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throwing weights and college musings

updated thu 16 mar 00


Kim Marie on wed 15 mar 00

I remember in college when I finally got a handle on throwing technique, I
had just thrown a bowl I was rather smug about...nice shape, showed some
skill. I was admiring this beauty when another person in the studio asked
how much clay I used for it. I was impressed this person noticed my bowl
since he was of a much higher skill level than I. I proudly proclaimed 4
lbs. He smiled appreciatively, paused and then said "Now to make the same
size bowl with 3 pounds". Sure gave me food for thought.

Now it depends on what I'll do with the piece later. If I plan to carve the
piece, I'll throw the form with thicker walls. If I want a casserole dish,
I'll have slightly thicker walls. A vase with clay additions can be as thin
as I'd like.

It's nice to have someone say, 'I use 3 lbs for a dinner plate but don't
lock yourself into that. So much can depend on personal taste (I like
dinner plates to be 10 1/2 to 11 inches in diameter, you might like 12
inches), the shrinkage of the clay you use etc....also that can allow you to
forget about pushing your boundries.

I once went to my professor and began my frustrated rant saying, "Just tell
me what you want me to throw! If you want 40 bowls, I do it!" He paused,
leaned back in his chair, lit his pipe s l o w l y, smiled at me and said,
"And who Kim, is going to do that for you when you have your own studio?"

Nice to have guidelines but don't forget, that's all they are...a starting
place...after that, fly as you will!

----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Stanfield
Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2000 2:07 PM
Subject: throwing weights?

> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> Hi everyone,
> I am new to the group and kinda new to throwing. My question is about
> clay weights.
> Is there standards or generals for how high you want to throw? for
> example to throw a 8" vase how much clay is needed?
> thanks in advance,
> mike