search  current discussion  categories  wheels - misc

## wheel as lathe

### Ben Morrison on mon 27 aug 12

I'm certainly a craftsman then, as I use tools to cut, carve and =3D

All,=3D0A=3D0AI'm certainly a craftsman then, as I use tools to cut, carve =
and =3D
shape my pots. I learned these techniques first from Don Sprague. Then late=
=3D
r I took a workshop from his long time friend Patrick Horsley, who has made=
=3D
a science out of the technique. I learned much from Horsley that I use in =
=3D
my own body of work. What's nice about it, is that the technique can be use=
=3D
d on pots that are clearly different. I've enjoyed using this technique sin=
=3D
ce college, but it has become a major part of my work now, where as before =
=3D
I just did it for fun now and again. The tools come in all shapes and sizes=
=3D
too, so when one really begins to look, one can find new ways of using the=
=3D
same ideas.=3D0A=3D0A-Ben=3D0A=3D0A=3D0A________________________________=
=3D0A From: me=3D
l jacobson =3D0ATo: Clayart@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG =3D0ASent: =
Mond=3D
ay, August 27, 2012 6:04 AM=3D0ASubject: wheel as lathe=3D0A =3D0Athis is o=
bserva=3D
tion, not good or bad.=3D0A=3D0Athe history of clay, pots, wheels is that t=
he=3D
=3D0Apotter uses `hands` to make things.=3D0Aall other crafts use tools.=3D=
A0 as =3D
in....woodworkers do not form=3D0Awood by squeezing, they carve, build, ham=
me=3D
r, saw solid wood etc.=3D0Ametal workers build and heat and form with tools=
.=3D
=3D0Aa potter uses hands only.=3DA0 in many arts and crafts the hands=3D0Ao=
nly ma=3D
nipulate tools. even knitting uses sticks.=3D0A=3D0Athe hamada, leach, mack=
enzi=3D
e history has potters using=3D0Aa metal tool for the foot ring only.=3DA0 =
in f=3D
act warren did not=3D0Alike the tool to carve much beyond the foot.=3D0A=3D=
0Athos=3D
e that come out of this long tradition are a bit taken back=3D0Aby the use =
of=3D
the wheel as a lathe.=3DA0 (vince hit on this over the weekend.)=3D0Apots =
are =3D
roughly thrown, then placed on the wheel and the entire surface=3D0Ais form=
ed=3D
by a series of metal tools.=3DA0 they are shaved.=3DA0 you do not have=3D0=
Ato be=3D
a skilled potter, you have to be a skilled shaver.=3DA0 and then the=3D0As=
pray=3D
gun becomes the glazer.=3D0A=3D0Athe final results of this technique of co=
urse=3D
, is a very slick, industrial=3D0Alook.=3DA0 the marks of the hands are rem=
oved=3D
, and the form is one that=3D0Acould not be done with the hands very well.=
=3D0A=3D
=3D0Aagain, i am not making a judgement.=3DA0 it is just different than wha=
t we=3D
=3D0Ahave seen for a long time.=3D0A=3D0Aour tools have changed a great dea=
l.=3DA0 =3D
il=3D
ns.=3DA0 the potter has a computer with chemical=3D0Aanalysis ready to go. =
many=3D
are controlled by chemistry and tools and=3D0Atechnology.=3D0Aand, it is 2=
012.=3D
=3DA0 what isn't controlled by technology?=3D0A=3D0Ai still use my hands, f=
uel ki=3D
lns and make my own glaze.=3DA0 i decorate with a=3D0Asimple home made brus=
h.=3D
=3DA0 i compound and make clay.=3D0Aall the tools are simple and home made.=
..(w=3D
ell i have a phil=3D0Atool.)=3DA0 and, i assume=3D0Ai will do this for the =
rest o=3D
f my life.=3DA0 it is in my dna now.=3DA0 but=3D0Aagain, it does=3D0Anot ma=
ke me su=3D
per noble.=3DA0 it is the way i was raised.=3D0A=3D0Athe other aspect of wh=
at we =3D
see is controlled by digital=3D0Aphotography.=3DA0 it just makes=3D0Asense =
that p=3D
eople who use technology to create craft will more than=3D0Alikely go the n=
ex=3D
t step and do really great pix.=3DA0 those that send in great pix=3D0Awill =
get =3D
their work in magazines and shows.=3DA0 it all fits into a neat package.=3D=
0A=3D
=3D0Aand, we will always have a great divide between those that carry on th=
e=3D
=3D0Atraditions, and love the history, and those that say...`screw that, i =
am=3D
my=3D0Aown person and i live now.`=3DA0 and they do.=3DA0 of course, as al=
ways..=3D
.we will start=3D0Ato see a great deal of derivative work and copycats.=3DA=
0 th=3D
e books and shows=3D0Awill be full of this work very soon. (already is) in =
fa=3D
ct, you will=3D0Anever see a pot, made=3D0Aby hand, or, if you do, it will =
be a=3D
token.=3DA0 `look helen, isn't that=3D0Aquaint. hand=3D0Amade pottery.`=3D=
0A=3D0Aand=3D
then, it will cycle out again.=3DA0 come back around.=3DA0 it always does.=
=3D0Aa=3D
s we have said many times...no one needs what we make, plastic works fine.=
=3D
=3D0Abut, society does make room for interesting and beautiful things.=3DA0=
thi=3D
ngs=3D0Awill work out in time.=3DA0 and the customer base that loves hand m=
only=3D0Awill reject a great deal of slick work very fast.=3DA0 and, they w=
on't=3D
want to pay=3D0Athe price, as it has to be very large.=3DA0 and, that just=
mak=3D
es=3D0Asense...if you spend=3D0A80 hours on one pot, have high tech tools t=
o pa=3D
y for...you have to increase=3D0Ayour base price ten fold.=3DA0 and if you =
don'=3D
t, you have just made a very high=3D0Apriced hobby. everyone in the arts an=
d =3D
crafts at some point, has to make=3D0Aa bottom line.=3D0A=3D0Ainteresting s=
tuff.=3D
=3D0Amel=3D0A=3D0A=3D0Ahttp://www.visi.com/~melpots/=3D0Aclayart page below=
:=3D0Ahttp:/=3D
/www.visi.com/~melpots/clayart.html=3D0Ah=
tt=3D
p://www.21stcenturykilns.com/

