January 20, 2009


Here are a few of the cups that I've been working on the last couple of days drying by the woodstove, in hopes that they will be ready and there will be space in Courtney's kiln by weeks end. It's been great to make pots in the shop with wood heat. It's been a long time since I've had the pleasure of being absolutely cold waiting for the fire to get going in the morning and on the other end realizing that it was so hot that I needed to open a door! Ahhhh. I'm not complaining.

the tea bowl chuck
'apres' Stonepool
I also wanted to share with you the "chuck" I am using to cut the feet on my swirl/twirl cups/yunomi. I got this idea from Mark Shapiro, who has probably made a gazillion teabowls over the years. I remember the hundreds we would load into every kiln load at Stonepool.

The center dosen't really support the cup, but, instead, keeps it from flying of the wheel if it comes loose from it's clay moorings. Ideally the clay pad is soft enough and the rim size of the cups are relatively the same size and a little trench emerges as you use it. Unfortunately it also dries a little bit as you go on. I just go back and re-wet it from time to time. Since all of the cups were of varying sizes I had to make my chuck to fit the average size.

Like many of these pottery processes, cutting the feet, getting good balance, visual and otherwise, is hard to get without repeating the cycle a few times. Just as in throwing each new pot gets you closer to an ideal, cutting these feet was a little disappointing, and I wish I had thrown a few, then trimmed a few to get all the notes right the next time around. I threw all of these cups before i had trimmed a single one. Doing the swirl added a complication. Since the swirl is essentially inlay, trimming away the feet cut most of the inlay away. I tried leaving the outside untoached in some cases, but I wasn't exactly happy with the weight, etc. So decisions had to be made, heads did roll, or something like that. Anyway, to the drying unit and hopefully bisquing and glazing in the days to come.