I will admit there is a certain amount of addiction to the whole throwing thing. It is a meditation, a dance with the clay, a feeling of nirvana, a sensual exploration or so many other things. So much so that many do not return to handbuilding because of the need to . . . throw. However, there is something more defined about slab building and other hand building.
When I taught classes in the HS, I stressed the idea of creating a sketch in an orthographic projection showing the front, right, and top view of an object. each in scale to the first drawing. This gave the basic plan for a 3 dimensional construction, could be a box, a house, a sculpture, or any other object with height and width an length. Measuring, decorating and assembling the slabs needed for this took several weeks, but in the end there was much satisfaction from the student. It was not immediate, it was not easy, but it was a steady process that you could get as lost in doing as you can on the wheel.
Slabs that are basically flat, are much a different story. However, even here one can get more than a little creative. Do you decorate just before shaping; or do you decorate, stretch and then shape. Do you add handles, or add in a thrown rim for a softer look; do you work with slips or engobes, or do some form of monoprint on the surface. Much of this can cause a simple platter project to become much more of a challenge. Sometimes it takes raising the expectations of where something as simple as a platter might go.
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