26 Sep 14

Hand throwing narrow shapes

If you’ve placed an order over the last couple of weeks you’ll probably know I’ve been spending some time away from the studio. I’m now back and currently working through orders, if your curious about the status of your order just get in touch!

Every now and then you get a request for a bespoke piece that’s technically quite difficult. Now throwing narrow tube shapes might not seem difficult but there are a number of pitfalls, for this reason it’s not something I do very often and I’ve only gotten better at it over a long period of time.

The main problem with these tube shapes especially when they’re tall is getting the clay out of the base. you have to get the clay moving upwards very quickly to get the thickness moving from the bottom. This can disturb the ‘orbit’ of the piece so thinning and evening out the thickness rapidly is important.

Getting your hand inside is also difficult to do and as the pot grows you really need to collar it in which can cause twisting. Having small hands is a real benefit for doing something like this! If the tube needs to be a narrower diameter than you can squeeze your hand inside a wooden hook is needed to create a throwing pressure on the inside of the pot to draw the clay upwards.

This in itself is quite tricky since throwing without feeling the pressure of your fingertips is awkward, you can’t get a feel for the pot at all. When throwing these tubes I also used a large throwing rib to try and get a really crisp straight edge. I made these purposefully quite thick so that any bulges or bumps can be removed through turning them once they dry out. It’ll be interesting to see these complete!

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