Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pottery Week 10 & 11: Wheel-throwing

I know you have all been dying to see my lovely thrown pottery. After all, I do call myself Knitticrafty and seem to be quite competent at most crafts I pick up. Especially after our successful first wheel-throwing attempt back in December when we visited Deep River.

Well, it turns out that was mostly beginner's luck... last Saturday D and I had our first throwing class, and we went again on Tuesday night. Our instructor gave us a demo on the wheel, and ziipp ziiipp ziiipppp in three easy motions managed to pull up a decent looking pot! Wow! I was encouraged. The steps were: cone up & down, form the base, pull up the side. To master the techniques of throwing, each student in the class must be able to throw five 8" tall cylinders of consistent thickness in order to begin making and keeping thrown objects. D and I each started with four good-sized balls of clay to practice with. Off we went!

Here are my first two tries. Oh dear.

Wobble bobble...

Centering the clay is one of the most challenging steps and it is essential that you be able to centre your clay constantly to prevent wonky looking messes like this:

Practicing making spouts on my third mangled pot

After about 3 balls, my arms were feeling pretty wimpy so I packed it up. D however, persisted and seemed to do quite well for his first try! Here he is, pleased as punch.

The best pot of the day

This is why we're not allowed to keep anything yet...

Tuesday night saw some improvements, with both of us managing to get our cylinders a little taller (6"), but they would all somehow end up too thick at the bottom and too thin on top. One woman in our class completed her 5th cylinder that night, and there was a lot of whooping and cheering. Since we spent all our time throwing, glazing our other pots were put on hold. I did get my pear back, which turned out to be a surprising shade of brown instead of the nice greenish colour I'd thought I'd chosen. Glaze is such a mystery...

A nice Bosc pear instead of a Bartlett.


Devonshire said...

That is so freaking cool. I would love to learn to throw someday...perhaps when we move I can sign up for a class. Love how the pear turned out. It will be a nice table piece or perhaps a cookie jar?

Anonymous said...

hey, the pear looks great!