Friday, February 15, 2013

Working With Clay

There is something amazing about working with clay.  While I am far from proficient at throwing, I have in my ceramics class which is based on firing in an anagama kiln later this spring, been working on hand building pieces.  This is the second clay body I have worked with, and its already teaching me a lot.  I never realized that different clay bodies could act so incredibly different.

I hope I can snap some pictures of this, but for now I can not, but I am making several pinch work teabowls, and this new clay body specially formed for firing in the Anagama kiln when it gets exposed to air even for a somewhat short amount of time dries to the level where the exposed sections crack easily.  As such I have a teabowl that I am really hoping looks out, as it has an incredible tree bark crackling effect on its outside.

Yet there is something so peaceful about working with clay, that I am sure I do not need to tell any potters.  My teachers have often said let the clay do what it wants, and honestly while you are forming the clay, each piece is unique as each little bit of clay really wants to do something special that only that bit of clay wants to do.  So no matter what you are doing, its always turning into a hybrid of letting the clay do what it wants, while guiding it into the form you ultimately want.  The very best pieces have both come together in perfect harmony, and it really is magical.