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This week is ad interesting question that I posted into the question bank recently. However it is not mine, as Lou sent it to me in a PM when the forum ICAN network was locked. So he asks Aside from a nearby sign, hangtag, or stuck-on label, how do you determine whether a specific pot was handmade or not? ( or substitute for "handmade": wood fired, soda fired, Raku, ...) I will rephrase his question to read: When looking at pottery, how do your determine or identify whether the pot was handmade, and what type of construction and firing was used to create it? I have often had problems identifying pottery that is thrown or slab, poured or otherwise. I find that often I feel the inside of the form to see if there are throwing ridges, or look at the bottom to see how the trimming was done, but often get thrown off. My main way of finding a "tell" is to talk to the potter if he is available, or the clerk if in a gallery. With a matter of a few questions, discussions of firing temperature, differences in slab rollers, and wheels, throwing speeds, clay weights. . . . . . all of my questions are answered with certainty. Some of them do leave me lacking as the persons level of expertise does not match that of the pot, this when talking to the potter. Sometimes I have to further research the potter, to understand more of what I would wish to know, especially when my original queries were with a clerk, not the potter. I used to have high respect for a local potter and professor in our area. This gentleman did very large. . 24-36" platters in redware, slip decorated in traditional decoration. I always admired his ability to throw these platters with throwing marks and nice transparent glazes, even though I was not into redware. We had discussed the ability to center and throw larger amounts of clay for the platters, and he always would carry a good conversation. Later on in my career, I attended a workshop where he demonstrated making the large platters. He placed a large plaster form on the wheel using bat pins, rolled out a large slab using a slab roller, and then proceeded to fit the slab to the form, using his fingers to run throwing marks into the slab and to firm the shape up to the form. Threw a foot ring on the bottom, and then set it aside to stiffen up while he proceeded to demonstrate slip trail design using a template for division marks. I guess I am a purist, and felt I had been deceived. In the end, looking at a piece How do you really identify it? best, Pres
The next series of online classes are posted on TeachinArt Instructors to look for is Marcia Selsor that is pushing forward with discovery in Alternative Firing. David Voorhees is giving tips about successful throwing of porcelain. Connie Christensen makes a tea set; tray and all and later this year we will add her shino expertise to this school. Nan Rothwell is the latest addition and we are very excited to add her stoneware throwing class. Antoinette Badenhorst added 4 classes in porcelain from Understanding porcelain to making projects in hand building to wheel throwing. Her pinching teapots for the complete beginner is very popular and the pinching porcelain teapots will be available late fall to early winter. An introduction to understanding glazes will also follow later this year. Instructors to look forward to is Paul Lewing, Curtis Benzle and Marie Gibbons. Each one bringing their specialty to TeachinArt.