### mel jacobson on mon 27 aug 12

this is observation, not good or bad.

the history of clay, pots, wheels is that the
potter uses `hands` to make things.
all other crafts use tools. as in....woodworkers do not form
wood by squeezing, they carve, build, hammer, saw solid wood etc.
metal workers build and heat and form with tools.
a potter uses hands only. in many arts and crafts the hands
only manipulate tools. even knitting uses sticks.

the hamada, leach, mackenzie history has potters using
a metal tool for the foot ring only. in fact warren did not
like the tool to carve much beyond the foot.

those that come out of this long tradition are a bit taken back
by the use of the wheel as a lathe. (vince hit on this over the weekend.)
pots are roughly thrown, then placed on the wheel and the entire surface
is formed by a series of metal tools. they are shaved. you do not have
to be a skilled potter, you have to be a skilled shaver. and then the
spray gun becomes the glazer.

the final results of this technique of course, is a very slick, industrial
look. the marks of the hands are removed, and the form is one that
could not be done with the hands very well.

again, i am not making a judgement. it is just different than what we
have seen for a long time.

our tools have changed a great deal. it starts with pre/made clay, pre mad=
e
glaze, and computer controlled kilns. the potter has a computer with chemi=
cal
analysis ready to go. many are controlled by chemistry and tools and
technology.
and, it is 2012. what isn't controlled by technology?

i still use my hands, fuel kilns and make my own glaze. i decorate with a
simple home made brush. i compound and make clay.
all the tools are simple and home made...(well i have a phil
tool.) and, i assume
i will do this for the rest of my life. it is in my dna now. but
again, it does
not make me super noble. it is the way i was raised.

the other aspect of what we see is controlled by digital
photography. it just makes
sense that people who use technology to create craft will more than
likely go the next step and do really great pix. those that send in great =
pix
will get their work in magazines and shows. it all fits into a neat packag=
e.

and, we will always have a great divide between those that carry on the
traditions, and love the history, and those that say...`screw that, i am my
own person and i live now.` and they do. of course, as always...we will s=
tart
to see a great deal of derivative work and copycats. the books and shows
will be full of this work very soon. (already is) in fact, you will
by hand, or, if you do, it will be a token. `look helen, isn't that
quaint. hand

and then, it will cycle out again. come back around. it always does.
as we have said many times...no one needs what we make, plastic works fine.
but, society does make room for interesting and beautiful things. things
will work out in time. and the customer base that loves hand made only
will reject a great deal of slick work very fast. and, they won't want to =
pay
the price, as it has to be very large. and, that just makes
sense...if you spend
80 hours on one pot, have high tech tools to pay for...you have to increase
your base price ten fold. and if you don't, you have just made a very high
priced hobby. everyone in the arts and crafts at some point, has to make
a bottom line.

interesting stuff.
mel

http://www.visi.com/~melpots/
clayart page below:
http://www.visi.com/~melpots/clayart.html
http://www.21stcenturykilns.com/

### Robert Harris on mon 27 aug 12

Mel - The history of anything is fascinating - and educational. All
knowledge in some ways is history.

In terms of forming pottery by hand, nor using metal tools on the form ....
what history do we look at?

