Sunday, November 9, 2008

I don't know... 100? -Clay Math-

Remember the 100 cups challenge? I did it! Well, almost. I consider it a success because if I wasn't living on the schedule of the bus, it would have been just right. I wedged 100 balls of clay on Thursday, using up all the high fire porcelain, Dover stoneware, and mutt stoneware I had in the studio, plus 20 balls of the new Aspen (cone 5-6) porcelain. On Friday I got right to work at 9 a.m. throwing basic cup forms. The first few were a bit sketchy, but I was into a nice rhythm within the hour. I averaged 5 min/cup at first, then stopped checking the clock for a while, but towards the end I think it was around 1-3 min. each. I took several breaks for stretching and walked a mile to get lunch, which felt really good after sitting in that cramped position. At one point my knee was hurting for a while, and towards the end my wrists hurt, but overall I wasn't terribly uncomfortable and with some stretching and moving around I felt just fine. I had considered throwing standing for the first half of the day, but I tried it on Thursday & it felt too awkward and still uncomfortable. I'm sure I would've been far from 100 if I had tried standing Friday, but I'll give it another go one of these days.

So how many did I throw? 92 balls - 5 flops = 87 cups ready to be trimmed Monday. If I didn't have to leave 20 minutes short of 5:00 to catch the bus, I'm sure I would've used up all 100 balls. Woo hoo! And I still have my finger prints. Though I have noticed ever since professor Tim pointed out that a small part of my right index fingernail has been filed away somehow from throwing, in the same spot he's noticed on his nail. Good thing we have fingernails, eh? So now I know, if I'm ever in a crunch or I need to make a boat load of cups for any reason, I can do it. And that feels good :)


potrron said...

That is a feel good moment to set a goal and do it. Some things that might help you make this kind of throwing a norm, if that is what you want. Throw directly off the wheel head or a bat that is fixed for the entire session. Keep a towel over your leg to clean your fingertips for taking each cup off the wheel head and onto a board. I hope this can help.

Erin said...

Thank you for the tip! Sometimes I make a mess of the pot when I take it right off the wheel with my fingers, but I tried it yesterday and it worked alright. It helped if I left the bottom a little thicker than usual - I didn't squish them as much.

Ceramics Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory