Just a few pictures

A wonderful, long time customer of my father's dropped in on her vacation all the way from Vancouver, and even brought some of my old pieces she bought throughout the years. The first bowl is one of my father's I decorated, probably around when I was 5 or 6 I think. There's also a picture of Ayano's flowers and kitty waiting to be bisqued, me throwing some vases, and my father and I cleaning our work and getting ready to glaze. I start the firing in an hour or so, so this is my last break before another marathon 16 hours :s


How I make my faceted bowls

So these bowls are a labour of love for me. They're a little off, skewed and asymmetrical, but that's part of the joy and beauty in them. And they are a pleasure to make, since I surrender a lot of control and intention, and let the clay and the wheel take the lead. Sometimes if I cut too deep, they will rip and break, sometimes if I don't cut deep enough, they remain static and lifeless. But when I get it just right, the bowl has a very unique, dynamic flow and feel, and it just makes me happy. So, here in brief, is how I make them.

First, I start with a normal cylinder, as if I was making any other form, bowl, cup, etc. But I leave it thicker than normal, giving me room to cut off pieces with a piece of fishing line.

I'll continue cutting pieces off, not worrying too much if they're exactly the same, all around the piece. Having different thicknesses will cause the bowl to warp and 'move' later.

Now I begin to open the bowl gently with a metal rib. If I go too quickly or roughly, it will break the walls and ruin the piece. I want to push the clay outwards, forcing it to change. You can see how the lines warp and move because of this.

Now the bowl is fully opened. The hardest part is getting a nice smooth line on the inside. Because I have to make the cylinder so tall in the beginning, it's really pushing the clay far from the center, which can sometimes make a nice rounded bowl form difficult. This one wasn't too bad.

And finally, the finished form. Like I said, these aren't all that difficult technically, but I love them since they're something I discovered on my own, and they have a wonderful feel to them. I was reflecting on this while watching a video of Warren MacKenzie throwing, and he said that each pot should have something unique about it, so that every time you pick it up, you're learning something about it. So this is how I infuse a little of myself into my work, and make it fun for me to do. A good form, that's nice to use, and makes you smile when you use it, that's all a potter can ask for.

Making some sake cups

Here's a video of me making two sake cups, throwing off "the hump". This just means I'm using one large piece of clay to throw a lot of small pieces, rather than cutting the clay into individual chunks. It saves time and can be a lot easier, although I do find, for me, since I'm not used to it, that it's hard to establish the 'bottom' of the piece and that judging exactly how much clay to pull with takes a lot of practice. Anyways, these pieces are for some friends of mine, so I thought I'd share how they are made :)


here's the url if you can't see the video below: