Monday, March 8, 2021

Making big pots...

Water Storage Jars

Pottery is a field with a wide range of skills, and you don't have to master all of them to be a great maker of some particular ceramic objects. Sometimes it can look like two potters are masters in two different crafts. I see some techniques, shapes and finish and I really don’t have any idea how that was made. And even one skill, like throwing one the wheel, can have different focuses.

You are becoming really good at certain forms and with certain clays after repeating them hundreds of times. So it happens that even after two decades behind the wheel, I am really not so great at throwing big pieces, it always takes me a while to get into it and work with elegance and grace. After all, I am spending most of my time behind the wheel within the 0,1-1kg range, sometimes a bit more for kettles or bigger teapots. And here are the water storage jars... This is the beginning of one of my bigger water storage jars. For a ten litre jar I use ten kilos of clay. I like and enjoy very much feeling that extra weight, using forgotten and learning new techniques, listening between my fingers what the clay actually needs.


So much admiration for all those skillful potters who do huge pots, vases, jars, plates and bowls with the lightness of skilled dancers.


Here are a few of those jars fired. Woodifred to around 1300°C, tenmoku glaze inside. Outside I use either simple black glaze which, at the end of the firing cycle is partially covered with charcoal for local heavy reduction effects or tenmoku ash mixture (those brown ones on the first picture)


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