Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hand building workshop

Stephen gave a workshop on Sunday to demonstrate some of his hand building techniques. It was incredibly helpful, and I learned a lot. His handbuilding method is pretty fast and efficient, and seems to make a really strong build. Of course, he stressed slow and controlled drying, and not rushing the piece as it gets too large to support itself. Definitely a slower process than throwing, but not as tedious as slipping and scoring a lot of perfectly rolled coils!
Showing us some of his favorite tools.

He showed us a lot of his favorite tools, many of which are hand made. I love seeing new and creative pottery tools. One was a large trimming tool made from a sharpened metal band attached to a dowel. Another good one was a long stick with a semi-circle shape routed out the end, used for shaping nice, round ring foots.

Shaping tool, being used here  to make a texture design in a small slab.

One of his new press molds, part of a new process he's just trying out.

Showing us a more efficient coiling shape - tapering the top of each coil so you get a larger amount of clay surface connection when you smooth them into each other.

A base slab for a coil sculpture. The shape was made by tracing the green rib tool twice.

Starting the build.

Inner column in the base to support the balloon form.
Stephen showing how he sketches to plan his sculptures.
A press mold base for a second sculpture.
Coil building a balloon on the press mold base.
Talking about the proportion limitations for building a balanced piece.
Two small sculptures half finished by the end of the workshop.
I had planned to cover coil building in class this week, so I was able to intergrate some of his tips into my demo Monday night. I started two small sculptures of rocket ships as a demonstration. I forgot to take pics, but I'll be working on them some more tonight, so I'll share my progress.

Hope you enjoyed seeing these pics as much as I enjoyed the demo!

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