As Ric Swenson pointed out most of the fine imperial porcelains, going back
hundreds of years were only roughly formed by hand, and were then
significantly trimmed with long metal loops.

In England we still refer to trimming the bottom of pots as "turning". Why?
Because Wedgewood as far back as the 1790s (or perhaps even before) was
taking roughly thrown pots and quite literally sticking them on a
horizontal lathe, and turning them.

Go back to the earliest Chinese pots and they were trying to imitate bronze
cast vessels - looking (almost) for that industrial look.

The history of Hamada, Leach et al, is really only a very very small
portion of the history of ceramics.

There is also the impossibility of finding a dividing line between using
tools for forming and not. When does a rib (metal or wood) become a jigger
- or a tool that removes marks. It is all arbitrary. If you watch the
videos of Isaac Button, whose pots were mostly thrown as fast as possible
with no tools, uses a rib for his large pots.

I would go so far as to say that what has been historically classed as the
"finest" pottery (at least everywhere except Japan), were those pots which
showed the fewest fingermarks. Everything else was quickly produced,
disposable, peasant pottery. Should we therefore take this historical view
of "quality" into account when discussing the history of ceramics?

Like you say it is neither good nor bad (though most people do in fact
have an opinion one way or another, and use pejorative descriptions to
illustrate their supposedly objective point).

Everyone should be accepting that not everyone likes what they like. And
isn't that wonderful or we would live in an awfully boring world. And
cross fertilization.

Robert

On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 9:04 AM, mel jacobson wrote:

> this is observation, not good or bad.
>
> the history of clay, pots, wheels is that the
> potter uses `hands` to make things.
> all other crafts use tools. as in....woodworkers do not form
> wood by squeezing, they carve, build, hammer, saw solid wood etc.
> metal workers build and heat and form with tools.
> a potter uses hands only. in many arts and crafts the hands
> only manipulate tools. even knitting uses sticks.
>
> the hamada, leach, mackenzie history has potters using
> a metal tool for the foot ring only. in fact warren did not
> like the tool to carve much beyond the foot.
>
> those that come out of this long tradition are a bit taken back
> by the use of the wheel as a lathe. (vince hit on this over the weekend.=
)
> pots are roughly thrown, then placed on the wheel and the entire surface
> is formed by a series of metal tools. they are shaved. you do not have
> to be a skilled potter, you have to be a skilled shaver. and then the
> spray gun becomes the glazer.
>
> the final results of this technique of course, is a very slick, industria=
l
> look. the marks of the hands are removed, and the form is one that
> could not be done with the hands very well.
>
> again, i am not making a judgement. it is just different than what we
> have seen for a long time.
>
> our tools have changed a great deal. it starts with pre/made clay, pre
> glaze, and computer controlled kilns. the potter has a computer with
> chemical
> analysis ready to go. many are controlled by chemistry and tools and
> technology.
> and, it is 2012. what isn't controlled by technology?
>
> i still use my hands, fuel kilns and make my own glaze. i decorate with =
a
> simple home made brush. i compound and make clay.
> all the tools are simple and home made...(well i have a phil
> tool.) and, i assume
> i will do this for the rest of my life. it is in my dna now. but
> again, it does
> not make me super noble. it is the way i was raised.
>
> the other aspect of what we see is controlled by digital
> photography. it just makes
> sense that people who use technology to create craft will more than
> likely go the next step and do really great pix. those that send in grea=
t
> pix
> will get their work in magazines and shows. it all fits into a neat
> package.
>
> and, we will always have a great divide between those that carry on the
> traditions, and love the history, and those that say...`screw that, i am =
my
> own person and i live now.` and they do. of course, as always...we will
> start
> to see a great deal of derivative work and copycats. the books and shows
> will be full of this work very soon. (already is) in fact, you will
> never see a pot, made
> by hand, or, if you do, it will be a token. `look helen, isn't that
> quaint. hand
>
> and then, it will cycle out again. come back around. it always does.
> as we have said many times...no one needs what we make, plastic works fin=
e.
> but, society does make room for interesting and beautiful things. things
> will work out in time. and the customer base that loves hand made only
> will reject a great deal of slick work very fast. and, they won't want t=
o
> pay
> the price, as it has to be very large. and, that just makes
> sense...if you spend
> 80 hours on one pot, have high tech tools to pay for...you have to increa=
se
> your base price ten fold. and if you don't, you have just made a very hi=
gh
> priced hobby. everyone in the arts and crafts at some point, has to make
> a bottom line.
>
> interesting stuff.
> mel
>
>
> http://www.visi.com/~melpots/
> clayart page below:
> http://www.visi.com/~melpots/**clayart.htmlclayart.html>
> >
> http://www.**21stcenturykilns.com/
>

--
----------------------------------------------------------