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Critique My Work - Anyone? - I Want To Send You A Bowl.


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#1 grype

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:28 AM

I am not sure if this is the right place to put this post or not. Here we go.

 

I have been potting for about 6 months now. I am basically self taught. I watch a lot of videos and took four 3 hour classes. Most of my training comes from throwing 4-5 hours a day in my garage. I am a stay at home dad battling Chronic GVHD so I have plenty of time to practice.

 

I want to send a bowl to someone or a few people who are interested in a bowl of my next firing, and then I would like for you to break it open or do what ever you want with it to tell me what I need to improve on. I have been working on throwing a good bowl, smooth bottom, nice walls, and good feet for a while and I am wondering if I am making any progress. If you like the bowl you can keep it, blow it up or trash it I don't care. I just want to know your quick thoughts on my work. Do what ever you have to do to examine it.

 

Is this a viable thing to ask of someone? I don't want to put anyone off, but I just don't know anyone who I can take the bowl to and get an honest opinion about how bad or good it is, and what I need to improve on.

 

If your interested in helping me please PM me or reply here. 

 

I would truly appreciate it. I want to become a great potter one day!

 

Thanks

 

Joseph Rosenblatt



#2 Chris Campbell

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 12:14 PM

Joseph ... Congratulations on wanting to progress and looking for feedback.

A good technique for checking your progress is to throw cylinders then slice them in half vertically ... You will instantly see if the bottoms and walls are even. You will see areas where you have left clay behind. Then throw ten more and slit them ... Look for where you are doing well and not so well. You should not leave this exercise until you can throw a cylinder at least twelve inches tall with even sides, top to bottom. Once you can do this other shapes will fall into place much easier.

Somewhere here John Baymore posted a regimen he gives his students to improve their throwing skills ... I can't find it but many have used it and liked it.

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#3 Pots by Char

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 12:20 PM

take some photos of your bowls from all different view points and post them here.  I am sure you will get many folks willing to critique your work.  Shipping bowls can get kind of costly so this would be a cheaper alternative and you can tell a lot from a photo...most shows now days are juried based on photos.



#4 grype

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 03:10 PM

@ Chris: Thanks I haven't tried that with cylinders yet. I have been chopping my bowls in half after I throw them and then some after I trim them. I will post some pictures next time, thanks for the tip. I guess I will spend all day throwing cylinders tomorrow. What weight of clay do you start with for a 12 inch cylinder with appropriate thickness for the walls?

 

@ Pots by Char. I will post some pictures soon. As far as the shipping goes, I just didn't think you could get a feel for the bowl, the shape, the thickness and weight from a picture. I don't mind sending it for some hands on advice. 

 

I will maybe film myself throwing as well and maybe post some pictures of the cylinders and bowls I threw.

 

Thanks for these tips I will apply them to my regiment.

 

I am still interested in sending out a few bowls if anyone is willing.



#5 Chris Campbell

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 03:55 PM

I want to make sure you are also aware of the Ceramic Arts Daily link at the top left on this forum. If you go there you will find a lot of throwing videos, articles and advice ... All free.

At this point in your throwing life you will get a lot of good feedback from posting images of your newly thrown work cut in half. People who throw can look at it and know what happened ... and tell you what you are doing right or wrong. The bare clay does not lie because there is nowhere to hide!

I never weigh clay so someone else will have to answer that. Not that you shouldn't weigh it ... Just that it is not in my nature to want to.

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#6 grype

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 04:25 PM

Okay, here is some of my work from today 2 bowls, and a trimmed bowl that is bone dry.

 

bowl + midsection    it lost a lot of the form of the walls when I cut it, but you get the general idea of the thickness.

 

12 inch bowl on bat    i didn't cut this one cause my wife declared she wanted it. soooo..... ill make another big one later and post it after it dries enough to cut without it just falling apart.

 

trimmed bowl 

 

 

This is some of my most recent stuff. Again I have only been throwing for 6 months self taught. Please rip me apart because I want all the advice I can get. I take criticism and apply it. 

 

Thanks!!!!!



#7 Pres

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 04:37 PM

Personal opinion here.

