept, at a pretty high speed, even after the clay was centered.  I know that some people can do that, but I definitely don't.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#8 Biglou13

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:04 PM

I don't think it's that far from western technique. If you really watch close. The opening is same. Bottom compressed, pull... Ok east tends not to cone, because methinks they pull to final height often in one pull.

But I agree with you to some extent because if I try to throw like in "east" videos, the results are dismal

East tend to pull without complication and quickly spending more time on shape

Maybe the west think to much about technique vs. the creative process

If you were raised and that technique is all you know. It will look easy and flawless.

The guy in the east is prolly saying how do those westerner's. throw the way they do......


There is another thread aboutwheeldirection. When I work on wheel that goes the both ways, I use both directions
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#9 potziller

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:53 PM

To throw my two pennies in to the pot, the west (Brits and Am.) often (but not always) tend towards 'blocking out' than a continuous flow of movements (what I mean by 'blocking out' is a set of easily defined stages).  Perhaps I'm attributing qualities that arn't really there (and simply engaging with that tendency to divide things comparatively), but the work rate does seem to have more flow to it.  Perhaps this has more to do with the learning stage I'm at, but as 'Biglou 13' (hi there!) points out briefly (and succinctly!), the east tend toward going with the lumps and bumps.  If I recall correctly, I did read something that said even clumsy potters can make beautiful pots, but angry potter make angry pots! - it's more about being in a relaxed and a flowing mood than getting that clay to do what you want it to without remorse or remission!   And then there's Wabi Sabi and Kintsugi!  My brain hurts!!!!!!    Just enjoy your throwing and go with the inklings when they happen! 

V:)



#10 JBaymore

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 09:18 AM

This technique is used on off the hump pieces to cut down the S cracking of the bottoms.  I teach it in my classes.  There are a couople of moves that help with this potential issue that are common in Japan and Korea (where this technique of thorwing is common). 

 

The clays I use in Japan and the western clays I use here in the states are SO different that it is hard to fathom.  Generallly speaking (always wrong), the Japanese clays are larger particle sized, have more "tooth", are less "dense" and greasy in feel, are more softly mixed (feel wetter), have lower shear qualities, can sometimes be slightly thixotropic, and they stay up in the air very well when thrown.

 

One of the KEY differences in the quality of Japanese clay is that almost everyone mixes the clay to a full wet slip and then dries it back to plastic consistency (often with filter presses for the commercial operations).  This is expensive.... and most western clay suppliers mix direct to plastic state.  BIG difference from that alone.

 

best,

 

.........................john


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#11 JBaymore

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 09:26 AM

Biglou,

East tend to pull without complication and quickly spending more time on shape

Maybe the west think to much about technique vs. the creative process



In a sense you might have that a bit backward.

In general again (always wrong)......... most Japanese and Korean throwers I know have the ability to throw with TREMENDOUS symmetry and precision...... if they chose to do so. It comes from the traditional teaching / learning style there of incredible numbers of repetitions of a specific form until the eye hand coordination is truly amazing. One does not move on to another form until you have mastered the first one. Most westerners would HATE this approach. This includes not only general shape.... but also the precise weight of the final form, and the balance distribution of that weight.

It is only AFTEER the technical mastery of pure technique that the abilitty to let go of all of that comes into play. (Hamada Shoji basically had a ceramic engineering type education before becoming a studio potter with a "folk" approach.)

I have modeled my approach to learning to work with clay after this philosophy. It is also something that I teach.

best,

..................john
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Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#12 Pres

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 12:56 PM

As John stated the pancake opening up and pulling helps to minimalize "S" cracking when throwing off the hump.  Years ago, I had problems with and had an opportunity come up for 2000 vessels for a special religious retreat about "filling the vessel". I took the peon labor job for the skill building I would get from throwing these off of the hump out of about a billiard ball piece of clay. First firing 20% cracking with only 2 sections of the kiln firing. After research and finding a description in an old book, I taught myself the technique and by the time I finished my cracking was to about 1-2% on a load. Last loads were stacked to the gills nearly 500 pieces at a time. Now whenever throwing off the hump, I used the pancake technique, pull up the sides and go. this make the allignment of the clay particles follow around the bottom to wall consistently.
Too  bad I hadn't known John back then, as he could have saved me a lot of research, maybe someday he'll be able to give me some pointers if we ever get together. ;)


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