Tuesday, September 27, 2011

throwing cylinders and centering

I glanced up at the over-bed rack I have in my school apartment. The back cover of some issue of Ceramics Monthly stared back at me. I'm sure if you subscribe to it you've seen it, it's the SKUTT ad with the little old lady on it. The quote catches my eye first, then my eyes drift to the background image, a blown up image of a large bowl. Then I notice the old lady herself, and her concentrated yet gently focus on the delicate thin porcelain bowl that slid between her fingers. I thought to myself, "If I work hard enough, I can throw like this too."

I still can't help but carry a defeatist attitude about throwing, although I am trying to commit to practicing and getting to a point where I can really honestly call myself a potter and believe it. The first two assignments in Ceramics II (did I mention I got switched out of Ceramics I and into Ceramics II!? Yay upgrade!) is 1.5lb and 3lb cylinders. The small size was a breeze, I thought, wow I am really good at throwing! Then I tried 3lbs today and oof.... couldn't event center the damn things. My hands got really sore so by the end of class I threw in the towel.

One of the older gentlemen named John had been watching me, and offered to help me. It was really nice to get some advice from an experienced pottter, especially since I'm too weird about asking for help right now. Tomorrow I plan to go back and try again, this time with softer balls of clay and smaller clay balls. Perhaps I'm just not ready for 3lbs yet.


  1. That's so cool!! I tried throwing on a wheel once. I didn't like how... exfoliating it was hehe! It looked easy in the movie Ghost. Boy was I wrong! Clay isn't as mushy as it looks! The experience was fun though :)

    When you master the wheel, what do you plan on making? Mugs? Vases?

  2. i really like mugs, so i'll probably start with this and bowls. i've made a few bowls i really love and use.

    yea some clay can be really rough one the hands. it all depends on how much grog is in the clay. raku clay, which had high grog, is absolutely brutal.