Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nic Collins and Flopsy Pots

Nic Collins -

I am in awe at how quickly and simply potters like this work, especially after times like tonight in the studio - I was terrible! I'm not sure why. I was on a roll making basically the same thing during the throw-a-thon last week, but tonight I attempted 10 large cups, with a big pile of flops and only 3 standing in the end. I was out of it. Maybe it was the clay - I decided to try some new clay, "half & half" ... I don't even know what the two halves are! It's quite groggy and I thought I could get it pretty thin. It's thin, but not any more so than throwing with porcelain. So I've decided to just go wth the porcelain next time. So what if it costs more? I like it!

What kind of clay do you use? Do you have trouble when you switch clay bodies?


Brian said...

I usually do have an adjustment whenever I switch clays. One of the biggest 'mistakes' I made just starting out was trying a bunch of different clays. It wasn't until I picked one and stuck with it that I improved my skills much. I mostly use smooth white ^6 stoneware, Little Loafers if I can get it.
I think 50/50 is usually half porcelain, half white stoneware - supposed to be 'easier' than straight porcelain, but sounds like you've mastered the real deal!

Erin said...

It really makes sense to pick one and stick with it. There's a few potters at the guild that use several different clays and it just drives me nuts to be using all these different ones. So much simpler to have one.

This clay I'm using feels quite coarse & is more grey than I'd expect for half porcelain/half stoneware, but I have no idea. I've certainly gotten used to using porcelain - I love how smooth it is! The only other clay bodies I would consider now are smooth light colored stonewares like Biz Bod, Bmix, or Dover.

Carter said...

Up until just a few years ago I used to commit my first 3 or 4 lumps of clay in any throwing session to 'warm up exercises', giving myself a low pressure chance to acclimate to the clay and the process. I am mostly over that need now, but switching clay bodies can still be challenging. We recently did a throwathon where I teach using super soft reclaim and I was extremely dissatisfied that my first several came out dumpy and heavy. Probably should have given myself a few to warm up on.... Anyway, when ever my students are having a hard time with results or lacking in confidence for what ever reason, I often suggest something like a warm up exercise so there is no pressure on the results. It takes the burden off expectations and allows them to relax and learn what they need to be doing. Likewise when I teach them new and challenging techniques or forms I suggets that they concentrate on learning the new basics without stressing over whether it is as thin as they normally would make it. Master the new technique/form and then concentrate on the finished results. It is amazing how much you have to prepare when all you want to do is jump right in there and have immediate success. Good luck!

Erin said...

Thanks for the advice Carter! I've heard of several artists doing warm up exercises and I think it's a great idea... I've just never made a point to do it. It would probably be a good thing for me though :)

Ceramics Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory