Gary's Third Pottery Blog
"I'll light the fire, you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today." --CSNY
Saturday, August 25, 2012
29 years plus 29 minutes....
(me, with a bowl bigger than my head...much bigger...it will be decorated and trimmed today---I had a few pounds clay in the bottom of a bag and felt lazy and...keep reading)
People ask me "how long does it take to make these pots?" all the time.
People have seen the movie GHOST and figure all you have to do to make pottery is look sexy and move your hands around on some wet clay! But pottery, of course, is like brain surgery and rocket science: it takes years to learn! This week marks 29 years since I started to learn pottery (15+ years full-time at it and 6 years blogging about it :)
SO, my clever answer to the people who ask how long it takes to make something is "29 years plus 29 minutes" and I explain that while it may only take a few minutes to throw an item, it has to later be trimmed, glazed, and you could add packed in a box and taken to the PO.....but really? Even an enormous, for me, bowl like the one above? Takes just a few minutes to throw, about the same as it takes for a smaller bowl....and not much longer than 1/2 inch tall thrown beer stein the dog is holding on the large beer stein below. Throwing is quick, for me, but only a tiny part of the whole process.
I rarely work big, for a number of reasons. First, I prefer to work small and cute, and as the wife says, "you are small and cute!". Second, I have a small and medium sized kiln which would fill quickly. Third, it is one of those BIG D!CK things: some potters are like 'oh I can throw HUGE'. Well, I can too, but I really like fussing and fiddling and using my imagination on an item, like the sculpted beer steins below, shown in stages with the sketches etc. Fourth: big items are hard to glaze in my glaze buckets. I have small glaze buckets and I am too lazy to mess around with big buckets.
SO, yesterday, as you see below, I made HUGE beer steins, hold 1.5-2 pints each with decorations on them and even a small thrown stein for the dog AND I had some leftover clay and leftover space in the kiln to fill and I was like "let's just empty the bag of clay and make a bowl". It is one particular challenge for a potter: one large ball of clay turned into a complete pot in one sitting. Because you can work on throwing large items in stages, as it dries adding and shaping, but to do it all at once, how big can you go? I can go pretty big, esp. considering I am a small wiry person.
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