Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Technique -- Coil pot construction

Another one for the handbuilders out there.  I don't know about you but I am quite linear in my thinking so when you say "coil", I think horizontal.  Here's a video that shows you that coil does not have to be horizontal.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Techniques -- Handbuilt "Slab" Tumblers by Charan Sachar

I know I post mostly wheel throwing techniques but here's one for you handbuilders out there.  My take away from this demonstration are:

1. Use templates for consistency in size and shape.

2. Use support for moving slabs -- I guess this is even more important when the slabs are softer.  Use anything at your disposal that is close to the shape or the size of what you are making.

3. Pre-decorate the slabs when they are still flat as much as possible and minimize fussing once they slab is "assembled" into their final shapes.  Give your work time to firm up before you have to handle it again.


Friday, June 13, 2014

News -- Show your work

Here are two opportunities to show your work.

1.  Highlighted Student Shelf

The Highlighted Student Shelf will display 2 to 6 pieces of work of any current Lillstreet ceramic student for a period of 2-weeks.  When you submit your work for consideration, you must have a) an Artist Statement that will explain the thought process behind your work. b) Photos or the actual work that you intend to display. Photos does not have to be professionally shot but is meant to provide an idea of the work that will be displayed.

So, get the process started!  Once you have your artist statement and the pieces you want to display, contact Sean at to set up an appointment to review your artist statement and your work.

2.  Annual Lillstreet Student Member Show

The Student Member Show will run from September 29 through October 5 this year (2014).  You will need to submit photos of three pieces of your work that is reminiscence of the work that you will display/sell during the member show. The photos does not have to be professionally taken but should be of high quality.  There is a $20 processing fees and the submission deadline is June 30th.  Point your browser to to begin your application process.

Good luck and have fun!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Inspiration -- Never Give Up

As anyone in a First Time Potter class would attest -- there are days when you just feel like giving up.  Especially when your teacher makes it looks so easy and you have trouble even just keeping the wheel going at a steady speed. This video will hopefully inspire you to keep going.  

Ceramics, to me, is something that you could get technically good at if you just keep doing it and practice, practice, practice.  Sometimes, you need the help of someone with more experience (teacher) to help you with certain techniques to get over a hurdle.

To me, a technically good pot means that a pot is well made and is of the appropriate thickness and weight for the intended use of the pot. But, making a technically sound pot is only one aspect of the challenge that is ceramics. The other aspect is the art or creativity of it all. What makes your pot different than the thousands of pots already out there.

Putting on your creative hat to make the pot your own.  There are so many options available when it comes to alterations and decorations.  How will you alter that cylinder to make it your own?  How will you decorate the surface? What glaze will you choose that fits the shape of the pot?  The two combined is what makes a handmade pot art.

P.S. Be it right or wrong, this is just my opinion and not a reflection of anyone else's opinions.  Comments welcomed.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Techniques -- Preventing "S" Crack When Throwing off the Hump

The title is a little bit of a misnomer.  This video is more about just preventing "S" crack in pots thrown off the hump. I wanted to share this because of the measurement technique shown.  Many of us have trimmed through the bottom of a pot.  The tapping technique works for some but it takes years of experience to know that the "thunk thunk thunk" to mean a certain thickness and it's a guess at best.  This method is sort of scientific and you can just measure the depth of your foot ring to know if you've hit your mark.  Enjoy the demo and leave your feedback in the comment section.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Techniques -- Stack and Slam Wire Wedging

Last week, I posted a video of the spiral wedging method where you can wedge a large amount of clay by concentrating on a small amount at a time. Be that as it may, it still requires some sort of wrist action to accomplish the task.  That is a tall task for someone with chronic wrist pain.

Today's post is another wedging method that doesn't really use the wrist. It requires cutting your piece of clay in half using a wire attached at 45 degrees to a vertical and horizontal support.  After cutting the clay, you rotate the individual pieces and slam one piece of top of each other.  The video is clearer than my explanation.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

#TBT -- The Art of Potter

On social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, a word or phrase (with no space between words) preceded by a hash sign (#) is used to identify messages on a specific topic.  By clicking on the hashtag, you will be able to see all messages pertaining to that particular topic.  

#TBT has been used to identify messages related to "Throw Back Thursday" or, simply, paying homage to our past.  In the vein of the message, I submit for your consideration, a video on the potter's history.  Specifically, the  British potter.  This video is part of a three part series on the history of potter in Britain. This is episode three, titled "The Art of the Potter".  

It's quite a lengthy video and is broken into four parts.  I can't embed the video here due to certain copyright protection so I will link you to the video on YouTube.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4