A Potter’s Workbook by Clary Illian

By Clary Illian

In A Potter's Workbook, well known studio potter and instructor Clary Illian offers a textbook for the hand and the brain. Her goal is to supply how to see, to make, and to contemplate the types of wheel-thrown vessels; her details and thought clarify either the mechanics of throwing and completing pots made easily at the wheel and the rules of fact and sweetness bobbing up from that conventional method.

Each bankruptcy starts with a chain of routines that introduce the rules of fine shape and solid forming for pitchers, bowls, cylinders, lids, handles, and each different achievable useful form. concentrating on utilitarian pottery created at the wheel, Illian explores sound, energetic, and economically produced pottery kinds that mix an invitation to conscious appreciation comfortably of use. Charles Metzger's awesome images, taken lower than excellent studio stipulations, completely supplement her full of life text.

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More or less emphasis can hint at the figurative connotations. The containing part is in the voluminous skirts, and the tapering waist and nar- 50 51 30 p i t c he r s row shoulder deliver the liquid in a controlled manner. Again, the two parts and two functions merge (figure 56). The opposite shape—a cylinder tapering to the base—is almost never seen in pitchers of any size. In such a shape the containing part is too high for both physical and psychological comfort, and the delivery part with its flared opening would deliver the contents in an uncontrollable gush.

I call this a cuffed rim. It can have many permutations (figures 87, 88). Although I have called your attention to elements in the body of the pitcher that guide the shape and placement of handles, remember there are no hard and fast rules. Some pitcher shapes set up more than one logical place for their handles. Figure 89 shows a double-curved pitcher that could have been spanned by a handle starting in the middle of the top bulge and ending in the middle of the bottom bulge. Instead the handle is placed to continue the horizontal line dividing the two curved sections but softly tucked into that fold in such a way as to echo the rolling volumes of the rest of the pot.

The fact that it must be mastered before other shapes can be attempted has given it a low status, but it has value of its own. Its potential for use as well as appearance is endless. A cylinder can be a storage jar, a vase, a mug, or even, as we shall see in the next chapter, a pitcher. 27 Mark Hewitt Pitchers It is time to move on to a specific utilitarian form. The assignment is to make pitchers. Use at least two pounds of clay or more, and keep it simple. Do not make forms that will require turning or trimming, but think in terms of cylindrically derived shapes.

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