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Size Of Practice Pieces?


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#1 JustPeachy

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 04:17 PM

I'm getting conflicting advice and thought I'd ask here about what is recommended weight for throwing practice for a beginner?

 

One tells me it's easier to use a min. of 2lbs since small stuff is hard to do and another tells me to practice small stuff like egg cups so there isn't much waste and it's good practice for delicate things.

 

Maybe it's just a personal preference/comfort level thing? It certainly is confusing. Any other schools of thought?



#2 Pres

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 05:14 PM

I used to start my students in HS off with 3lb of clay. Their goal for the MP was to throw a nine inch cylinder using the 3#. This did two things, first off in order to wedge, center, and throw with 3 lb each step had to be completed reasonably. Secondly being able to throw 3# would enable them to throw any amount up to that point, and develop the skills they would need to throw pots of larger size when they could handle larger amounts of clay physically. I would check their work, and have them check their work each time up to the 9 inches. This would mean cutting the piece in half vertically and analyzing what went wrong. Was the bottom too thick or thin? Were the walls getting a decent amount of clay out of the base, or was the student milking the weight out of the top trying to get to 9? Were the pulls consistent without a lost pull or thick area in the wall of the piece? Did the bottom wall run at a 90 angle or was it rounded into the base?  All of these things would show the student how to improve, and very few would not be able to throw 9 by the end of the MP.


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#3 Chris Campbell

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 05:26 PM

I agree totally with Pres. Keep throwing cylinders with about 3# of clay and cutting them in half to check your progress. When you can do six in a row that are even on the bottom and the sides you will be ready to throw just about anything.

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#4 Stephen

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:19 AM

Sorry for the dumb question but what does the acronym MP stands for?



#5 JBaymore

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:02 PM

Military Police?  Minister of Parliment?  Master Plan? ;)


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#6 bciskepottery

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:11 PM

Marking Period. (My spouse is a retired teacher, otherwise I'd probably not know.)

#7 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:37 PM

I start off with 500 grams of clay only because that is how I taught myself and I have to recycle all the clay. I find the 500 grams is a nice handful. 1.5kg ~ 3# would be a third of what I get off a plaster batt :(



#8 Pres

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:26 PM

MP or marking periods in US school system are two a Semester, two semesters in a the standard year.


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#9 Stephen

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:28 PM

Thanks!

 

I have no idea if the term 'MP' was used in my Texas high school in late seventies or at the colleges and universities I attended later but I had not heard the acronym b4, now I know.



#10 Benzine

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:23 PM

Yeah, I've never heard the term MP either.  Maybe it's a Pennsylvania thing....

 

In regards to the topic, I always have my students start with between one to two pounds.  Any less than that, it's almost too small to work with.  Any more than that, and it's hard for the students to center. 


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#11 Nancy S.

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 02:44 PM

Yeah, I've never heard the term MP either.  Maybe it's a Pennsylvania thing....

 

In regards to the topic, I always have my students start with between one to two pounds.  Any less than that, it's almost too small to work with.  Any more than that, and it's hard for the students to center. 

 

A PA teacher thing, maaaaaybe. I didn't know what it was either!

 

I started out with 1-2 pounds as well, but I taught myself and started out throwing "things" (cups, bowls, apple bakers, flowerpots, teapots, etc) rather than doing cylinders and perfecting my form first. It's backward and I don't recommend it, because I ended up with a lot of scrap clay and have to reclaim far too much -- though I'm getting better! When I started out, I'd have to reclaim/scrap 50% of what I tried to make. I think last year (I can only throw in the warm months because my studio has no heat) I was only scrapping about 20%. 2014 is the year I start over....






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