For my challenge I had decided that I was going to learn how to throw pots; this is because I have never had the chance and opportunity to do so, I have always wanted to learn how to throw pots and now I finally get the chance. Mrs Egan helped me start off by showing me how to set up the wheel and how to use it, she then showed me some techniques witch was very useful because I didn't have a clue where to start. My first try didn't come out so well because this was after all my first time trying to throw pots, I found that if you don't keep adding water the clay seems to dry up and stick to your hands as the wheel is spinning, also that you have to be very careful while making the whole in the middle of the pot because your fingers can slip and you can ruin your pot, this happened to me on my first go. Here is a picture of my first attempt - Week One
I think I added to much water to this one because it was very soggy and kept on collapsing
Techniques I have learned Here I am centring the clay onto the wheel this this important because the clay can spin off or not stick properly. Bowl of clean water, you have to make sure the water doesn't get to dirty otherwise your just mixing in bits of clay to your clay on the wheel. A sponge to clean the wheel and also to sponge the pot as your spinning it. The wheel. An apron to keep your clothes from getting dirty. Equipment
Techniques I have learned Here I have centred the clay and I am now trying to get a basic shape of a pot; When you are throwing a pot you have to push and pull the clay up and down to get rid of any air bubbles there might be in the clay, this is so that when you fire the pot it wont break in kiln. This takes some time because this also builds the basic shape of the pot as well as getting rid of air bubbles.
Techniques I have learned Here I am trying to make the whole in the middle of the pot wider, so it could fit things inside it. This is very difficult because bits of clay kept on ripping off and the amount of clay I had on the wheel was getting smaller, however I still tired to achieve a pot of some sort. You can also see my arms are very still and steady, to do this you have to have a lot of upper body strength and your arms tend to ache after a while, but I found if you keep your elbows and forearm flat on your thighs this makes it easier to control because you only want to be moving your hands and your figures.
Techniques I have learned Although I tried my best, in the end my pot didn't turn out how I wanted it to, I accidentally pushed down to hard on the top of the clay while the wheel was spinning and my figures slipped into the pit causing it to cave in on itself. Next time I will be more careful with how much water I am using on the pot while its on the wheel so it wont be so soggy and easily breakable, I have also learned to not put so much pressure on the top half of the pot as this can make it very thin and then it can break easily.
In my second week I put the things I have learned to practise; I took in all the things I had been taught and I tried doing it by myself, it was difficult at first but I soon managed to get something done. I set up me wheel and prepared my clay and I used all the techniques I had learned last week to the test, to see if I could do it by myself. My first few tired didn't come out so well because I was nervous because I had no one to tell me if I was doing it wrong or right like I did before, I practised my throwing and I think I have improved a lot since my first week, I didn't add so much water and I kept the wheel very slow and steady and I didn't get distracted. Week 2
Improvements This is the second pot I made after correcting all of my mistakes from my first attempt My third attempt came out looking like some sort of ash tray or bowl; but still I thought it looked quite nice. The inside of my first pot, I surprisingly got it really smooth inside by using my thumbs to smooth it down as it was spinning on the wheel. This pot came out quite interesting, it wasn't meant to have the dip in the middle that was a mistake I did when I was on the wheel, my thumb accidentally slipped into the pot and made this dent, I liked it though sort of looks like a milk jug or something simular. Week 2
After firing the pots in the kiln; I tried painting them different colours , after this they would be fired again and come out all shiny and smooth. On this pot I tired creating a flower pattern, the colours seem light but once it has been fired again the colours will be much darker and more shiny.
Week 3 - 4 Week 3 – 4 I had to find a tutor to tutor me on how I can improve what I am already doing; I met up with my tutor Alice on a Thursday afternoon and we discussed my techniques I've learned so far, she said that I have the right idea but she would like to teach me the proper way to throw pots. And I also researched the history of pottery and found out some interesting facts about old tribes who used to create masks out of clay. And I researched a very interesting artist called Vicki Harding and I looked at her pots and she inspired me to make bigger and better pots.
Vicki Hardin, an established clay artist, she has worked in clay for the last twenty one years producing raku and pit fired pottery; garnering national and regional attention and praise for her work. She has shown throughout the southwest region, extensively in Texas, where she maintains her studio, Clay Art Pottery, home and family. Her pottery is currently on view across the region at the Eden Gallery in Wichita Falls and at her studio. In 1984 she established Clay Art Pottery at the Chicken Farm Art Center in San Angelo, where she continues to maintain a studio and gallery space. Vicki Hardin
History Of Pottery It is believed that the earliest pottery wares were hand-built and fired in bonfires. Firing times were short but the peak-temperatures achieved in the fire could be high, perhaps in the region of 900 °C, and were reached very quickly. Clays tempered with sand, grit, crushed shell or crushed pottery were often used to make bonfire-fired ceramics because they provided an open-body texture that allows water and other volatile components of the clay to escape freely. The coarser particles in the clay also acted to restrain shrinkage within the bodies of the wares during cooling which was carried out slowly to reduce the risk of thermal stress and cracking. In the main, early bonfire-fired wares were made with rounded bottoms to avoid sharp angles that might be susceptible to cracking. The earliest intentionally-constructed kilns were pit-kilns or trench-kilns--holes dug in the ground and covered with fuel. Holes in the ground provided insulation and resulted in better control over firing.
he earliest-known ceramic objects are Gravettian figurines such as those discovered at Dolni Vestonice in the modern-day Czech Republic. The Venus of Dolní Věstonice (Věstonická Venuše in Czech) is a Venus figurine, a statuette of a nude female figure dated to 29,000–25,000 BCE (Gravettian industry). The earliest pottery vessel found to date was excavated from the Yuchanyan Cave in southern China and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2009 reports that the ware dates back to 18,000 years ago.