Have you ever watched that wonderful movie “Ghost” with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze?
If so, you surely remember that scene where they´re sitting together at the potter´s wheel 😉
If not, let me just say: it´s been quite a sensual experience they shared 😉
But what is more important: it realls looks sooo easy! Just slap a piece of clay on the wheel and in no time you´ve created a vase for example.
Well – it´s not as easy as Hollywood wants us to believe! 😉
I have aquainted myself with the potter´s wheel in the last couple of weeks and our relationship is far from being sensual or passionate (apart from me desperately cursing from time to time 😉 ). Don´t get me wrong: it´s lots of fun, but as is usual with things like that, it needs a lot of practice before you´re even remotely awarded with success. 😉
There are a lot of things to be taken into account before you even can get started!
First: you need to knead and beat the clay until no air holes remain in it (closed air holes can lead to an explosion when the clay is fired in the kiln!).
Second: you need to form an evenly ball or cone (that depends on what you want to do) and then center it perfectly in the middle of the wheel.
And that´s where you r e a l l y need to be precise, because if you don´t the clay will just happily hop to the edge of the wheel and eventually fly away (because of that tricky centrifugal force 😉 ) – much to the amusement of everybody present! 😉
For keeping the clay in the middle and simultanously form it into shape you need quite a substantial amount of strength. After the first couple of times my back hurt awfully and my arm muscles were sore. (By the way: totally replaces the need for work out 😉 )
I´m still far from mastering the wheel but I did manage to craft a couple of forms, mostly bowls or little vases of which I´m unproportionally proud of 😉
Hopefully I can show you more – and better! – pieces soon 🙂