  • rims-I usually thicken up the rim a bit to protect it from damage, as this area can get hit by spoons etc.
  • Basic throwing looks good, but we could see more from what a video shows of your process. This would include number of pulls, finger technique etc.
  • Depending on the clay body you are using, the foot rings may lead to problems with collapsing/slumping in firing. The last bowl had a beautiful curve to the foot, however a bit of cantilever that may sag on firing.
  • From everything I am seeing you are doing quite well.

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


#8 grype

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 04:44 PM

@Pres I will record myself tomorrow, and upload a video and share it. I do know I probably make too many pulls, but I will let you all be the judge. The clay I am using in those pictures is Highwaters speckled brownstone and red rock. The wet clay was speckled brownstone and the trimmed bowl was red rock. I haven't fired either yet. I am trying them out this coming up week in the kiln. I have been using 112 and my bowls have been ok so far, no real slumpage, but maybe I have just been lucky, or haven't been skilled enough to notice. The problem I have been having with 112 is pinholing, but I fixed a lot of that with the homemade vent kit that I built based on John B recommendations to solve pinholing. However after throwing with these new highwater clays I never plan on going back to 112 again. The highwater clays throw sooooo much smoother imo.

 

Thanks for the kind words. I didn't think about thickening the rims, I know a lot of people roll a rim, I might try that on my next bowls. I will get that video up shortly. 



#9 JBaymore

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 08:26 PM

Somewhere here John Baymore posted a regimen he gives his students to improve their throwing skills ... I can't find it but many have used it and liked it.

 

It is not on here as a downloadable file, but I will send a microsoft word .docx file to people who send me their email address via a PM.  It is a class handout for one of my intermediate college throwing classes.  it is important to note that it is just a PART of an overrall strategy in teaching how to throw well........ and while it is useful... it is not the ONLY things to do.  Nothing beats hands-on face-to-face instruction.

 

best,

 

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


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#10 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 11:48 PM

Videoing is a great way to really look at what you are doing without the complication of thinking about it whilst on the wheel. I have learnt a lot from videoing myself. Never had the nerve to post a straight shot of me throwing onto here though  :ph34r:

 

Turning, I think you can tell from picking up the item. If it is the right weight it will feel so good in your hands. A little heavy and you will notice. I tend to like mine a little heavier on the bottom for stability. The foot looked a little small on the bottom of the bowl but still good. Also from here the outside profile doesn't seem to match the inside but it is hard to tell.

 

Throwing, looks good to me. I agree with pres about the thicker rim, after most pulls I go back to the rim to thicken it a little and make sure it is not wandering off. The bottom looks a little thin in the cut one. I would try not to go so far down but this just comes with practice to be able to gauge the depth.

 

Most of this is down to personal preference and what you are trying to make.



#11 Patsu

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 12:03 PM

Grype offering my critique, your bowls look clean and balanced, well executed with the more standard and uniform, common lines that I see in some functional ware for sale in my area.  Maybe better than what I see, as in somewhat less clunky and thick walled though you've yet to glaze & fire them.  They do not look earthy or rustic, or primitive, not that those looks are important.  It seems you are hitting the target you have sought.  Best of luck in your firings.  I wonder if you prefer to work direct from the bag with minimal wedging, or if you find wedging essential to the clays that you mention having used here.  Thanks for asking for the critique - John


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#12 grype

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 02:02 PM

@Highbridge: thanks for your critique. I definitely went for a small foot on that bowl. I should post some others with more standard feet. I just picked that one up. I hope it isn't too small and slumps as pres has pointed out. I will know soon. Plan to bisque, glaze and fire this stuff this week. I have already started incorporating the thicker rim in my work. My last pull now when I am finishing the shape I take a little clay all the way up to the last bit then leave it, tricky to do but seem to be getting the hang of it. I definitely am still working on the thickness on the bottom of my pots. Sometimes I am trimming a foot on a repeat bowl and I am like, wow I don't have nearly enough clay to keep the same style of foot as the bowl before it. I guess I need to use my needle tool more to check.

 

@Patsu: thanks for your kind words. I definitely am going for a very clean look. I will post pictures of my bowls glaze by the end of the week/weekend probably. I don't work directly from the clay bag. I take the clay out of the bag and cut it into 3 pieces. I then spiral wedge those 3 pieces then cut off weighted amounts based on what I am making. I then shape those into balls. I know I could just cut the clay from the bag and throw it, but ive found the clay to be more fluid(is this the right word?) if I wedge it first. I basically do a lot of wedging, but hey, I like doing it. It's a nice workout for my arms/legs. I don't get much exercise and it gives my back a chance to stand up. Sometimes If I am making a bigger piece I won't wedge the clay first because I want it to be stiffer. Maybe I am wasting time, but I find satisfaction in practicing the skill of wedging anyways. 

