Written by June Ridgway in Work in Progress | 18-03-2014
Several days have gone by since I began coiling this group of pots. The photos here are of about 5 days ago. Work can be fairly continuous as long as the shapes hold their shape. Usually find that after a couple of rows of clay on the wider forms work should be halted to allow everything to stiffen up. The narrower, taller forms can be pushed to 4 rows and then left to start work on the next pot in the line.
Many people, especially those of the throwing persuasion will be shouting ‘why doesn’t she put a lump of clay on the wheel and throw the shape… 5 minutes job done!!!’ Have often thought this and indeed have thrown the odd pot or two but you see it is just not the same. I regard much of what I do with the pots/vessels that you see here as being sculpted; I love and feel more comfortable with this process of adding clay then scraping down the until reaching the required thickness; laborious as it may seem.
Here are some of the tools I use. The small thin pronged implement in the centre of the photo is a fairly recent discovery. It is used for slicing the stiffened rim of the pot prior to adding the next fresh coil. Water is added with a brush and the clay is then thoroughly chopped and mashed with the thin slithers of metal that comprises this fork like tool. Before, I used just a knife which with a single blade obviously took longer. Bought said tool at the Ceramic Festival in Aberystwyth made and sold by the Chinese.
I have some old metal kidney scrapers that you can’t seem to buy anymore; the gauge of metal just isn’t the same. They are just fabulous to pare down the inside and outside of the form.
The aggressive surform is handy if you want to take out a good deal of thickness from a form: though I have often got carried away with the effectiveness of it nearly going through the wall of the vessel.
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