Friday, January 20, 2012

The working part

 Thanks for the comments on the last post and the lively discussions on production or studio.
I know for the most part we all work hard at what we do. Making pottery is a taxing job to say the least. I have always thought that the best part was the turning/ throwing, the creating of the piece. Then the work comes.
After it leaves the wheel that is for me when the real work comes in.
Throwing, I will use the more current term, is a skill that takes time to develop, once developed it is up to you to see how far you would like to take it. Pushing, pulling whatever it takes.
We had some students stop in this week who were out in the area on a field trip. I was talking with them and I learned that they were Biology majors who take a course outside their field for a month. They had chosen pottery and had hand building last week and then moved into wheel work with a field trip to Seagrove.
They wanted to take pictures and talk about their plans of what they wanted to make on the wheel when they got back to school.
A lamp, a pitcher, great goals here, but what about just learning to center and making a cylinder?
Over and over and over again.
I was happy to let them explore my shop and take pictures, but I did wonder what you can make in a month. I know how long it took me to make a 6inch cylinder.
And then to make it again and again.
Pottery for a month....

We are still covered up with glaze.
Finish today, load tomorrow and fire Sunday...
On another note, lost and found Camera has come home, yeah!
Took Wednesday evening to spend time with our kids in Cary.
Now best get cracking.
M

11 comments:

Dennis Allen said...

I teach some kid's classes and it always amazes me when they talk about what they are going to make their first time on the wheel.Anyone with any proficiency at this will agree-learn the fundamentals and repeat repeat repeat....

Linda Starr said...

One of these days I'll find a used wheel and make bowls, lots of bowls and tea cups, that's what I'd like oh and a few tumblers.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

people always think what we do is easy peasy, but its like brain surgery or rocket science! Takes practice...

Tracey Broome said...

The last class I taught at the artcenter, I had a student, by class three she was asking me about craft shows and where she could sell her work! I didn't start selling my work until I had "practiced" for seven years! Even then it wasn't the best stuff. That is a big irritation for me! I say bring on the tourists, educate everyone you can about handmade crafts! Wow, I went back and read all the comments on your last post, really interesting post!

Lori Buff said...

My students who develop the fastest are the rare one's that want to practice centering until they get it right even if that takes days, then they move to the next step and practice that until they get it down well,...
Good news about the camera.

Patricia Griffin said...

A month is just about enough time to get the pottery "bug" (or passion, depending upon who you talk to!)... and then you spend the next 10, 15, 20, etc. years trying to get it right. Oh man, I can't imagine just doing it for a month.

Hollis Engley said...

There's nothing like getting on the wheel with clay for the first time to bring you down to earth. No doubt that's happened to them by now.

Gloria Evonne said...

When I took my pottery class this summer, I made myself throw 6 in. cylinders for the first two classes, just to get those skills back. No one in the class could understand why I did it, but those fundamentals get you every time.

Michèle Hastings said...

when i was taking classes at the NH Institute of Art there was a woman in the Fall semester who had been to a craft show during the summer and saw some ceramic lanterns that she loved. She QUIT her job and took the class so that she could make them and start doing shows. She had never touched clay before and after the Christmas break we never saw her again.

John Bauman said...

Heh...

There's an old joke about the kid who gets a guitar for his birthday. He immediately signs up for lessons. First week's lesson he learns the C chord. Second week he learns the G chord. Third week the teacher shows him the D chord.

Fourth week the kid is a no show. Teacher's a bit concerned. Where's the kid? So he calls him up.

Kid answers the phone and says, "Oh, sorry, I should have called. I had a gig."

I had one and a half college classes taught by a grad student (not a prof). Half way through the second semester I went to work, throwing small pieces for a local potter. I worked for him for about three of four months (the two of us throwing all day while listening to reel-to-reel tapes of old Smother's Brothers recordings.

That potter moved out of town, so within two years of my throwing my first piece, I was building my shop and selling my own pottery.

I don't recommend it as a sound footing, but I lived in a trailer and paid $25 for rent. Those trailer years I made 3000-3500 pieces a year out of an 8'X16' shed and survived.

Sometimes dreams exceed reason and we get away with it anyway.

cookingwithgas said...

Hello All- love your impute-but John you just make me laugh out loud- thanks for the chuckles and the realistic views from all of you!