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Can you define what you mean by irregular?

Like a wabi sabi tea bowl with wavy lip?

Kutsugata , shoe shaped?

Or George ohr like?

can you make a round even bowl?

Or is you irregular purposeful? Are you trying to make irregular bowls?

Successful Irregular imbalance is often illusive!

 

I've heard this applied to different fields

 

Blissful enlightened?

or blissful ignorant?

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You've just made a very important realization. My students often make the remark "I could make that" when they see a piece in a magazine that is loosely thrown. But there is definitely a difference between poorly made and loosely made. Beginning students don't usually have the experience to tell the difference.

 

It's kind of difficult to explain, but I think the biggest difference is that loose pots look deliberate. Loose doesn't mean a lack of control during the making process. In fact, I'd say there's more control required to be able to handle the clay when it's not spinning perfect and even. It's easy to spot mistakes in throwing, because we've all made them before, so be very deliberate about your movements and do everything with intent.

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Guest JBaymore

This will seem contradictory..........

 

First learn to throw incredibly "tight".  Totally and compulsively symmetrical. Like a machine.

 

It will take a long while.

 

Then the loosness you seek is possible.

 

best,

 

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

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Neil hit it right on the nose! "Irregular" well thrown pots take a master. I am not one, as I throw very tightly, and cannot seem to break out ot the tight symmetry I am used to. If you look at one of these magazine pieces in person you will find that even though they are asymmetric, they are usually symmetric in their thickness. Whether it is pulling a slightly off center piece of clay or making a fast pull that leaves large waving ribs, all of it takes mastery of the medium.

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This will seem contradictory..........

 

First learn to throw incredibly "tight".  Totally and compulsively symmetrical. Like a machine.

 

It will take a long while.

 

Then the loosness you seek is possible.

 

best,

 

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

Yes John, I can almost feel the gears click each revolution of the wheel head, like a machine. How though do I become loose?

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Good question Pres ...

 

I have seen many potters try to 'do' Ron Meyers.

He throws about as loosie goosie as it gets and should be simple, right?

Nope.

Ron does simple, single confident gestures that come from a lifetime of throwing pots ... It's muscle memory.

The works are expressions of him, not an adopted style.

 

Tight throwing potters want to totally control the looseness too ... Doesn't work.

As Popeye says ... I yam what I yam!

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I went to grad school with a fellow who made loose pots. We were the exact opposite of each other in terms of aesthetics. Anyway, he would throw a piece fairly tight to establish an even thickness, then do the last pull or two quickly and loosely. He would then often take a wire and cut the lip off in an undulating motion as the wheel slowly spun, then smooth and round the lip with a chamois. A smack or two the walls would knock it off kilter, and it was done. Very deliberate, controlled steps to give the appearance of looseness.

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Guest JBaymore

Pres,

 

Try these little ideas to start off playing with the concept..........

 

Center about 2-3 pounds of clay into a mound with height and width about even. Off the wheel, form a block of about 2 pounds of clay into a rough triangular shaped thick 3-d mass with the points at about the outer diameter of the centered clay you have... and however thick that amount of clay makes that mass. Use a rib to clean off any slurry on the outside top of the centered clay. Take the triangle and about centered on that centered mass, plop it down and patt it onto the centered mass. Take 5-7 seconds to "center" that triangle onto the other mass. (It won't be truly centered.) Then immediately open, and throw a bowl form without attempting to true up the rim area.

 

Center 2-3 pounds of clay. Poke some random holes with your fingers 1/4 of the way through it. Immeiatelty open and throw a cylinder.

 

Center 2-3 pounds of clay. Take a wire tool, and scallop the top of the mound, by cuting away 3, 5, or 7 small cut out pieces. Immediately open and throw a form.

 

Take 3-5 pounds of clay. Pound it into sort of a ball. Plop it on the wheelhead, and then with the wheel moving VERY slowly, pound it sort of toward being on center in less than one minute. Immediately open and throw a form.

 

Note to others reading this....... these excercises are for someone who has been throwing for a LONG time and can throw incredibly well and tightly thin forms using 10 pounds of clay or more. NOT for newer throwers. This series for new folks....... just makes counterproductive stuff happen.

 

best,

 

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

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