This month I’ve started throwing small mugs. Once I’d perfected the shape and could throw them consistently they were kept until leather hard. I spent a week throwing mugs and then the next week learning to pull handles. I found the handles hard to get right at first but after a week of forty to fifty a day they got a lot easier!
The next two weeks I spent learning to throw bowls. Learning the shape properly was difficult and required a lot of critique and feedback – the most common problem was my bowls were “too bowl-like” but after a few days they started to get there. The bowls also have to be turned (trimmed) when they are leather hard. The difficulty with this was ensuring they aren’t trimmed too thinly and to create a shape that reflects the inside of the bowls without being able to see inside.
This month we also had a visiting potter from Japan, Shinichi Miyagawa. He was with us for three weeks making pots for an exhibition in London and a talk in Paris on his family – he’s a fifteenth generation potter! On his last week he performed a traditional Japanese tea ceremony with us and gave us a brief history of ceramics in his home town and family history.
Alongside this I have also been continuing with my main task of clay reclaim, mixing glazes and glazing pots.
I also spent time after work this month working on my own pots which has been great.