As of the last few weeks, I’ve been throwing bowls. Many different style of bowls. From brown clay to b-mix to porcelain. I’ve been bowling it and I’m liking it. However I am running into the problem of thin bottoms. Throwing off the hump or straight off the wheel, it doesn’t matter. A majority of them have thin thin bottoms. I’m trying to correct the problem. Problem is I’m stubborn and want to get as much weight off the bottom so I don’t have to trim. But I do have to trim so I can have a nice foot. The area where the foot is is fine, the inner area for the foot is where I’m having issues.
I have a few solutions.
1. The most obvious one leave a thicker bottom. I hate to waste clay. I guess I’m frugal in that manner. Hey, when your working at 3 different studios you kinda gotta be. Trimming can waste clay since I’m a horrible wedger. I need wedging 101 because I suck at it. I’m like the bubble master when it comes down to it. Bubbles here bubbles there, bubbles everywhere.
2. For the bowls that don’t have enough, add clay. I’ve been doing this process by re-centering when almost leather hard and adding just enough clay. Last sat I did the procedure after I trimmed. Bad idea. From now on I do it before trimming. Also if I see that I need to add more clay while it’s being throw, I will add at the time so I don’t have to recenter.
3. Trim differently so that the middle is a little higher. I’m not sure yet about this but it’s a good solution.
My Shapes are varying. Last Thursday night I went to Echo to trim bowls I threw the prior sat and drop of two trimmed bowls I trimmed at Berman. Ki was there late loading a bisque so I stayed late too. Ended up throwing 5 small to medium bowls. Working out a idea in my head right now so these were tests. Last Sat I threw 6 bowls only 4 made it. These are taller ones that will have a long foot. I’m still working on the shape so they are on the smaller side. Would like to throw larger ones.
Last night Jim was giving a demo on plates. OH DARN!!!! I forgot to bring a bat. OH fucking well. I threw a small plate that came out pretty decent off the hump. Fellow Asian student, Jason, threw without a bat. Yes the two odd balls but hey we still came out with pieces. Anyway more about plates in another post. So course because i can and I am stubborn I an throwing mediumish bowls off the hump. I was trying to throw a shallow bowl. Th first 2 scrapped because they were crap. The third tore in one part due to lack of water. It looked good being half torn so I am keeping it. Not sure how I can trim it but I’ll figure it out. The 4th rim was messed up. Again went with it. The last bowl of the night was the shape I was looking for and I was able to get the bottom weight down. Fucked up part is that I messed up with taking it off the hump. I’ll have to adjust the bottom on Sat. That bowl is what I have been after during and after i threw the mega bowl. It will of course include some kind of cut out decorations.
Probably going to Echo on Friday to get away from the crazy animals, trim and throw some more. I do think a lot of my designs elements will work it’s way onto or into the bowl. I played around with one idea that failed so hard I wanted to smack myself. Fortunately I still saved the bowl. After this week I gotta start getting back in my regular stuff. For now I’ll keep on bowling it.
copyright anna becker 2011