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Another day at the pottery

I went back to Eastnor Pottery again today to do some throwing. I didn’t want to make anything in particular – I’ve got plenty of plates, bowls and mugs already, but I did want to have a play at throwing different vase shapes.

When I was in Greece over Christmas, I visited several museums with large collections of ancient pots. Whereas once I would have looked solely at the decoration on them, now I find that I look at them with a different eye, and find myself wondering how on earth the ancient potters made them. There are several possible different techniques they could have used, and I wondered how much was straightforward throwing, and how much was done using more advanced techniques. So I decided to spend the morning throwing some quite contorted shapes, to see where the limits were. Or at least, my limits – the ancient potters were clearly much more skilled than I am, and could make a lump of clay do things that I would struggle with.

That was fun. I threw nine vessels in all, then put several of them on the reclaim pile. I’ve kept the less wobbly ones for next time, when I’ll turn them to neaten them up. I’m not currently planning on decorating, firing or glazing them – I’ll probably cut them in half to check the consistency of my throwing, then put them in the reclaim bucket. I don’t really need to give house room to slightly wobbly Grecian-style urns. The enjoyment lies in making them, and exploring the limits of my throwing, not necessarily in keeping the results.