Thursday, June 19, 2014
Summer has come to town
He brings with him his good friends heat and humidity who are those guys that put their feet on the furniture, empty the refrigerator, drink all your beer and then stay up late.
We all remember the winter and the promise of no complaints about the summer heat...can we keep that promise? We do love to complain about the weather.
Mark and I have decided to work on more of the carved vases. I have at least a dozen in the drying stages. We are trying some in the red clay body that I use for tiles. Those I plan to glaze pretty much as I would a tile. I am looking forward to seeing the results.
Then I have 4 that I worked on yesterday in a white stoneware, B-mix, that are going in the gas kiln. More thought into glazing those...
The last round all went through the gas kiln with pretty good results. I have a few things to play with in my mind, when they are fired I will bring them back for review.
Ah, sweet rewards.
I am seeing some real results. I have tried to build skills in them and take them to another level in their throwing. Last week it was exciting to watch as the bowls rolled out of their hands one after another. The other thing that pleases me is the ability to look at the pots at the end of the week and have then decide what they are keeping and what goes back in the slop bucket. They are doing what I think all good production potters do; they are learning skill and an eye to what is a good pot. Rather than the motto of; just good enough.
Goals, never be 100% satisfied, can you do it better?
I'm working hard to help, step back, but only be a step away when needed. I am also working on flow,as in, when to make something when you only have 3 days of class and a very efficient air condition system. How to cover and treat the thrown pots since the air can dry them out overnight. I am amazed at the amount of plastic grocery bags and have hunted down bigger sheets of heavy plastic to make damp boxes out of carts using clothes pins.
Teaching making is only one step to learn, teaching the students how to handle the wet and dry is harder. Teaching what has become second nature makes me think about how incorporated clay becomes in our lives. The question of how long did it take you to make that always takes me back. The making, throwing of the piece, might not take all that long once you master the skills, but those countless hours that it took you to get there are hard to explain to a person.
There is a point where potters make their work look effortless, it is from a dedication to the clay and what they want the clay to do. Sure we all make a pot once in awhile that we look back on and say, what was I thinking, where was I going...?
And, we all start somewhere.