Thursday, February 08, 2007

emotional ups and downs of this potter

Yes, I’ve gotten some things thrown but I’m not feeling great about it. Don’t know why exactly—but maybe because nothing turns out like I imagine or want. The little box that I was happy with is not so nice now that it has dried! And the larger one I tried to make crashed!
Tuesday I made a tall bottle-shaped vase from 3# of clay. I like the shape. It is still too wet to tell about the weight. However, it is pretty ‘plain jane’. And I threw a casserole from about 3# of clay and the lid from about 2 1/2#. I carefully measured the opening in the casserole for making the lid. BUT the lid is really a bit too small—it may work but it is not ‘right’.

Wednesday I decided to make some ‘tea caddies’ with ceramic lids. I made a 'tombo' to measure the height of the caddies and width of the neck openings. I made 8 balls of 1# each—some may have been 1 oz over or under the 1#. I took lots of time and was a careful as I know how to be—yet the 8 cylinders are NOT the same or even very similar.
Then I carefully measured the opening with calipers for making the lids. I made 10 lids 'throwing off the hump'--which means putting a huge mound of clay on the wheel then shaping a lid from just a bit of clay on the top, then pinching it off the mound. Then you are ready to shape another and another without having to start over with a new ball of clay for each lid. I used the caliper to measure each lid as I made it to be sure they would fit. BUT I think they are ALL too large! Everything is wet so I can’t really tell. They don’t even look the same diameter! In both cases, though, as much as wanting to make the tea caddies and the lids I wanted to work on the skill of forming the gallery inside the caddies and the throwing the lids off the hump.
In the evening, I thought that perhaps I could trim the outside of the lid's rims so they would fit. And, I was able to do that, not easily, not quickly, but effectively. This morning I trimmed the tops of the lids (the part where I pinched the lid loose from the hump of clay)to make knobs for the lids. OK, they are finished and are satisfactory. We'll see how they look after they are glazed and fired.

Finally, I made a small bowl from the last of the clay hump I was using for the lids. It is a small bowl and there was not enough clay for a base. I decided since we are working on putting 'outrageous' feet on our pieces I'd trim the bowl without any base and then attach feet from the plaster molds we made last week. I am surprised that I kind of like it!

No comments: