De primera carga para sancocho en el taller “La cerámica: del diseño funcional al arte innecesario y todo lo demás”. Dentro del horno, las piezas sugieren más fragilidad.
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Turning bowls, a task ever looked forward to. I think I almost prefer trimming these forms rather than throwing them. The shape is so simple to make on the wheel with soft clay, it’s just a process of drawing the clay out to the pointer. Whereas turning the underside and creating the foot-ring is a more focused undertaking. After I turn the first bowl I place it in front of me for reference and with a pair of set calipers it’s quite straightforward turning them approximately identical again and again.
The clays condition is important, if it’s too damp the coils of clay that turn away will stick back onto the pot, instead of flinging away into the heaps that surround it. If too hard, the clay cuts away in thousands of minuscule shards, dust, and there a number of problems with this. You must apply a lot more pressure to remove the clay, which might not be too irritating at first, but after a few hours of it your wrist will hurt. The whole pot is susceptible to cracking under the pressure too, and the fine dust isn’t healthy to breathe in. It’s worth getting it just right, as too far either way makes the job much harder than it need be.
Trimming requires you to hold your turning hand very steady. Strength is key and the looped tools are held very firmly whilst working. The idea being, that if there are some wobbles in the pot, you hold steadfast enough to turn through them, to keep the pot perfectly centred. It is possible to turn pots with slightly irregular walls straight again, as long as you don’t let the clay dictate your movements. Similarly to throwing, if you hold yourself with a certain degree of steadiness, the clay must conform to the movements you subject it to. Not at all does this mean the pots you make have to be perfect forms that are cleanly thrown without any handmade touch or motion, but you have to have the control first, before you can allow yourself to do it well.
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