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Thread: Pottery

  1. #1
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    Default Pottery

    I'm aware there are a few potters here. I started throwing pottery during elementary school and thru college where I had a independent study each semester. My rice bowls were sold at the Mississippi Market on Selby Ave. (St. Paul, MN) it's still there. Maybe the MASSIVE salvage wood shelves I made for them too? Somebody check for me ;) Anywho, I'm slowly gathering some of the things I'll need to start working again.

    pots2.jpg

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    Default Re: Pottery

    Too Tall - serious question, do you ever sleep? So impressed with the seemingly amount of irons you have in the fire at any one time.
     

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    Default Re: Pottery

    Quote Originally Posted by KonaSS View Post
    Too Tall - serious question, do you ever sleep? So impressed with the seemingly amount of irons you have in the fire at any one time.
    Funny. It takes me ages to tool up for my obsessions. Once I'm back in business this one will sustain me for many many years.
    I've given away, broken or sold most of the wares I ever made. If you've been to any of our parties you might have spotted a favorite kiln serpent. That story is: before I high fired I'd make a critter in the form of something from mythology and use it as a seal for the kiln door to ward off evil spirits. The serpent was from the last firing I ever did in MN and about 1/2 of my sr. project was in there. Curiously, being the whacked hippy that I was I invited a couple friends to smash most of it to bits. There were some glorious explosions. Smashing our own art, I reckoned, was logical and fun. LOL...damn I was a piece of work ;) Making ceramics for me was about making money or bettering my abilities thru practice and repetition.

    Recently, I found a source for decent used electric wheels and I've already got my 220V line strung out to the workspace. It will take some time before I find a decent kiln. In the meantime I'll start finding good clay.

    Tip of the hat to my Jr. HS ceramics instructor at the Corcoran School of Art. She never allowed me to *keep one single piece of my work and made me throw hundreds of cylinders and bowls which I lined up on planks. She would take a wire and cut each one in half giving critique for each. She taught me everything.
    *I actually did keep one or two things but I had to sneak into the ceramics shop after hrs. and slip the pieces into the kiln without her knowing.

    Any other ceramics folks here?

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    Default Re: Pottery

    I took pottery all three years in high school. The wheel is my favorite. Last year there wasn't an advanced advanced pottery so they let me do whatever I wanted, kind of.

    I have a few bowls lying around, nothing impressive, left most at my parents house when I moved out.

    My retirement plan is to cycle and fish in the summer and throw on the wheel all winter. We'll see.
     

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    Default Re: Pottery

    That's cool Chad. I've spent alot of time, alone doing things that bring peace to my busy little head. Pottery and cycling were the best.

    Here are some more. A large umbrella stand? This is about 3' tall and thrown in two pieces. The base was thrown and left for several days to firm up than coils were added and re-thrown to become the upper portion. Also, a largish salad bowl and a few of the production rice bowls. The rice bowls were thrown off the hump starting with around 30 lbs of centered clay. The glaze pattern was kinda sorta my signature look for these.

    ceram1.jpg

    ceram2.jpg

    ceram3.jpg

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    Default Re: Pottery

    Nice work, Josh!
     

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    Default Re: Pottery

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    That's cool Chad. I've spent alot of time, alone doing things that bring peace to my busy little head. Pottery and cycling were the best.

    Here are some more. A large umbrella stand? This is about 3' tall and thrown in two pieces. The base was thrown and left for several days to firm up than coils were added and re-thrown to become the upper portion. Also, a largish salad bowl and a few of the production rice bowls. The rice bowls were thrown off the hump starting with around 30 lbs of centered clay. The glaze pattern was kinda sorta my signature look for these.

    ceram1.jpg

    ...[snip]...
    These are all really really nice.
    I will have to say that throwing/building that large piece very impressive (not that I am surprised).
    For anyone has not created pottery before, take my word for it, making something of this size is incredibly hard to do. Lots of planning, practice and skill.
    Brian McLaughlin

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    Default Re: Pottery

    That's a nice thing to say Brian, thanks. Notice the vertical crack? I got away with this several times without incident but on this one my luck ran out. I needed to modify the clay body with more fillers to account for movement in the kiln...but thanks.

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    Default Re: Pottery

    No question. Every attempt at going big ended in failure for me.
     

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    Default Re: Pottery

    After a little time off, I am back on the wheel. I'll get a few pics and post something soon.

    For clay, have you tried b-mix? Its nice on the hands, throws easily, and won't crack on you like porcelain. The only downside is that it picks up body reduction which basically kills most celadons. B-mix will make an easy return to throwing.

    For wheels, consider a shimpo whisper lite. makes my old brent look like a vintage turd. when i get frustrated with public studios, i'll get a shimpo for the house.

