I recently attended a workshop taught by Helen Charles on handbuilding large vessels. The workshop was offered by the Gold Coast Potters Association with Lynette Rogers as the convenor. Short version: IT WAS AWESOME!!!!
I never actually WANTED to hand build GIANT POTS! I am a thrower!
But when I saw the offering, I signed up! I really didn’t think much about what I wanted to make and there in lies the problem! I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to make!
So I quickly made a drawing on the back of the workshop handout!
Once we had decided on what we wanted to make, we then had to MEASURE the drawing! Cripes! Maths! Hate math! But…I did it! By multiplying each measurement by an increment (I did 3), the final pot will be, say 3 times, as large as the drawing. Works like a champ!
And…that is ONE of the secrets to successful large pot building! We had to measure each step of the way and then correct if we were off course.
The other secret was to use BRT-a groggy raku clay that didn’t need slipping or scoring!
The final secret is to dry the pot as you are building it with a gas burner. This permits you to work more quickly and the pot can sustain the weight of each addition of clay.
The pot is built by rolling out coils, then flattening them with a rolling pin. These are then attached to the pot.
Blog Tip: On any of these small pics, just click on them and it takes you to a larger pic and then it will run a slide show of the pics in that group.
Here is my pot and the progression of building it:
Ultimately, I had to have the MASTER!!! help me out as it had gotten off course!
Helen is a genius and helped me re-engineer my pot. She also SAVED!! several other pots!
Here are all the pots at the halfway point:
Here are pots in progress:
Here are pots being presented and critiqued by Helen and the group:
Helen Charles class is awesome! I highly recommend it!
One of the most enviable students was a total newbie to clay, Camilla.
She built the most amazing large bowl! I told her that she should be very proud of herself as most people’s first pot is an ash tray (at best!). In fact, that is what I want to make next! A great big bowl.
So I went to Picasso’s Ceramics and Brad loaded me up some BRT!!!
Pot on, my pretties!
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