Friday, April 9, 2010

Lidded and Decorated

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I would have that day's jars lidded and decorated by evening. I took the above photo at about 8PM. Today I'll trim the bottoms and then I'll spend the afternoon throwing some porcelain (hopefully a few teapots).

In the next few days I'm dying to tell the story -- the next in my "Influential Potter Series" -- of these pots...

Anyone have any guesses as to who the potter is?


  1. Hey, how did you finish off your jars? (Somehow, "I showed you mine, now show me yours" sounds better in a different context).

  2. Your jars are amazing. I am intrigued that you trim after you decorate them...I usually do it the other way around, trim first, decorate later.

    However, after looking at your pots I think I should try it your way :)

    Your blog is a wonderful read~

  3. Hi King's Creek,

    Thanks for the kind words. I tend to decorate before I trim because most of my decorating is done in the soft clay (carving, stamping, trailing). I've had to solve the problem(s) of how to get the decoration done and still have the clay soft enough to attach handles, get the lids fitted, etc.

    I usually work my way down the pot. If I'm carving, I start at the top while the clay is too soft. I make my way down below where the handles will be attached. I then attach the handles. Then I can wait until the lower part of the jar is hard enough to carve better.

    Same with stamping. It has to be done in VERY soft clay so that I don't just get the image stamped, I get lots of distortion of the pot's wall (something I like to see) when I stamp. So I stamp when the clay is just hard enough for the stamps to not get stuck. Then I can put the handles on.

    Lots of my pottery is entirely covered with slip. When that's the case, I have to wait to even attach the handles so I don't ruin the surface. I obviously can't handle a slip-covered pot to trim it, so I have to wait on those as well

    I used to entirely cover all my pots. It's then that I got in the habit of adding handles afterward and, for instance, not pulling handles from pitchers or mugs, but merely pulling and then attaching them.

  4. John, thanks for the explanation. So, you are altering your pots before they are leather hard, yes? It's funny how habits get started. I learned, oh so many years ago, a process: trim- then handle and it never occurred to me that I could do it otherwise!(big duh moment) I am excited to try something different and see if it will work with what I do on my pots.

    I'll also keep an eye out to see if you ever do a workshop here in the Northeast so I can see the process in person!

    Thanks again~