Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Big Bowl Week!

Several months into my wheel throwing practice, I was frustrated by the lopsided-ness of pieces. I was aware that my initial centering of the clay wasn't perfect, which became really obvious, especially once I started throwing bigger pieces.  I scoured the internet looking for tips and suggestions on how to improve centering skills, and came across one video in particular that changed the way I centered my clay on the wheel. Tim See did a series of nice videos on wheel throwing basics.  Help! I can't center is the one that I found extremely useful.  It addressed several issues I was having as I centered my clay and helped me figure out how to change the position of my hands and how I was stabilizing my arms to actually center correctly.  Magical!

Fast forward another six months into my practice and I finally could successfully center and throw larger pieces that were no longer lopsided!  Woohoo!  This coincided very well with some big bowl demonstrations by Josh during class.  I started with a few 4-pound balls of clay and threw several nice big bowls.  Getting braver, I tried 5 lbs, then 6.  Success!  Between the Monday class and open studio on Wednesday, I managed to use up an old bag of  clay and completely use up a new 25 lb block of clay in 10 bowls.  And most of those bowls were BIG!  It was awesome.

And since I mentioned using videos to improve my throwing skills, here's my pottery playlist on YouTube.  A handy way to remember new techniques or ideas for new pieces.