Tag Archives: throwing pots

Feeling the force

I feel I made a breakthrough this week throwing pots.

With great advice from Tim See I have practiced and I managed to make some pots close to the size and shape that I want to decorate.
I’ve gone from nut bowls to small vases which I feel is a bit of a breakthrough.
I even managed a slightly wonky batter bowl.
P1410743I have given much thought as to how I want to decorate my new pots, do I want to continue with decorating using overglazes and lustres following my ‘Brand’, or do I venture into new territory and use underglaze techniques?

I decided for now at least, as I’m intent on learning new stuff to try underglaze decoration so I’ve ordered some, I can always use overglazes later if I want.

Some pots are very simple in form but as I really like some of the qualities of hand built pots I decided to distort some. I just want to pick these pots up when I look at them.

P1410739My copy of Claycraft magazine arrived so I had a go at making a matching pair of mugs, this is really tricky, I kept altering each one in turn but they still aren’t a great match. Alas my pulled handles dried out too much so I just rolled these out, they are too chunky and a bit ugly but I will do better next time.
P1410742I’ve saved my best pieces ’til last. Having watched Tim’s centering video over and over, I finally got it, then he watched me throw and gave me advice how to do better ( Thanks Tim) this cylinder and bowl are the result, they didn’t need much trimming and are my best pieces so far. 15cm tall cylinder vase, 15cm wide bowl.
P1410741One thing that crossed my mind when learning centering the clay; I’ve never tried another art or craft where touch is one of the most relied on of senses. I love the tactile quality of the clay and found myself at times using my sense of touch and ‘seeing’ with my ‘inner eye’ rather than actually looking. Made me think of Star Wars….. “Luke feel the force” 🙂

My potting progress – throwing different clays

I took some of my pots out of the kiln this morning, I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about opening the kiln. Now I’m thinking one of these days the results may surpass the excitement of wondering, then I’ll know I’m getting the hang of this pottery stuff. But having said that I’m quite happy with the results considering I have had my wheel less than 2 months.

I haven’t done any throwing this week but I did have pots waiting to be fired. So far I have tried throwing 3 different clays. The first one is a Scarva ball clay which is said to be good for beginners, and it can be fired to earthenware and stoneware temperatures.

Then wanting to have a go with something different I opened a bag of heavily grogged clay, which I found out to be a tile clay. Although this clay is coarse and a little exfoliating on the hands I found I could get a pot that kept it’s shape well, I liked it.

Then I tried porcelain flax clay, which is mainly for hand building and is very, very sticky and not the best clay for throwing.

So I have some finished pots today, they are all a bit ‘wabi sabi’ but I like that, perfection is for machines 🙂 I’ll talk you through which clay is which in my photos.

Last time I met up with friends I said I’d make tapas when they next visit, so I thought it would be fun to make tapas bowls.
P1400819All of these pots except the one in the front are made from tile clay, I love the rustic look but they are really quite coarse on the base, but I have a plan, I will cold work them on my grinder.

P1400821This is my breakfast set, remember I made OH one for his birthday. It’s made from the Scarva buff ball clay but fired to vitrification. The large bowl has a few pinholes so I might fire it again. I used a mixture of a couple of celadon glazes and glazed them on the wheel.

P1400822These two pots are some of my first, they are made from Scarva ball clay. They really quite heave as they have thick bases but I love that weightiness in the hand. They feel very stable so I’m going to use these for water and some Japanese ink that my daughter gave me. This beautiful treasure of a sketchbook is made by Heather of Hilltop Bindery I love it. So now I need to make a brush rest and a brush tray to complete the set.

P1400826I’m showing this little porcelain pot from it’s best side, I think it was too soft when I trimmed it so it leans a bit. I do love these glazes, I can’t decide if I should do some more work with overglazes and platinum.


Another Scarva ball clay pot, it’s one of my thinnest pots so far, it feels like it should be a sake cup, but maybe it could be a large egg cup for a duck or goose egg, seeing it’s Easter 🙂


I have some pots in the kiln now bisque firing. I love the journey of learning new things.

Happy Easter, whatever you are doing