Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Teapots and Tools
Before we left California to move East I was thinking of what to make for the Clay and Blogs show which Meredith Heywood of Whynot Pottery invited me to, thanks Meredith. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and meeting Meredith and Mark Heywood and all the other potters I had conversed with for years via my blog. Check out Meredith's blog for some new pots she just snapped some photos of.
Anyway for the show I thought about making a teapot. I made a few sketches of an idea I had and told myself I'd make a teapot when I got to the East Coast and was moved into a new home. When we got here I couldn't find my sketches in any of my clay journals. I looked high and low and no teapot sketches were to be found anywhere. I knew I had sketched three teapots in a rough pyramid shape; so I decided to build a teapot from memory. That's the teapot I built above which sold at the show.
We've slowly been going through all our closets, paperwork and the treasure bus organizing, tossing, donating, selling etc. I had a few notebooks I kept by the desk in California for the lavender farm with orders, farm notes, etc. I flipped through a couple of them and decided I didn't need them any longer. As I was flipping through I came across the drawing above. No wonder I couldn't find my sketches of the teapots in my clay journal, they were in my lavender farm notebook.
I learned how to hand build by butting my seams together. About a year ago I learned of a bevel cutting tool. The idea is to slide the wire alongside the edge of the clay and it cuts the clay in a nice bevel shape. With two pieces of clay cut in this manner and put together the seam matches up very neatly. After all these years I finally splurged on a bevel cutting tool. What a difference my seams are going to make. I tried this tool yesterday for a cart I made and the seams are hardly noticeable. Since money is tight I sometimes feel guilty about spending money on clay supplies, but this was money well spent. One side has a wire with a 45 degree angle and the other side has a wire with either a 60 or 30 degree angle. I think I'll make a few more teapots and use my new bevel tool. I have cut seams with a needle tool on a bevel, but this tool makes the cuts more even. This tool is going to help me improve my building skills. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.