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Member Since 25 Apr 2015
Offline Last Active Today, 10:18 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Qotw: Pottery Attributes In The Studio

Yesterday, 02:26 PM

i just realized that nobody has mentioned blowing up a bottle.  those of us with 30/40 years experience may remember the forms with the overblown balloon look and tiny neck.  pres and marcia's commemts make me remember that phase of working.


to make them, we threw a bottle shape and then used our breath to "blow up" the clay shape.  if the clay was evenly thrown, if we had enough air in our lungs, if there was no weak spot somewhere, then the bottle would expand evenly all the way around.  a quick wipe with a wet cloth and our lips were clean.  a quick touch-up to the neck straightened it.  you can imagine what happened if there was a weak spot or if the clay was too thickly thrown.


try it sometime.



I haven't done exactly that but I have saved a couple of pots that were starting to collapse by blowing them back up. :) 

In Topic: Qotw: Pottery Attributes In The Studio

Yesterday, 02:24 PM

Giselle, often what we admire is not what we make. I look at many pieces in galleries that are so well done like beautiful round crystalline glazed bottles or raku pieces that have fabulous natural cracking surfaces or Wood fired pots with the flow of the flame eternally etched in the surface. . .in awe and speechless to be able to describe how I feel. However, at this point in time they are not what I would do, or can do. I make some semi sculptural pieces that appeal to me, but mostly functional pieces for others and my family to use. 


I feel the same way. Wood-fired pieces as well as crystalline pottery leaves me in awe. I always think that perhaps sometime in the future I will move on to working with one or the other of those processes. You just never know and there are infinite little byways and detours to keep one busy with ceramics. :) 

In Topic: Qotw: Pottery Attributes In The Studio

Yesterday, 02:19 PM



 If I dislike a texture I will actually "wipe" the unpleasant feeling off my hand. 


Oh yes, me too.  Sitting here cringing with the thought of some yukky textures.



Polyester knit. The shiny stuff. Ooh, I have goosebumps all over just thinking about it. :( 

In Topic: Qotw: Pottery Attributes In The Studio

28 March 2017 - 10:58 PM

I think the three things I focus on are balance, function, and while it might seem like the third is surface decoration, actually what I'm seeking is texture. 


Balance: If a pitcher is large and holds a lot of liquid, I want the handle to not only physically be able to handle the weight, but visually balance the form. I don't want it to look or feel like it might break off when full. I only put "one finger" handles on mugs that hold 8 ounces or less. If a mug holds 24 ounces, the handle is made large enough for 3-4 fingers and I make the top of the handle straight so it can be used to brace the thumb and counter the weight of the liquid. I like my handles to mimic the form they're on but almost as a caricature, and I like to place them "growing" from an angle or a corner if possible. 


Function: I love other peoples' non-functional work but I only enjoy making functional pieces myself. (The opposite place from where rakukuku finds herself). It's important to me that if a piece is intended to be functional that it be pleasant to use. No sharp edges, raspy slip trailing or carving, no wobbly bottoms or cracks. I love to leave surfaces raw but I glaze the handle and lip of mugs with clear so it's pleasant to the hands and lips. My pet peeve is functional pieces that are not usable or are not safe to use with food, for example if a piece is so sculptural that all function is eclipsed. JUST MAKE IT A SCULPTURE! There are, of course, exceptions but this is true for the most part. 


Texture: Probably my favorite thing to do in the whole world is carve leather hard clay. I also like to leave some clay unglazed to contrast with the bright, glossy vibrant colors of the glaze. It was all about smooth white stoneware even a year and a half ago but I have moved increasingly away from that and I now use five different clay bodies, about to add a sixth when I can get my hands on some Basaltic from Aardvark. I love glazes that break and change around texture, and I can tell you what every single one of the glazes I use does with both carving and raised texture like slip trailing. Another of my favorite things in the world to do is to run my fingers over texture in fabric, wood, ceramic, you name it. If I dislike a texture I will actually "wipe" the unpleasant feeling off my hand. 

In Topic: Qotw: Pottery Attributes In The Studio

28 March 2017 - 10:40 PM

Unless my calculations are wrong (they are not )


Tom, you're awesome.  :D  :D