Reneged on My Pottery Goal

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This September I set a goal to only wheel throw pots as opposed to hand/slab-building them.

I lasted about 4 months. However, I am giving myself permission to ditch this crazy committment!

My thought was, if I only wheel-threw pots, my skills would get stronger on the wheel (which is true ;) But here’s the catch, I might get stronger on the wheel but I simply do not like the finished product.

I LOVE texture and color.

Wheel thrown pots, to me, are just missing that – what’s the word –spunk.  Don’t get me wrong, I tried.  I invested in sgraffito (carving tools), I tried wax resist to get some cool glaze techniques. I swear I tried to go the traditional route.

I’m kind of excited that I felt so strongly about this.  It means I actually know what I want.  I tend to float like a snowflake in and out of everything. Not liking something is great.  It gets me just a little bit closer to being a bit more focused.   Maybe by the time I’m 80 years old I’ll lock into mastering one thing… HA! right ;) 

With my new permission to renege on my goal, I did exactly what I wanted to do which felt great.  This brought passion and excitement back into creating.  I think that’s my intuition saying I’m on the right track. Now don’t get me wrong, I AM NOT A QUITTER.  I am the crazy that created a work of art every single day for 365 days.  I didn’t quit on that and there were so many days I wanted to.  That goal felt extremely right.  This one – not so much.  I can tell the difference.

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So, back to the best of both worlds.  Which is very much like me.  Why choose wheel-throwing over hand-building?  Why not do – BOTH?  That makes perfect sense – FOR ME.  Here, I threw the bottom part of the vessel on the wheel and then rolled a slab to attach to the top.  The texture came from my hand-crafted stamps which really makes the vessel feel unique and personal.

That’s it.  Unique and personal.  Maybe add in some happy and fun.  This is what I am committing to and I’m finally feeling like I’m back on the right track :)

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  1. I love to see what you have been working on. The colors and patterns you use are something I think about a lot. Seeing your work in person and the transformation from start to finish is like WOW.

  2. Thank you Mary with your meaningful blog on the struggle with have tos when it comes the wheel. I am a newbie to this and struggling between what I need to do to become a “well rounded potter.” Handbuilding is totally me but I have fought myself to do the wheel and feel comfortable. I am OK with it but as you I am dying for the total hands on and needing desperately the complete control of my textures that run my life both in pottery and fabrics in sewing. This session, I promised myself that I would compromise and do the wheel but not give up on the handbuilding I have had to set aside with my sketches for handbuilding designs. I ran across your designs and textures, I thought, Mary is it. I need more templates to get going although I would be fine with doing my own.

    1. What I do does sound perfect for you! It’s the best of both worlds! Take your wheelthrown pieces and alter them! For the most part I am adding textured slab cylinders, but then there are the handles and spouts and such… all still great parts of learning the trade! After spending 6 months only wheel throwing yet not loving anything I made, I’d rather delay my progress, but love what I make :)

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