Archive for January 21st, 2009

Hope and Virtue

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

I was putting handles on mugs while listening to NPR’s coverage of the inaguration. As the new president finished his speech I shifted gears and began making 15 lb platters. I had an idea I wanted to act on. I wanted to do something to commemorate his words and my feelings on this day.
When I throw wide platters I like to place a ball of clay in the bottom after opening it to the desired width. I pound the clay while turning it to make sure it is stuck there. Then I smooth it into place with water and make it part of the bottom. This insures that the bottom is compressed and eliminates the possibility of “S” cracks in the bottom.
I pull the platter to the desired hight and leave a fairly thick rim from which to form an outer flange.
The flange is formed by pulling the clay out rather than laying the clay down. Phil Rogers in his exellent book “Throwing Pots” illustrates and explains it like this.
After the platter has set up a while but not too much I use rubber stamps to impress words into the flange. I made six of these today expressing things I felt about the inaguration.

Listening to: Windward Passage by Neil Young and the Ducks