Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Its ok to blame the clay

I started throwing again this week. I just picked up a new porcelain body from Sheffield - wow what a difference. I try not to blame my problems on my surroundings, but this is an exception. All of my frustrations this past year were the clay's fault. I blame the clay. It sucked. 

I went through several clays this year, each one was an improvement from the former. First I tried two different recipes, homemade, non pugged stuff. Very very difficult to throw with. So being crunched for time, I bought a bunch Elaine Coleman's porcelain from Sheffield, which was highly recommended. Don' 

It threw beautifully but was such a disaster drying and attaching. So yadda yadda yadda, long story short, only 50% of what I threw ended up making it through the final glaze firing. 

Now I just picked up 100 lbs of a different porcelain (forget the name) and as I said earlier, wow. No issues. Dries evenly, throws beautifully, handles gracefully, and attaches marvelously. Really though, I never thought I'd enjoy throwing like I used to, but now there is hope.

I've always felt that blaming the clay is a copout. Skilled throwers should be able to use any clay successfully.  But, seeing the exponential increase in productivity and success in the last couple of days, proves to me that it is not, in fact, a copout. The numbers speak truth. 100% success rate (aside from my own mistakes: cup flies off the wheel, too thin of a bottom, etc), compared to 50% success rate.

Much anxiety has been lifted tonight. I'm one happy potter. 

A new mug form inspired by a reoccurring mug on Arrested Development

Simpler mug forms in the works. New surface ideas are developing with new forms!

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