Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Big Challenge

Since starting to throw pots about eight years ago I've always preferred making smaller pieces. I felt more intimately connected to a cup or bowl then some giant vase or platter. When I was first learning it was also very frusterting to put so much time into a larger piece and have it fail where as with a smaller piece I could have more opportunities for success. I was also a bit annoyed by the macho attitude surrounding "throwing big" it seemed that people became so fixated on making bigger pieces that quality went out the window. During the time I worked as a production assistant I focused on throwing dozens of mugs or bowls so making bigger items fell off my to do list.

However, recently, while trying to develop my own line of work I've noticed the lack of larger pieces is affecting my sales and making my display look anemic. I've also been feeling a bit bored with making smaller pieces and am ready for challenge. So I've challenged my self to make items using 4 or more pounds of clay through the winter. This may not sound like a lot of clay to some potters but for me it is! I'm not setting any specific guide lines for what I'm going to make or setting any timeline. I'm just going to only practicing bigger pieces until I feel more comfortable with that size. I'm going to slowly increase the amount of clay I use for each type of piece and see how far I can get. I want to maintain my usual level of quality but I'm also ready to accept that this goal will take time. Right now, I'm focusing on large vases and platters but over time I'd like to develop lidded vessels, baskets, pitchers and many more things. Though my true love will probably remain with smaller items I am excited to stretch my wings and try something new. Photos to follow soon!


  1. Four pounds is about my max too, and I know what you mean about the anemic display look. It's something I want to work on too. One thing I tried, after watching a video, is centering in parts- I think I centered 3 or 4 lb's, flattened it to a domed, thick pancake, then centered a few more lb.s on top of that. It worked. I don't remember where I came across that video, though.