Working Form

by - July 20, 2009

I took two classes from Julie Olson while at the NCSU Crafts Center. This artist is full of great ideas and is amazing at challenging students to pursue excellence. The first time we threw something decent looking, she'd have us slice it in two to look at the evenness and irregularity of the cross section to help us find our weak points.

Once piece of advice she gave me was to develop a working form - a shape from which all pieces were to be derived. The vase to the left might be my favorite piece so far. I love the glazing (thanks to the magic of gas firing at the Crafts Center), but the shape is what counts. The base is spherical and the middle is rounded almost like a pregnant belly. I can picture the bottom third developing into a nice bowl, the bottom two thirds being a great start for a pitcher and the top third being inverted to form an interesting cup or serving dish. It could be thrown and split vertically to serve as a start for an oblong serving dish. There are endless possibilities.

The challenge for me now is to get enough practice at the wheel where my skills return and I am able to throw this shape consistently enough to where it feels like second nature. Julie told me that a potter has to throw the same thing about a hundred times to reach that point. Whew!

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  1. I love this form. Glad to see you getting back into something you are so good at.



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