January 18, 2009

Although the studio is not quite set up with tables, wedging or otherwise, I rushed in to make cups for the AKAR Yunomi Show. I thought I would just grab some clay and go to it. Ha!
It wasn't exactly a square wheel of momentum, but maybe a hexagon. I managed to get some clay processed, kneaded, and ready to go. I moved some wood working tools to the side, and hunted down my favorite ribs and my "special" sponge, and off I went. I threw a couple of boards of warm ups and culled half of them. Then last night I got to a point where I was ready to 'twirl'. I want to make sort of a NC meets Japan cup. Not exactly a new idea, but innovative pottery making isn't always about inventing a new technique or finding a new material. Mostly it's a just a matter of carrying the ball a little further down the field, keeping an idea alive. Just as humankind has eaten food of one sort or another since the beginning of time potters have made pots and some things just work. Getting the size and shape right is infinite in its possibilities, but some pots have a certain vibrancy, life.
So the quest is on! Here are a few of the swirl cups I've made on Saturday. It was all about the twirl and how it came around the pots and remembering how to do it. The process of making these pots is time consuming and hopefully worth it. Part of what took so long was the MeTube crew that kept getting in the way and slowing things down. [I wonder if anybody is working a clay proof camera?] If I am so lucky I will have time to edit the hours of footage down to a reasonable video.
During all of the click clacking on the treadle wheel I was thinking that I've really neglected it, using it almost exclusively for cutting feet. There is a nice feel and torque on the clay and it was just right for the twirl ware.

I also reminisced about working in Mark's (Shapiro) new studio, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and making pots in MA in 1989. I thought about the Kloppenstein(?) wheel I used in college and the first potter I saw make a cup, Steve Frazier, a grad student at TN in 1985. Many things go through my mind as I work, thoughts, of course, about what I am doing with my hands. But also memories of pots, people, and places. I was thinking that "here I am, making pots and not wearing a tool belt full of nails and screws!"

With that I bid you all a fair and peaceful Sunday.