Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pottery is my Yoga

When people ask me "Do you do Yoga? You'd like it" I reply Pottery is my Yoga. That's been my response for a long long time.  And this article reinforces just how good that yoga can be..... MY Yoga that is:)
from the NYT November 30th, 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

Again and Again but better

No matter how many times I tell my students that they just need to practice to improve .... it's never enough.  Practice throwing, glazing, handling their work and so on.... it's never enough.

I think I have made several thousand yarn bowls (at least). It is well loved and popular. Knitters never seem to run out. What is it? It has been a high demand piece and I have many outlets for it.  So every year when I start making them for the holidays I rethink some small piece of the equation. One year it was how I glazed them, another how I move them around and dry them.

Even this year, after all those bowls, I am making improvements to the piece and to the process. Do as I do AND as I say. Practice makes for improvement which leads to perfection. I will be on this road for a long long time, as clay can never be perfected.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Demo Pieces for Classes

When I teach, I like to be able to show a piece being made - typically by demonstrating it from scratch. Many times when you watch videos they are edited to make it look good, but not with all of the parts left in. I also like to be able to show the finished piece. Perhaps, after it has been bisque fired, and then show how I might glaze it. And finally I like to have the finished piece to show.  So much goes on in the process and takes so long between stages, I do my 'cooking show' magic by having the same piece in multiple stages. This takes some extra work, but I think it's worth it as a teaching technique.

Here is a large platter with a decorative rim. I demonstrated how to make this in the studio for students. They got to see how I formed it and made the special rim. Next I showed how to make the handles and a week or so later I glazed it during a class dedicated to glazing. I made this particular piece from a clay body that i normally do not use, so my glazes might look or behave a little differently. Out of the kiln..... beautiful color and shape. but I immediately heard some very disturbing pings. Clay and Glaze need to "fit" together, and I knew immediately that this clay did NOT like my glaze! It sheared in two pieces from the stress between the clay and the glaze. Complicated chemistry , but using my normal clay body corrects the problem. Watch the video.......

Here is another piece that was used as a glaze demo in class last week. 2 colors working in concert.