Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tres Balls

The pieces were too wet for trimming last night. I pulled them out of the damp box, removed the plastic, and let them sit out for an hour to promote drying.

I threw three more of the ball shapes. Each one starts as a lump of clay about the size of a tangerine (or a jing char siu bau). Center the clay, open it up, raise the walls to a few inches, then collar the piece in. As the neck narrows, the rim goes ragged, so I trim it with my needle tool.

I collar until I have a small opening, then use a rib to define the square corner between the ball and the short stem that the opening is in. I also use the needletool to make the hole perfectly circular.

I use a concave rib to shape the outside of the piece, and make it more spherical. This can also involve gouging out clay that formed the base of the cylinder wall against the wheel head, and then using the rib to continue the curve of the exterior into the gouge.

I use the edge of a rib to put three concentric circles around the stem, stop the wheel, and do a one handed lift to a board for drying.

I have a page of notepaper where I sketched fifteen or so variations of what I could do with the ball shape, drawn months ago, and I'll choose three for implementation. Some are carved, like turbines, some have faces and ears, some are just statements of glazing effects.


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