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What Unusual Wheel Techniques Have You Developed?


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Most of us who've been doing this for a while will develop personal approaches to getting certain forms made on the wheel.  Much of my work is very conventional... I'm strictly a functional potter.  I greatly admire the work of many sculptors but have little personal interest in objects whose only purpose is contemplation.

 

Still, it's nice to develop a form that's different, because one of the elements that cannot be divorced from the concept of fine art is originality.  Some days I think we give too much weight to originality, and on others I feel unhappy that my mugs and bowls and crocks are so much like those made by a million other potters.

 

However... many years ago, as a young potter, I realized that there was a market for fancy clay pipes.  I made a lot of them, and sold a lot too.  I'd guess that Atlanta in particular is still infested with a lot of pipes I made 40 years ago.  I was frequently asked if I made water pipes.  In those days, some potters would make vase forms, and then add a rubber stopper and a glass bowl, which struck me as an unpleasant makeshift.  So I developed a way to make one-piece water pipes that required no extra gear to work.

 

 

So what kind of unusual techniques have you developed?  What makes them different from the usual ways of making?  How did you come to discover your personal approaches.

 

EDIT:  My apologies to anyone who tried to follow the link that was in this post.  I decided to take down the instructions, because I'm writing a little book on my pipe making techniques.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For years I'd open a bag of clay, poke my finger into the clay and tell myself, its OK for throwing and of course I'd had one of those "bad days" and put the scraps and flops in a bag. The next time, I'd wedge the bag scraps and have a "good day". Finally it dawned on me that, for ME and the stuff I wanted make, clay right out of the bag was too dry! So now most things are made from moist clay and the taller items are made from less moist clay. I think if the clay is consistent, results will be consistent also! I know someone who thinks his clay is just fine, whenever he picks it up to throw, for me its just this side of leather hard!

 

See ya,

Alabama

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