Pages

Monday, August 31, 2009

I like big pots

Before I left for Penland I was taking a workshop with Susan Filley and working up to centering 10 lbs. of clay. When I got to Penland we had the first two days to throw and get some stuff made for the Raku firings. I started centering 5 lbs. then adding 5 lbs. on that, then with 8 lbs. and with Steven's help I worked up to 10 lbs. at once. I was able to get a pretty tall cylinder and a good size vase, but the clay was sooooo wet and it rained every day at some point. I could not keep anything from collapsing without using a torch and even then it wasn't great. I didn't keep anything I made, I just kept re wedging the clay and taking advantage of 24/7 uninterrupted studio time to practice throwing. I gained a lot of strength in my arms and went to yoga every morning and gained more strength in my body. It's amazing how quickly my skills improved and how strong my mind and body feel right now. I'm still trying to sort out all of the info from the workshop. I sat down to blog about it, but don't even know where to start, so this is the beginning. I'll try and see what I can come up with. Meanwhile just enjoy the slideshow!

5 comments:

jbf said...

Sounds like you had a total mind/body experience. I'm sorry it was so wet there.

I'd like to see your technique sometime. I have trouble pulling up the bottom third of large cylinders.

Linda Starr said...

Penland sounds like a wonderful place.

traceybroome@mindspring.com said...

I learned a great trick for getting that weight up from the bottom. Let me see if I can explain it: You get the cylinder as tall as you can, collar in frequently to keep it narrow, Pull the top one third, then pull the next one third(middle) and then the bottom one third. Then do a regular pull from bottom to top, use a rib to compress the clay, lighten up on the water usage.This was a light bulb moment for me and I got the tallest cylinder I have ever thrown this way. Yep, Linda, Penland is transformative, you need to go!!!

Patricia Griffin said...

Your experience sounds awesome. I think (hope!) a workshop at Penland is in my future. Loved the slideshow. Maybe I'll be walking along the "Road to Heavens Above" next summer! Yeah!

traceybroome@mindspring.com said...

Patricia: You HAVE to go to Penland. I tried to go three years ago and it didn't work out, but now I know I wasn't really ready to be there. It is a very intense experience, and I am far enough along with pottery now that it was much more meaningful for me. I hope you get to go next year, well worth it! If not Penland, Arrowmont is great as well. Actually I liked the food at Arrowmont better:)