A Potter’s Workbook by Clary Illian

By Clary Illian

In A Potter's Workbook, popular studio potter and instructor Clary Illian offers a textbook for the hand and the brain. Her goal is to supply how to see, to make, and to consider the kinds of wheel-thrown vessels; her details and proposal clarify either the mechanics of throwing and completing pots made easily at the wheel and the foundations of fact and wonder coming up from that conventional method.

Each bankruptcy starts off with a chain of routines that introduce the foundations of fine shape and reliable forming for pitchers, bowls, cylinders, lids, handles, and each different possible practical form. targeting utilitarian pottery created at the wheel, Illian explores sound, vigorous, and economically produced pottery varieties that mix an invitation to aware appreciation conveniently of use. Charles Metzger's extraordinary pictures, taken less than excellent studio stipulations, completely supplement her energetic text.

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Extra resources for A Potter’s Workbook

Example text

If you could cut the pots into cross sections, you would notice that there are variations in thickness throughout the walls. These variations contribute a more complex linear quality akin to the brush strokes of Japanese calligraphy with their clear, accented beginnings, middles, and endings and their movements from thick to thin (figure 45). Variations in thickness within the walls of a pot also contribute sculptural complexity. The walls of each pot are made up of a stack of shapes that have interest in themselves.

The pace and vigor of throwing can introduce repeated shape increments within the walls of the pot. One potter’s gesture could resemble lenses; another’s would appear knobbed at each end like thigh bones; another’s might look like teardrops. Gesture with its upward spiral is one of the configurations that tells the story of the wheel and the hands working in time to overcome the force of gravity. It can act alone or as a sort of subtext to the variations of wall thickness caused by the need for reinforcement.

If the rim is to have a separate shape, it is obviously even more important to fashion it early in the process. Useful interior space is the very definition of a good bowl, and in my experience the final adjustment of the inner curve is an elusive and exacting task. The pot always seems to need yet another pass to plump out the curve and firm up the dynamic flow. 51 52 b ow l s Which curve should you choose? The chapter exercise recommended simple, open curves, but our discussion should touch upon the full range of choices.

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