A couple of weeks ago I spent a strangely enjoyable morning with a hammer, smashing all the pieces I have finished so far. For one reason or another I didn’t feel they were good enough to keep. One thing that became clear to me, as I was looking at the broken pieces, was that there was too much clay at the base of the walls of each pot. I feel strongly about not selling anything until I feel my pots are technically correct. So today’s task was to try and work out how to rectify this problem.
I repeatedly threw a similar form trying different approaches. After finishing I sliced each one in half vertically to check the wall thickness. Every time I could see a tiny improvement, but then I had a eureka moment… It was how I was opening the clay that was causing my problem. I had been starting with a low, disc-shaped piece of clay after centring. I always found opening this out and retaining it’s integrity to be difficult. So I tried a different tack – by having a slightly taller, more cone-like shape as a starting point (still with the same base circumference) I began to find it easier to open a flatter base and create an inside profile that better mirrored the outside.