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I have a question about a specific thrown form - basically, the shape of this mug in this expired Etsy listing: https://www.etsy.com/listing/163837797/large-coffee-mug-16-oz-handmade-ceramic


First, what is that type of shape called? Where it's bowl-ish on the bottom, then sharply changes direction?


And second, how do you DO that? Anyone have or know of any videos that show the technique?

I've tried searching, but because I don't know what it's called, I didn't really know what to search for.

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Hey Stell,

The way I'd make that particular shape would be throw a 2 lb. cylinder, then collar the neck in as Ben Zine was saying.

I have found that if you have to collar in alot, you can get one more light pull from the neck area... but keep in mind,

everyone making pottery is one pull from a disaster, but with experience that disaster can be averted but not making

the pull or do so very easily.  So now that you have a cylinder, look inside to see if there's water..take out any water

with your sponge on a stick...take the rib on a stick and bell out the lower body,(like my avatar cup,)  Take the metal

rib, per Neil, or a wooden oval rib and slid it down the neck into the body low enough to fit your fancy.  Trim when

leather hard and finish it with handle, or handles, carvings, etc...  I like the way the cup example was glazed inside and

the neck, and upper body.   Saves on glaze and chipping/cleaning shelves.


Hope it helps,


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My favorite mug shape starts wide at the bottom, comes in a little until about 80 percent up the pot, and then flares out slightly.  The change in direction makes a good place to attach the handle, and the slight flare makes it harder to drop the mug when holding it without using the handle.  The broad base makes it more stable on the table.


I'll put up a sample in my gallery.


But anyway, my point is that I throw the piece as a cylinder, then press out the bottom, as others have advised.  This has the added advantage of thinning the bottom, where the mug is most likely to be too thick.  Then I rib it into the final curvature, and use a wooden tool to bevel the foot.

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stellaria, learning to hold a rib properly is not as easy as it looks.  the first trick is to hold it firmly, otherwise it will take off with the clay and go round and round while you watch.  the way i was taught to use ribs included wood ribs on the inside and stainless ones on the outside.  the stainless allows you to coax the slurry down into the surface of the pot and leaves a very smooth top layer with all the grit pushed away. this shape looks like one that uses the outside rib after the shape is thrown.

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If you closely examine the turn in a the bottom, you can see from the texture that there was clay cut away and grog revealed and not smoothed over.  So the suggestion to trim to shape from rayaldridge seems to be what the maker did. 


Grype, one wonders how the maker didn't notice the kiln wash in taking a picture to display for the world to see.  I guess the maker doesn't think having a clean, smooth, foot is important.



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I recently came across the same artist when I was looking for work done with black mountain clay. I really like that he left part of the outside as bare clay!


For this particular shape, I would try making the cylinder closer to the width of the bottom, use the metal rib to round the bottom, collar in the top, use a curved rib to shape the top and refine the shape while trimming. I would imagine the needle tool would definitely come into play to cut off a section of the top after it's been collared in :)

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These videos from Hsin-Chuen Lin might help you to get an idea of how to use the metal rib to your advantage to get that shape. His mugs aren't as rounded at the bottom as the link you had shared but you'll get a general idea of how to achieve that shape..


Throwing the mug: (start the video at 3:30, 5:40 or 9:40)




or (Start at the 4:00 or 15:20 mark)



Here's a trimming video:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I really like Mr. Lin's work and could watch him for hours. (trust me, I have ;) ) Though I wish he would talk a bit more while he's throwing. Maybe give us some insight into what he's thinking, why he does what he does. There comes a time in almost every artistic venture, where the artist has learned so much that they never give a second thought to their processes. For those of us just starting out, it sure would be helpful to understand the whys and wherefores...... :huh:

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