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Miss B

Have You Timed Yourself Making A Mug?

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Why yes I have timed myself but that is not going to effect your time to make a mug

My suggestion is throw 10 mugs then handle 10 mugs

Work this way until you master the processes involved

Then throw 20 mugs and master that

Baby steps really

Work in series the learning will come quicker

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Under the most conducive circumstances, I still wouldn't be approaching Isaac Button territory.  That level of speed is literally impossible for potters these days, because we who attempt to make pottery as art spend a lot more time thinking about what we're making than Isaac had to.  And that cogitation takes more time than most of us realize.

 

Great video rayaldridge thanks for sharing

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Guest JBaymore

That level of speed is literally impossible for potters these days, because we who attempt to make pottery as art spend a lot more time thinking about what we're making than Isaac had to. 

 

Ray,

 

Maybe visit Japan, Korea, and People's Republic of China a bit. :)   It still exists.

 

best,

 

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

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John, the potters in Asia whose intention is to make art... do many of them throw a ton of clay into functional ware every day without assistance?

 

Isaac Button did.  But he was not an artist-- he was really a superb machine, in many ways.

 

(I realize we may be getting into waters made murky by philosophy.)

 

2000 pounds of clay is 200 10 pound bowls.  I think I could do it in a long day if I had apprentices to weigh and wedge, bring me the clay and take away the bowls.  But as I understand it, Button was able to do it alone, even in his later years.

 

It passeth understanding.

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John, the potters in Asia whose intention is to make art... do many of them throw a ton of clay into functional ware every day without assistance?

 

Isaac Button did.  But he was not an artist-- he was really a superb machine, in many ways.

 

(I realize we may be getting into waters made murky by philosophy.)

 

2000 pounds of clay is 200 10 pound bowls.  I think I could do it in a long day if I had apprentices to weigh and wedge, bring me the clay and take away the bowls.  But as I understand it, Button was able to do it alone, even in his later years.

 

It passeth understanding.

 

I think Mark C. might be related to Button  B)

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2000 pounds of clay is 200 10 pound bowls.  I think I could do it in a long day if I had apprentices to weigh and wedge, bring me the clay and take away the bowls.  But as I understand it, Button was able to do it alone, even in his later years.

 

It passeth understanding.

John, the potters in Asia whose intention is to make art... do many of them throw a ton of clay into functional ware every day without assistance?

 

The video showed him throwing a cup and someone else's hands taking it off the wheel head. I think the "ton a day" is slight hyperbole and not his daily target when throwing. The term ton may have a defined weight but it also used figuratively in English. I wouldn't doubt he finished 2000 lbs of pots in a day even if just to say so. Making 100 20-lb flower pots may also reasonable enough. He was amazing even if not overly creative.

 

Either way, it makes production levels of 10-30 pots/day seem nice.

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The video showed him throwing a cup and someone else's hands taking it off the wheel head. I think the "ton a day" is slight hyperbole and not his daily target when throwing. The term ton may have a defined weight but it also used figuratively in English. I wouldn't doubt he finished 2000 lbs of pots in a day even if just to say so. Making 100 20-lb flower pots may also reasonable enough. He was amazing even if not overly creative.

 

Either way, it makes production levels of 10-30 pots/day seem nice.

 

That's true!

 

However, I don't think the ton-a-day was hyperbole.  I suspect the hands you see in the film were the hands of the film-maker, since Button worked Soil Hill Pottery by himself for the last 18 years he was there, and the film was made shortly before he retired.  (Robert Fournier was one of the men who made the film.)  Evidently Button's brother had worked with him before, but they had a falling out and never spoke again, leaving Button to work on alone.

 

From the text:

 

This was truly a herculian task, given all the work that was required: digging the clay from the local hillside himself (he used a ton a day); firing up the 500 cubic foot kiln, which had to be stoked with two and half tons of coal at six firemouths; this had to be kept him up for 48 hours or more at a time, during which, according to John Windsor, “he would climb on to the hot kiln roof, even in gales, to pull out test firingsâ€. Despite all this he still managed to turn out, and deliver, 120 pots a day; and this using dangerous substances such the country glaze was galena toxic – lead sulphide (now illegal) – which could give potters "bellyache" if pulverised when dry.

 

 

The older I get, the less value I find in creativity for its own sake.  I know that I called Button a machine above, but that was not intended as an insult. 

 

As the text points out, the modern studio pottery movement owes an awful lot to the English country potters.  Their largely disposable wares have a depth and charm not always seen in the more studied and self-aware work done by even the best contemporary potters.

 

As Mark implies, making a lot of pots almost inevitably leads to making better pots.  I used to subscribe to the Cardew view-- that you had to be a potter for 20 years before you could think yourself skilled.  Unfortunately, I passed that mark 20 years ago and I'm still deficient in many respects.

 

I should have made more pots.

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Ray it's true that the more pots you make the better

But even after 40 years of this I as you feel deficient in some respects

I,m not the best thrower but I am very effecent

I like to glaze and can do two kilns and load them in one day my 35 car kiln and my 12 cubic updraft

The key is doing this day in and day out

This is why production work is not for the those who consider it work

I never thought of it as work until my later years

I do not weigh clay most of the time as I know how much it weights from cutting the pug into so many pieces

I work in series on all work never one offs unless I,m making my own salt wares

Say 30 sponge holders or 24 bowls or 50 mugs or 12 pie plates

Today besides setting up and closeing my booth I loaded two kiln with green ware so I had little time to make much so I threw 12 pie plates and 6 small chip and dips to trim in am

My wife is out of town so working more comes easy and it always a big xmas push for me anyway

My secret to success in working more than most and being efferent with the processes involved

That's what comes of volumes and years of working in functional wares to sell.

I go like a madman until xmas eve then as Mea says -put my feet up for at least 6 weeks

I,m still amazed folks pay me well to be in the studio since a teenager

I am as I age wanting to spend less time there now

I have a few full on years left

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For me the biggest variable for time is related to how many pieces your doing at once.    Keep in mind I'm more of a slab builder tan a thrower but I believe it still applies.

 

Initial set up 10 minutes

Wedging for one piece or 10 pieces takes about the same amount of time for me.  Close to 15 minutes.

Then the rolling out and cutting the pieces is another around 20 minutes for one piece but about 40 minutes for 10 pieces.  Big difference if your looking at time per piece.

Now we have clean up time for another 20 minutes.

The next step is the assembly and this will usually run about 5 minutes per piece.

Clean up time now is only about 10 minutes.

Carving is my next step usually done the next day and dependent on the piece will run an average of 10 minutes per piece.

And again another 10 minutes clean up time.

Then the last step before firing after it is bone dry is doing any touch up sanding.  This I would guess is under 5 minutes for most pieces.

But clean up from the dust is about 15 minutes.

Firing time is not considered here as you can be doing other things

My next step is under glazing  Which I'll estimate at 10 minutes per piece.

Clean up again about 5 minutes.

Then the set up for glazing is about 20 minutes

and the final glazing at about 3 minutes per piece.  

Followed by the final clean up.

 

So for one piece I get a total of about 3 hours.

But doing 10 pieces about 8 1/2 hours.  but per piece it is only closer to 50 minutes per piece.

If I were doing even more pieces that time would be even less per piece.  

 

also keep in mind that the complexity of my pieces vary considerably which will sometimes increase the time.  On some off my pieces that I build more frequently I'm looking at ways to decrease that time as well.  

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