 

I have a video coming soon, I didn't get a chance to finish it because I had to stop to go wipe my son's toosh in the middle of throwing lol. :)  right in the middle of opening the bowl . "DADDY COME WIPE MY BUTT PLEASE I POOPED." Ah the joys of life.



#13 Benzine

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 02:26 PM

 

I have a video coming soon, I didn't get a chance to finish it because I had to stop to go wipe my son's toosh in the middle of throwing lol. :)  right in the middle of opening the bowl . "DADDY COME WIPE MY BUTT PLEASE I POOPED." Ah the joys of life.

 

The potting parent, from getting one type of mud on your hands, to another...

 

Very nice bowls by the way.  That's the look that I like as well; a very narrow foot.


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#14 grype

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 02:31 PM

@Benzine: That's fantastic. I will have to use that one in the future.   ^_^ Thanks for kind words. My personal favorite pots are the ones with the super small feet. I just like the way they float I guess. 



#15 grype

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 04:08 PM

Okay, here we go. I came home and threw 1 bowl before this. I recorded that one, but I put the camera over my right shoulder and basically blocked my hands the entire time. So I had to throw a 2nd bowl. This is that video. Sorry that my head gets in the way several times.

 

 

One thing I did notice is that I take my rib off the pot to fast and throw the rim off a tiny bit. I also didn't slow my wheel down in the beginning parts of opening. I was a bit nervous with no one watching. Crazy how knowing people are going to look at every mistake you make and point it out, makes you make mistakes. haha. 

 

Thanks again for everyone's help. I hope this is helpful in trying to help me. I am going to start throwing those 12'' cylinders that Chris was talking about next.

 

Edit: Here are the cross section pictures of that bowl. I cut it after. I didn't think about doing it during the video. When I go under the bowl and pull the wire up it really seems to warp the pot, but you get the idea. 

 

Looking at the cross section I think I could have pulled the bottom parts of that wall some more. Maybe one more good pull.

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#16 Benzine

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 04:48 PM

Nice video.  I understand the nervousness.  I've never recorded myself, and am nervous about dong so.  This is despite the fact, that I've demoed wheel throwing to groups of twenty plus students, several times a year, for the past ten years.  


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#17 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:03 PM

I don't really know how to comment, I find everybody is different when they throw. Different shaped people lend themselves to different techniques.
 
Did you watch a lot of Hsinchuen Lin? Looks similar to his style of throwing. The centring looks a bit rushed but you got a nice bowl there. I would be happy. I throw with my wheel a lot slower but again everybody is different.

 

I would start recording Benzine, even if you just chuck all the footage. Makes you more comfortable in front of a rolling camera.



#18 grype

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:09 PM

"Did you watch a lot of Hsinchuen Lin?"

 

Yes I did watch quite a bit of his videos. I modeled my throwing style sorta off his. I found it was the best for my hands. I have chronic graft vs host scleroderma, and when I first started throwing I couldn't use my fingers that much, but the thumb and the palm of my hand I could use. However recently my hands have been getting much better and I have started using my fingers a lot more.

 

I guess it is hard to look at peoples throwing position and say what they are doing wrong, because we all do throw different. Either way I noticed some of my mistakes, so it was good for me anyways. I think I will start recording my sessions and watching them.

 

Thanks for the help. I did rush my centering probably. I was nervous haha.



#19 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:16 PM

What I found really good learning experience is trying to throw off the hump. 



#20 grype

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:23 PM

I haven't tried that yet. I watched a lot of people do it on youtube, but I haven't tried it. When I first started I took the same approach I do to everything I try to do in life. I pick one thing and try as hard as I can to figure that out the best I can then move to the next thing when I feel I am happy enough with looking at it. I have been basically throwing nothing but bowls for 6 months. I am about to move on to cylinders. Maybe after that I will try the hump.

 

Edit: I should clarify I have thrown lots of other shapes, vases, mugs and lidded jars, but none of them are very good. But I do have a rather large amount of bowls I need to throw away. HAHAHA






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