Monday, September 28, 2009

Larger than life

You may recall a few posts back and a few countries away, I tried a tall vase. You may remember it as my flop of a large pot? Things change when you have a teacher. Seth threw three large pots a while ago. They are subtle, graceful curves, springing up from their bases and coming in at the neck for a high shoulder and proportioned mouth.

Some potters throw big pots like this with one hunk of clay. They strain themselves to do this and usually wear muscle tees to show it. Others will do as I tried before and add coils. Rather than throwing with coils, Seth throws his large vases in sections.

He threw three bases on bats. Oh boy, that may sound like gibberish to some of you! If you don't know pottery, you have either just imagined a bunch of baseball items thrown around or some ugly black flying things that come out at night. Lets try again. Seth turned a large amount of clay on the wheel in the shape of a wide, tall walled cylinder. The cylinder is slightly wider at the top in order to start the gradual curve of a tall vase. He made three of these bottoms (for three different pots). Then, measuring with calipers, he threw donuts (bottomless) to the width of the base he just threw. And to finish it off, he threw another bottomless form that looks like a bowl on a pedestal which is the top of the vase up side down. Just think about that for a minute and try to envision it. The pot at the top left might help. If you divide that in three even pieces and turn them upside down, you've got it.

I was keen to give it a shot after seeing it and was
relatively successful on my first go! The shape lacks the graceful quality of a more experienced potter but that will come with each large pot I throw ... because there will be more!


  1. how do you connect the three pieces? just scoring and slip...?

  2. Nice pot, way to go!!! I'm thinking you will need to come and visit us at GCC and demo!!!!!

  3. Congrats! that's a big step, and so exciting that you can see your own improvement :)

  4. Congrats on your first big pot! It looks about as tall as Hudson!
    Can't wait to see you when you get home!

  5. I love that you look so happy -- what a chance of a lifetime!

  6. Thanks for all of the comments.

    Kathy, I would LOVE to do that... how much do you pay?! :)

    Jina, Hudson is THAT tall now? oh boy!

    Abby, the three pieces are connected by throwing a groove in the top rim of one piece and a ridge on the top rim of the other. When you turn the ridged piece over, it should fit into the groove. Then you push the outer and inner clay of the groove up and throw the entire section. Did that make sense? In the pottery slide show there is a picture of Seth´s fingers doing it.