Wednesday, June 8, 2011

throwing two-part pitchers--stage one

throwing the ring (a)
scoring the top edge of the lower section (c)
scoring the top edge of the lower section (b)

upending the ring onto the lower section (d)

the two parts, together....(e)
joining the top clay to the bottom (f)

I'll try to do this in two posts (though I probably should have done a video)-----When I throw an especially tall form I have various ways of making it easier:  here I'll talk about tall pitchers.  First, I throw the bottom section and take it off the wheel, on its bat, to dry to a soft-ish leatherhard.  Later, when the bottom has stiffened slightly, I measure its opening, and throw an open ring (a) that will fit onto the top edge of the bottom half.  This ring is also taken off the wheel, while still on its bat.  Since I've left the bottom half on the bat, not yet cut off,  I don't have to re-center it.  I now put it back onto the wheel.   Then I take the thrown collar/ring and flip it upside down (d) and onto the moistened (b & c) top edge of the lower piece (centering it). After that, I cut the bat away from the ring (using fishing wire) and then smooth (f) some of the clay in the top ring downward, onto the bottom form---I do this both inside and out.  Now I have a taller piece:  the lower half is stiff enough, though thin, to support the upper half, and the upper half is soft enough to be thrown, still, without distorting the lower half (which I'll show in the next post).

Monday, June 6, 2011

channeling my inner Mick Casson

pitchers and large bowls
I've been working for the last 2 1/2 months on an order for a baptismal font and pitcher, so, as usual, am doing a variety of large bowls and pitchers.  In the next several blogs, I'll show some of the ways of throwing larger pitchers--something I've learned from several potters over the years, but the images and instructions I remember and have tried, myself, most often come from a book I have that was written by Michael Casson, the English potter.  It's called The Craft of the Potter, and has some very practical information.  The pitcher whose pouring spout I'm finishing off, here, is one that is thrown in two parts, with the second part (a ring) being added after the first part has set up.  When the pitchers are dry enough, I will pull their handles.  More, anon.