I’m Iterating As Fast As I Can

Spiral of small ceramic tiles in tones of red


Clay work as I experience it is unforgivingly slow-going. Asking clay to do the wrong things at the wrong state of wetness doesn’t yield desired results. Rushing claywares to dry invites problems the whole rest of the way. Bumping a bone dry piece can see it revert to dusty chunks. Not wiping bisqueware off before glazing it is just asking for glaze burbles. We won’t even speak of all the ways an inattentive firing can ruin entire loads of works, regardless of whether they were circumspectly made and decorated or not. I say clay taught me patience. Now I wonder if I learned that lesson a little too well. I’m certain that I make clay work even slower in at least ten ways. Let’s count them out.

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Are You Experienced? 10 Ceramic Skills Extenders


are you experiencedOnce I made a cup set in response to a Beginning Hand-building class assignment. The cups were rudimentary root vegetable shapes with wings for handles and I was inordinately proud of my conceit and execution of it. None of them stood up, having those pointy little root ends and all, and – being a clay newbie – when they were bone dry, I bobbled the long skinny carrot cup and broke off a wing. The kiln tech at that time was a most helpful resource for me who has since gone on to be a teacher himself and I naturally went to him to get ideas about re-attaching the wing.Read More >

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