Tuesday 18 August 2009

And More Pots....

I'm doing this return toward making pots in small steps, the amount of clay I would once throw in a morning will probably last me a couple of months.
I'm trying to get my throwing to be more instinctive and less conscious, I've mostly been a pretty controlled, symmetrical sort of thrower, but I'd look at the works of other potters who'd bash and swirl their pieces, so they'd sway alarmingly on the wheel, but those pots would now be imbued with a new energy.
Maybe I'll go there some day, but for now, I'm having a pretty interesting and fun time, being both teacher and pupil. It IS strange, because I keep getting to a point where the conscious me is not quite sure how to do something, but somewhere deep inside, in subliminal me, there is the knowledge. It's been forgotten so long, but if I can just keep the conscious, thinking, clamorous brain silent, empty it of noise, then my hands, eyes, foot (the speed control is under my right foot), all these just get on and do it.
If thinky-brain comes back and tries to interfere, then that lump of clay's doomed.
The intolerance I have to lumpen shapes means they get sliced in two with a cutting wire and autopsied, at the moment, I've got a fault of making things a bit too thin, yes, nice and light, but not easy to stick a handle on without distortion. This means more recycling. Rapid karma. Lump turns to mug, displeases, returns to lump, has chance of a better life as a jug (or pitcher, as my muse would say).
I need to work harder on my wedging, and build a decent wedging bench, but if I get too hung up in building stuff, I might get diverted too much to remember that messing with mud is what I really want to be doing.
(Though, at work today, whilst I was putting up a fence, I was thinking out a design for a home-made pugmill, using scavenged parts, and a car gearbox... Could use a back axle... I vaguely recall that most pugmills run at about sixteen r.p.m.
A hydraulic motor would be good. WooHooooooo!!!! Imagine a pottery rigged for hydraulics.... Silent running hydraulic drive to wheel, easy extruder, effortless pugmill, with power-feed ram...
oh, ohhhh, the slab-roller...
Lock up your backhoes! I know where there's a little Kubota tractor with all the rams I'd need, pumps etc... and a forklift with in-hub motors...)

I'm working on just a few shapes. Getting happier with the results, bit by bit.
-I said to my muse, all the way down the long phone-wire to Texas, what shall I make? "A pitcher", she said.

Mugs too.

I was clumsy, dented my fresh-thrown pitcher's belly, tapped it lightly from inside with a turning tool handle, but you could still see it.... "How to disguise the mark? Hmmmm...."

Turned, handled, textured:- chattered decoration, Japanese potters call this "tobiganna", if I remember rightly. It's not easy to control to get a particular effect, there are a lot of variables. I scavenged some steel strapping from a skip at work today, will make myself some new turning tools, and play with this further. I might just rub the textured areas with thinned iron oxide, no glaze.

I wanted to get more of a spiral effect, kinda failed. But overall I'm reasonably happy