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Newtoclay54**

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  1. Like
    Newtoclay54** got a reaction from GiselleNo5 in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    I was taking the class as a required course for a FA degree, but I was really just for fun.  So I didn't have to worry about grades.  So a C was very acceptable due to have learned the class material on my own!!!
  2. Like
    Newtoclay54** got a reaction from Sallyd in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    I want to thank all of you for your kind words of encouragement.  I did persevere and I am very pleased with my results.  I did go outside my class to learn more tips and tricks on throwing and did A LOT of reading on my own.  Monday we glaze...so i have been studying up for that.  But a few photos of my work:
     
    Thank you all for your help....your words kept me going when I was ready to quit.




  3. Like
    Newtoclay54** got a reaction from Greathome2 in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    I want to thank all of you for your kind words of encouragement.  I did persevere and I am very pleased with my results.  I did go outside my class to learn more tips and tricks on throwing and did A LOT of reading on my own.  Monday we glaze...so i have been studying up for that.  But a few photos of my work:
     
    Thank you all for your help....your words kept me going when I was ready to quit.




  4. Like
    Newtoclay54** got a reaction from GiselleNo5 in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    My semester is almost over.....but I find that I actually LIKE ceramics after all!  At one point I was ready to drop the class.  I am now set up to take a 3 hour class every Thursday morning for 10 weeks at the pottery that allowed me to rent their wheel.  The class has only 5 people, so I am guaranteed to get some good advice and assistance.  It will be taught by the same man that helped me so much to move through that block.  My teacher at the college was not happy I sought outside help, but I learned what I was supposed to, and I am so grateful for Gary's help.  I am also so grateful for the support I received here...it also helped move me through that block.  I will post my 'new and improved' pieces here so, if you want to remember those good ole days at the beginning of your career, just follow my progress!
  5. Like
    Newtoclay54** got a reaction from clay lover in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    My semester is almost over.....but I find that I actually LIKE ceramics after all!  At one point I was ready to drop the class.  I am now set up to take a 3 hour class every Thursday morning for 10 weeks at the pottery that allowed me to rent their wheel.  The class has only 5 people, so I am guaranteed to get some good advice and assistance.  It will be taught by the same man that helped me so much to move through that block.  My teacher at the college was not happy I sought outside help, but I learned what I was supposed to, and I am so grateful for Gary's help.  I am also so grateful for the support I received here...it also helped move me through that block.  I will post my 'new and improved' pieces here so, if you want to remember those good ole days at the beginning of your career, just follow my progress!
  6. Like
    Newtoclay54** got a reaction from GEP in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    I want to thank all of you for your kind words of encouragement.  I did persevere and I am very pleased with my results.  I did go outside my class to learn more tips and tricks on throwing and did A LOT of reading on my own.  Monday we glaze...so i have been studying up for that.  But a few photos of my work:
     
    Thank you all for your help....your words kept me going when I was ready to quit.




  7. Like
    Newtoclay54** got a reaction from LeeU in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    I want to thank all of you for your kind words of encouragement.  I did persevere and I am very pleased with my results.  I did go outside my class to learn more tips and tricks on throwing and did A LOT of reading on my own.  Monday we glaze...so i have been studying up for that.  But a few photos of my work:
     
    Thank you all for your help....your words kept me going when I was ready to quit.




  8. Like
    Newtoclay54** got a reaction from High Bridge Pottery in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    When I was at the pottery yesterday, something happened that I had hoped would happen...the owner just couldn't help himself and came to watch me since I was the only one there.  He gave me many tips and watch my attempts each time.  One of the most important observations he gave me while watching me is that I have slender hands and long fingers and thumb.  I dig in because i can't get my hands on the clay unless I bend my fingers too much and I pinch too hard.  He helped me learn how to use my long fingers and thumb to work to my advantage.  I plan to spend several hours there today if my back can take it!
  9. Like
    Newtoclay54** got a reaction from LeeU in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    Thank you all.  So far I've only thrown these 3 pieces.  And I plan on going to the pottery today...after I check out some videos.






  10. Like
    Newtoclay54** got a reaction from clay lover in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    Thank you all SO much.  You have given me great tips......and helped me to dispel that "I'll never be able to do it right" feeling.  It is intimidating to be around students who can produce nice pieces when I am 30 years older and can't get my pinch pot 'right'.  You have all helped me realize there are many definitions of 'right'.  Describing YEARS of practice vs 3 weeks also helps me keep this situation in perspective.  I LIKE working with clay and have an unfortunate tendency to want to make perfect works the first time around.  The practice this week will be a great start to getting extra hours in.  When I was painting with oils, I watched as many YouTube videos as I could find.  I don't know why that didn't occur to me now.  But I have a couple hours today I can devote to watching and will head back to the pottery tomorrow with more experience...even if it is vicarious.
    As for my teacher....I do think she is mystified because she does not have several ways to throw tucked in her belt.  She probably CAN'T help me...so, I'll have to help myself!!!
     
    I will post some of my attempts for you all to chuckle over!!!!   :-P
  11. Like
    Newtoclay54** reacted to GEP in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    I agree that the 4 in 1 classroom sounds really unfortunate. If you were in a classroom with other beginner throwers, you would see that everyone is going through the same stages as you, and the instructor would be more focused on those early stages. I don't want to cast blame on the instructor or the college, this might be the best they can do with their limited resources.
     
    It sounds like you have already made good progress working on your own during Spring break. My advice is to look for a class that is meant for new throwers. If that is not available in your area, then continue with your college classes, but lower your expectations for what they can do for you, and take on an independent approach for learning (like you've already started by renting a wheel over spring break). Youtube has a lot of good video lessons, and you can always come to this forum with questions.
  12. Like
    Newtoclay54** reacted to bciskepottery in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    Couple of general observations . . .
     
    There are multiple ways of throwing/centering/pulling up . . . some use a knuckle, some use what is called the "bear claw" technique, some use their fingers. Your instructor seems to know only her way and can't relate to students who need to use other approaches. She's likely comfortable with her way of throwing but is not able to put herself in your shoes.
     
    As a class of "one", she is giving you ten minutes and then giving her other classes the rest of her attention. Running four classes simultaneously means no student/class is getting her full attention. Recipe for disaster and frustration.
     
    You seem to be running a sprint through all the forms . . . not getting enough time to move beyond the most rudimentary of instruction and doing one exercise to "check the box" on the syllabus. Pinch, coil, slab -- especially boxes, are not forms you can master in one class. You get better by making the forms over and over again. Clay is not a sprint; it is a life-long marathon/ultra-marathon.
     
    As for cylinders, when pulling with just fingertips, I believe there is a tendency to compress the clay too much, leading to thinner walls that are not as stable -- especially if you throw "wet", which is typical for beginners. Try reducing the amount of water used when throwing. And, keep both hands in contact so you get a better sense of the clay thickness as you pull up. Avoid multiple pulls -- each pull stresses the wall and thins/compresses it; more than four pulls for a 6 to 8 inch cylinder is too many. Slow down the wheel speed; there is a tendency to increase speed to pull up; use a medium to slow speed.
     
    There are good videos on Youtube for throwing (and a lot of bad ones). Good basic throwing with good discussions of what they are doing: Simon Leach, Bill Van Gilder.
     
    Glazes -- not sure what you'll get, as glaze chemistry is a semester class and a life-time of learning. For an intro type class, it may be glaze techniques, not formulating/mixing. Leach and Van Gilder have some good glazing videos, too. Hsinchen Lin has good instructional videos on glazing. Most books focus on mixing and making, few show how to glaze an item (more visual than textual).
  13. Like
    Newtoclay54** reacted to PRankin in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    It's great that you're experiencing what everyone else has gone through when learning how to make pinch pots, coiled pots, slab pieces and throwing and you are able to see the imperfections and understand that you need to improve on those initial designs. This is how we learn. Many people don't even see that and get stuck in a rut. It takes practice and sometimes doesn't matter if you're using fingers or knuckles or anything else. You'll eventually find your own way that's comfortable for you. Clay lover is right about the balance about pressure, wheel speed and moving your fingers up. Many beginners don't let the wheel spin enough when pulling their fingers up. Let the clay turn many times as you pull up slowly. There are hundreds of videos on you tube which you can watch and learn from and find the technique and timing. Good luck.
     
    Paul
  14. Like
    Newtoclay54** reacted to Benzine in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    Welcome to the forums and world of clay.
     
    Don't get frustrated. Practice will overcome any issues, you are having. I've been teaching ceramics for ten years, and I'm still learning and getting better.
     
    In regards to your problem, try applying a little less pressure, with your pulls, and go slightly faster. I always tell my students, it's better to apply slight pressure and move too quickly, because the clay just doesn't get thinned. If you do the opposite, you end up with thin spots that are weak, collapse or tear off.
     
    Like with many things, on the wheel, it's something you have to get a feel for. It will come with time and practice.
     
    Also, in regards to your earlier projects, the slab box probably caved, because the sides were stood up, before they were dry enough, causing them to sag. The cracks could be due to sharp angles left in the corners. I always run a coil along the seam, and smooth it in. Cracks can also be a result of the clay drying too quickly. Just some things you learn along the way.
  15. Like
    Newtoclay54** reacted to clay lover in Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!   
    Hard to teach from afar, but, possibly, you are keeping your fingertips in that one spot for too long and thinning the clay there rather than continuing up the wall bringing the clay with you.  .  Sometimes to stop a habit, you have to do the opposite, think 'leave a fat place here so the pot can stand up', and see what happens.  There is a balance to the combination of finger pressure, wheel speed and how fast you move your fingers up.   You have to find that.  If you have the same problem every time, look to what part of that combo is not working.  Too slow a wheel speed for the contact is the same as too long a contact in one place.  Hope this helps. 
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