Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pottery Tools and Throwing

I'm exhausted, but in a wonderful way, after spending the day doing pottery.  Today, our pottery tools class focused on making some clay tools, as well as using some of our tools while throwing.  Here are a few of the items I made today :
Those three pieces which look like upside down mushrooms, are clay tools.  Next week we will trim the tops of these mushrooms, and they will become clay anvils, used to hold against the inside of the pot while paddling (or stamping) from the outside.  I think mine are too big for any of the pots I'm making at the moment.  I'm going to try building something smaller when I have a chance, maybe just the round side, with holes to tie a string for a handle.  We'll see.  Or something on a stick, since that could be useful when applying my signature stamp.  There were a couple of other clay tools we have in progress.  I'll post when they look closer to the final result.

One of the exercises in class today was to throw "tea bowls", and then use the textured paddles we made.  The three I made (see two above) were textured with the paddle I wrapped in the poly rope (see post from last week).  I don't think I whacked mine very hard, some of my fellow students as well as our instructor got a deeper texture from their paddling.  But I think mine will still show nicely.

Jay has finally made available for sale the yellow (iron oxide rich) clay which I was experimenting with last term, so for the open workshop, I threw some marbled pots.  I also added a grape leaf sprig, although I should have waited until next week, when they are more firm.  But I still managed to apply the sprig fairly successfully.  When fired, the yellow will turn to a chocolate brown, as I learned from last term's experimenting (see, for example, this post).

I made a third pot / vase which is marbled, and then I used the smooth side of my newly made paddle, to flatten front and back.  I have a few ideas how to finish this one, but we'll see next week.

Pretty much all my items from today need trimming and stamping next week, so I'll be pretty busy with that.  I believe we'll also be back to some wood tools next week, and putting handles on wire cutters, and who knows what else.  Jay always manages to keep us more than busy with his ideas.

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