The Shortness of Memory…

I had class last night.  Always an interesting affair, that – my teacher has probably the most erratic schedule of anyone for the next two months, which means that there won’t be much continuity between lessons.  That’s okay; I’m at a stage where I’m just asking questions when I need to, but it makes it feel like I don’t have to go as often, or something.

It’s interesting to me how much throwing pots is about muscle memory, and yet the actual thought-memory of the order of steps is just as important.  Case in point: last night I said, hey, I have this small lump of clay, I’ll turn it into a plate!  And proceeded to do so, without remember the steps involved in throwing a plate.

I still ended up with a plate, but it’s a strangely bowl-shaped plate because I set it up to be a plate and then pulled the walls up as though it were a bowl!  >_<  Here is the result:

See the wobble?  *sigh*  Ah, well, it will still function as a plate!  This is actually red clay, but I’ve covered the plate with a pale blue slip.  Glazing should be fun when I get there!

Here are a few pieces I worked on last week in class and trimmed last night (this photo is pre-trimming):

And here are the other things I threw last night:

A bowl and a pitcher; the pitcher was going to be a bowl, but was determined to be a pitcher instead (sometimes I just have to let the clay do what it wants instead of manhandling into a shape that I want…).  It’s small, but will make a very nice little milk pitcher or something like that.  I’ll post pictures of these pieces as they go through the process (next up: trimming!).

I’m really enamored with yarn bowls, and may very well cut this bowl up to make it into one.  We shall see; sometimes I have this idea for what a piece is going to look like, and then it comes out looking quite different.  I’m not sure if this is because I lack the control and the skills to force the clay to do my bidding, or because sometimes that’s just the way it works.  Either way, I’m rarely unhappy with a finished product!

Like these!

This bowl is so pretty!  And perfectly sized for a small bowl of ice cream.  Mmm!  The glaze is a result of a major glazing snafu (the inside was actually painted with the same pale blue slip as the plate above, and covered in clear glaze.  When I was dipping the outside of the bowl some of the darker blue glaze got in!  But I am super pleased with the result), and looks awesome.  And, good news!  You can purchase this bowl on Etsy.  Hooray!

This little guy is a closed form.  What is a closed form?  Why, it’s a piece that you throw just like any other piece, but instead of asking the clay to do what it naturally wants to do and open out because of centrifugal force, you force the clay to go inward until you close the hole at the top.  Incredibly difficult to do.  It took me many tries to be able to close a form when all other things came pretty naturally to me.  However, now these guys are my little bitches, and it’s lids that are giving me the trouble.  This particular piece is going to a friend of mine as a gift, as part of a make-something-for-five-friends-in-2011 round-robin exchange, but I will make more and have them up for sale eventually.

That is, if they clay does what I tell it to do.  ^.^

And now, I must get back to my seriously neglected sewing table!


About SacredSpiralPottery

I am a novice potter who was blessedly introduced to clay in January of 2011. I've become totally addicted to mud and all of its amazing properties, and spend a good deal of time working on my own projects and helping out at a small private studio in Jersey City.
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2 Responses to The Shortness of Memory…

  1. Max says:

    These are beautiful! The blue “happy accident” one is particularly attractive, I think. It makes sense: who was it that said “art is not ‘making no mistakes’; but knowing which mistakes to keep”?

    • Thanks! I’m glad you like them; wish I had an earlier bunch to show how much better things have gotten. ^_^; And I’m not sure who said that, but I 100% agree – I’m always more happy to keep something that came out awesome by accident than intentionally. I think it’s because I surprise myself. ^.^

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