Thursday, September 3, 2009

Huffing and puffing and stretching...

I came to realization not long ago that I actually have shows coming up. And Christmas. And custom orders that I must get done. After the initial hyperventilating, I got to it. I started off trying to get a few more mugs churned out and actually tried throwing without my trusty ruler. I'm trying to get away from my production roots just a bit and decided that one way to do that is to just throw. Oh, now, you know that my anal retentive little soul wouldn't let me just rip off a chunk of clay and start going. No, no, no I still weighed the pieces and wedged them up before I started. Of course, they came out pretty much the same shape and size within a half inch. Hey, I tried.

I did get inspired through a video another potter shared on the etsy mud team forum, though, to actually use the tools I have. Here's the video of fellow potter Cory Lum throwing a gigantuan bowl: . I have to have everything just right, clay wise, to throw a giant bowl or things get ripply and ridgey and collapsy. I started a relatively sizable bowl today of about 6 pounds and had my doubts on it's success due to a softer reclaimed clay. Yep, the ridging and rippling and collapsing started trying to happen until I used the force and called upon the power of Cory Lum. And picked up a metal flexible potter's rib. And used it. It worked! Nice even curved sides! No collapsing! No ridginess! For those of you who have actually seen me work, you know I keep three things on my table: sponge, pointy stick, and needle tool. I actually use the sponge and the pointy stick. Sometimes a wooden rib comes in for the big 'uns. Adding a new tool to my repertoire is a big girl step for me. Hooray hooray hooray!

Did I say reclaimed clay? Yes, I did. Because I've been working through my bags of recycling slowly but surely. I'm so proud of myself. Especially since all of the spiders have fled to that area and like to poke their heads out menacingly when I come too close. I have a particularly heavy bat that I keep near to throw just in case one of them decides they can take me. Does this go against everything I believe? Hmm... some of those boogers can jump.

And, finally, I got the surprise of my week by winning the latest mud team challenge, which was a bottle challenge. I painted it with the completely ridiculously time consuming new pattern I invented for my big pots, which is a chrysanthemum swirl star pattern with a black background. Here it is hanging out with a fellow pot:

The other entries were so fantastic, I did not think I had a chance of winning, so the whole thing was flooring. Next challenge is a sake set, but I don't know how to top that last pattern! Hmm...


Anonymous said...

loved the star pattern on that bottle. I can't throw a bowl without my trusty ribs, they're indispensable.

you should really do something a bit stronger about those spiders, even if it's a trap and letting them go somewhere else- one bite is really nasty!

FetishGhost said...

Those painted patterns are AMAZING! Can't wait to see them on your larger works. Congrats on winning the challenge too. There were so many nice works, winning that one is really special.