Monday, March 30, 2009

Throwing Standing Up

Tom's Pots

Tom made some nice pots today with beautiful forms. The color of this clay is so rich and lucious. Tom and Delia brought their Shimpo wheel over and we set up a platform to set the Shimpo on. That way we could do some throwing standing up outside in the shade. We cleared the leaves under the willow tree beside the studio, put some ground cover cloth down, and then put a piece of plywood on the ground to make a stable 'floor' for the wheel. Then we stacked six cinder blocks two high to make a stable table to put the shimpo on. We even used a level.

Tom Trimming Pots Standing Up

Tom ended up using some surgical gloves when he went to trim his pots. This clay has so much iron in it, it really stains your hands. I purchased this clay to hand build and it has grog added, so is a bit rough to throw with. I think this clay will hold up well in a barrel or pit firing. As Tom was trimming the pots a lot of the grog was coming to the surface at the bottom of the pots. We were joking about the pots being half and half pots. I like the look of the half rough and half smooth surfaces.

Delia Admiring Jupiter's Beard
(see the weeding tool in her hand)

We decided to use this Cone 5 clay I had because I can bisque it here and then hopefully get one more barrel and perhaps a pit firing in before the hot weather and fire season comes in May. While Tom was trying out the SRFG red stoneware clay, Delia and Gary were pulling some weeds. A good husband and good friends, how lucky I am.

Semi Fem Bud Vase

Meanwhile I was in the studio finishing a couple of hand built pieces I was working on before they got here today. I spent a little time smoothing the edges of this flat bottle form I finally made from a drawing in my journal. The photo doesn't show, but it is almost flat as a pancake with an opening just large enough for one stem, a Semi Fem Bud Vase.

Vine Textured Pitcher

Then when my vine textured slab stiffened up a bit, I made the Vine Textured Pitcher and put on a handle. We were supposed to go in and have a late lunch and I didn't think about the handle before I built it. I think I like the size, but don't like the attachments. I plan on studying handles to see how they're attached, so hopefully I can make mine more appealing and complementary to the form.

Later we all went in to have a late lunch. Sorry I didn't take any photos, but we had a chicken salad, Manchego cheese, Caribbean papaya, mango, and some roasted eggplant dip Delia made. I can't remember the name of it, but it was really delicious. Oh, and we put the eggplant on bread Tom made. We had some wine too. Then we all went outside again and trimmed pots, cleaned up and talked about our pottery.

Now that I've got a wheel set up here at arm height, I'm going to try throwing standing up. The rose is Joseph's Coat, a climber which changes colors as it opens. Up next I'll tell you about our day trip to the Carrizo Plain on Saturday.


  1. i frequently think about throwing standing up because i think it would be better for my back but haven't made the leap... did it seem strange?

  2. Never tried it hummmmm standing up? Hey Linda love the leaves on the side bar. Very cool!

  3. Hi Jim, I didn't get to try it except a short time, because our friends were on the wheel, but it is their wheel, so I can't complain, they left it here for us to use.

    Hi Mary, thanks about the leaves. My back is so bad that standing up is the only way I could throw now. I'll be practicing this week.

  4. Wow - sounds like a great little workshop! I've been throwing standing up since last fall which I like for the most part, unless I'm tired. Then all I want to do is sit down. I think I have better form standing up and it's much easier on my back.

    I planted Jupiter's Beard a couple of years ago - great for dry climates like Colorado, but mine won't be blooming till June!

  5. Oh, you've got a standing up wheel to try out! I hope you like it. Do you plan to use it outside? What good friends. I never knew that Jupiter's Beard was the name of that plant. One wandered into my yard on its own a few years ago and now there are many.

  6. Hi Cynthia, what height do you put your wheel? At elbow height? Jupiters Beard does reseed itself, but I like it. I have pink but would like some white too.

    Hi Barbara, yes aren't they good friends, we are so lucky. We have the wheel set up outside, from now on we will have great weather, even in summer the mornings are nice enough to throw outside and all that clay can just fling itself wherever it wants. Yes Jupiters Beard reseeds itself, the one Delia is looking at reseeded last year there and is already 3 foot square at the base of the wisteria. If blocks out the weeds fairly well though which I like since I can't do much weeding any more.


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