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Tuesday, 8 October 2013


Apparently, the reason making pots is actually called 'throwing,' a pot, is because they generated the spin by throwing a stick or stone attached to the spinning head with rope.  I didn't even know it was called throwing until I looked up a teaching video on the youtubes.

I went to make some pots this weekend, and it was great fun.  It really is absolutely great to make something even if it's incredibly naff.  Especially when it's your first time, and you've not spent hours simply learning the techniques.

The teacher was a bit pants, not just because I didn't understand anything he was saying, but because he was patently a great pot maker who turned teacher, rather than vice versa; resulting in him just taking over whenever anything went wrong.  This turned out to be okay though, because it just meant I didn't ask for help.  This resulted in my first three attempts being utter disasters, but like all good troopers, I figured out what went wrong and moved onto the next pot with gusto and vigor.

The fourth was a complete fluke, but probably the best one I made.  Having watched the educational video, I was interested in seeing how to make a fat pot with a thing neck.  I tried to make it a bit fat, but accidentally pressed too hard and made it really fat.  Then I tried to thin the neck a little, but did it a lot.  THEN, after realising it looked okay, I tried to smooth the top out only to accidentally fold it over.  This looked okay too, so I just left it at that.

They gave us a big lump of clay, and we had to create the pot with material from the top, then chop it off and start from where we finished the last one.  I have to say it's infinitely easier to create things when you're using the actual spinning part as the base, rather than more clay.

In an entirely unrelated note, I finally got round to arranging all the tea I bought in England, and the loose tea I bought in Sri Lanka into packs to give to people in Japan.  It only took a little over a month!

Back to the pots.  The bottom right is the clay from the 3 failed attempts.  The top left one has a fat lip.  The top right is my fourth attempt and my favourite.  The bottom left is my attempt at replicating the holy grail.

Only the top right is mine in this trio - I didn't bother smoothing out the top due to time constraints, so it might be a bit rough to drink or eat out of.  It's pretty big too, maybe I'll use it for noodles or something?

I'm not sure what I'm going to use everything for...


  1. the top right pot looks brilliant - are you sure you didn't have any help!

  2. apparently you shaved for the occasion, too

  3. I shave once a week on Friday or Saturday to allow the 3 days required for my skin to recover; you cheeky bastard.

    And I didn't get any help beyond the youtube video! The guy was an excellent potter, but a terrible teacher and he obviously didn't speak any English. It took a lot of attempts mind.

    1. less of the cheeky...