    There are tons of tools out there. A few to consider ... mkm steel ribs. mudtools red ribs (extremely soft in flexible). bill van gilder wire knife. dolan trim tools (i like the one that looks like a triangle).

    let us know how your return to clay is going!
     

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pottery

    I just signed up for 6 classes and 6 weeks of studio time. I last threw...maybe 10 years ago? Coming from 2 summers and 1 semester's worth of experience, I'm looking to make lots of mugs and drinkware
     

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    Default Re: Pottery

    Quote Originally Posted by sonicw View Post
    I just signed up for 6 classes and 6 weeks of studio time. I last threw...maybe 10 years ago? Coming from 2 summers and 1 semester's worth of experience, I'm looking to make lots of mugs and drinkware
    That is really neat. Looking forward to reports from the mud field.

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    Default Re: Pottery

    I took ceramics every semester in high school. My parents have tons of my old pieces at their house. Towards the end I started getting into making ocarinas. I still have one that was serendipitously tuned to play Mary Had a Little Lamb or Hot Cross Buns. Most of them were just fun noise makers.

    TT, that's some beautiful stuff.
     

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Pottery

    Hey great thread Josh, I make pottery too as you know, and, I still owe you a smallish mug!! More later :

    See my pottery here -----> Flickr
     

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    Default Re: Pottery

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinomaster View Post
    Hey great thread Josh, I make pottery too as you know, and, I still owe you a smallish mug!! More later :

    See my pottery here -----> Flickr
    The glaze on those is pretty eccentric! Is that a high fire clay? How do you do it, lots of wax?

    Here's what I've thrown the past week so far. I'm having trouble getting higher than 5-6 inches, so these will be mugs, not vases or steins. The studio's 30min away by bike, so I know where I will be the next few weekends
     

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Pottery

    Yo Sonic. I was taught by Cruella DeVille. She made me throw hundreds of cylinders and hundreds of bowls. I'd line them up on a wood board and she would wire each one in half for comment. What I got out of that was muscle memory, discipline and instilled in me that nothing functional had meaning.

    Take a page from her book and devote entire days to throwing the same @#$% thing over and over. Re-wedge the remains and repeat until something clicks.

    BTW that's a darn good start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Yo Sonic. I was taught by Cruella DeVille. She made me throw hundreds of cylinders and hundreds of bowls. I'd line them up on a wood board and she would wire each one in half for comment. What I got out of that was muscle memory, discipline and instilled in me that nothing functional had meaning.

    Take a page from her book and devote entire days to throwing the same @#$% thing over and over. Re-wedge the remains and repeat until something clicks.

    BTW that's a darn good start.
    Hey Toots, that's the plan--cylinders for days. I picked up the "repetition until it becomes mindless" thing from when I studied the violin, because if I'm having too much fun I'm not getting good. The people at the studio look at me weird for scrapping symmetric-looking stuff but I'm really trying to nail my technique down so I can throw more efficiently, effortlessly, and not based on luck. I know I'll be set once I can throw something like your production pieces!
     

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonicw View Post
    Hey Toots, that's the plan--cylinders for days. I picked up the "repetition until it becomes mindless" thing from when I studied the violin, because if I'm having too much fun I'm not getting good. The people at the studio look at me weird for scrapping symmetric-looking stuff but I'm really trying to nail my technique down so I can throw more efficiently, effortlessly, and not based on luck. I know I'll be set once I can throw something like your production pieces!
    That umbrella stand is a hat trick. Learn to throw slowly using your core, knowing your materials and alot of luck. Mine ran out with the crappy salvage claybody.

    That's great man, you get it. FWIIW you don't need to throw with the sponge. Just fingers for now, it's going to force you to move the clay in a more deliberate fashion.

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    Default Re: Pottery

    i don't have much glazed, but here are 3 pots in progress. the top two pics are some ideas about half formed. for the next iteration, i'll push the curves much further, especially on the bottom.

    this one has a two tier sculpted inside. clay is bmix which is a porcelain and stoneware mix. glaze will be a off-white / light tan.
    IMG_3908-2.jpg

    same bowl upside down on the right, a more vertical bowl on the left. both feet are trimmed to glaze the inside of the foot.
    IMG_3883.jpg

    this one is a prototype replacement for our kitchen tools holder. clay is porcelain. its pretty large for its purpose but i'm thinking it will shrink down to size. this porcelain will shrink 12-14% through the firing process.
    IMG_4032.jpg

    per TT's recommendation to throw multiple cylinders and cut them in half, this is good advice. if i take 2 or 3 weeks off from the wheel, i always cut a few in half to check the sidewalls.
     

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Pottery

    It is so awesome to see you develop your own style. That pot (upside down) on the right is the jam.

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