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Thread: 5 Mugs

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    Default 5 Mugs

    As a potter, there are many mugs to choose in our cabinet. Some gt6267a made and some from friends or favorite potters. When the coffee is made and mugs are selected, there is a small competition to get the favorite mug. Not sure when it happened, but we have both gravitated to claiming the same mug (amongst hundreds) as my precious. Its not fancy and certainly doesn’t have a flashy design. A photo would do it no justice, but when picked up … its correct.


    Realizing that someday one of us (probably me) will break it and/or it might be nice to at least have two we like, I decided to make another. The problem is, between work and a kid, I’m simply not in the pottery studio as frequently as before. While I am still able to throw ok, there is a little bit of “touch” one maintains with practice that simply isn't there. In January, I decided to give it a try.


    There is a city owned art center about a mile from my house. I socialize with friends there and sometimes make a little pottery. In March, I glazed 5 mugs and set them out for firing. I had another 5 mugs bisqued and wanted to see how these turned out before glazing the rest. While the studio is still closed, today I was able to pickup the mugs.


    All show a slight lack of touch, but two don’t suck. Time will tell if they make cut.

    large-5-mug.jpg

    large-2-mugs.jpg

    large-1-scroll.jpg

    large-1-top.jpg

    large-1-bottom.jpg

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    Default Re: 5 Mugs

    Nice. I picked the same two. How did you do the foot deco?
    I'd give a pinky to have a kiln and wheel again.

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    Default Re: 5 Mugs

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Nice. I picked the same two. How did you do the foot deco?
    I'd give a pinky to have a kiln and wheel again.
    Many years ago, I bought a metal tool with all kinds of little half circle cutouts and such. When using it, the metal made a horrible sound against the wheel head. The guy sitting next to me was also a wood worker. He said, give me that thing and I’ll bring it back next time with a wooden replacement. He did and I have been using his custom “foot” tool for years without sound issues. Over the years, mine is wearing in a little and changing. I like that.

    All my tools are still covid trapped at the studio so no pictures. Here is a commercial version from Bill Van Gilder. Notice its use in the third photo. My tool is angled above the semi-circle so it doesn't impact the wall like Bill's does.

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    Default Re: 5 Mugs

    Nice tool, I've got something similar...no no what I ment was the Chevrons you imprinted on the base. That's cool.

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    Default Re: 5 Mugs

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Nice tool, I've got something similar...no no what I ment was the Chevrons you imprinted on the base. That's cool.
    Ahh. Its a wiggle wire (think a pen spring stretched out to look like little up and down triangles) that a I saw east / west while cutting the piece off the wheel north to south. A lot of potters will spin the wheel slowly and try to get a circular look. I like the chevrons better and can't think of anyone else that does it that way.

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    Default Re: 5 Mugs

    Quote Originally Posted by gt6267a View Post
    Ahh. Its a wiggle wire (think a pen spring stretched out to look like little up and down triangles) that a I saw east / west while cutting the piece off the wheel north to south. A lot of potters will spin the wheel slowly and try to get a circular look. I like the chevrons better and can't think of anyone else that does it that way.
    I love it!!!

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    Default Re: 5 Mugs

    Thanks.

    A professional potter I know likes to say, "the most important tool in a pottery studio is a hammer." Basically, even for the best of us, not everything we make is great. The two mugs on the right are currently living in the trash. I'm using the middle one. Initially, I didn't think this one would be a keeper. That said, the handle feels better than it looks. Here is an example of losing a little bit of "touch" due to not being in the studio many days a week. Handle on the middle mug feels the best of the bunch. Handles on the left two look better. There are little details like pulling the right thickness of the handle or rounding the edges to feel just right.

    If I were working in the studio frequently (not just a covid problem), I would adjust the thickness, rounding, width, etc of the handles and the next batch would be superior. The feedback mechanism between using the mug and making the next batch is very important. Post covid, when I get back in the studio, my first batch of mugs will have all kinds of little issues with foot, thickness, rounding the lip, etc etc. I'll see the result and throw them all out. Then go back and make a better second batch. By the third batch, they'll mostly be right. If I were to make 10 batches in a row, the feedback from the first 9 would be strong, I like to think that 10th batch will be tight.

    To my eye this applies to all craft. Even for a master, if they take 5 years away from the craft, the first few items will be good. Maybe better than most could ever achieve. Meanwhile, the master is learning and refining. Give them a few iterations and compare.

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