Sick Potters Make No Pots

I’ve been out of commission for almost a week now with a bad head cold. I have no idea where I picked it up, but it hit me like a truck early Saturday morning as I was getting ready to go run my usual errands.

Today, while still a little foggy, is the first day I’ve felt semi-human. The possibility of a wholesale customer popping by sometime in the afternoon was motivation enough to get presentable and head out to the showroom to straighten up and take stock of what I had before my guest arrived.

Took the opportunity to snap a few photos in the gap between when my customer left and my daughter’s school bus was to arrive.

One thing about being sick and out of commission, no pots are being made. Its even more challenging when you have small children (and I have 2 less than the age of 5).

It was good to see the pots and think about clay again. Time to regroup and get back into the groove.

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8 Responses to “Sick Potters Make No Pots”

  • HEWY Says:

    beautiful Pots!

  • Anne Webb Says:

    Thank you, hewy!

  • Brian MNo Gravatar Says:

    That is a form/shape I’ve had trouble with. Any tips on technique you could pass along to an aspiring potter?
    I love your blog.

  • annewebbNo Gravatar Says:

    Hey Brian.. Thank you :)
    Not having seen you throw, it makes it a lot harder to make suggestions, but here are a few things that I have found helpful.

    Throwing with less water helps. When the clay becomes saturated with too much water, as you probably already know, it has a tendency to slump and won’t tend to hold up to much manipulation.

    When defining your shape, pull it out as you normally would with your fingers. Sometimes using a throwing stick and a rib can help you pull the shape out further. You’ll know when to stop.

    I use a wooden kidney shaped rib helps to get that smooth continuous contour when working and refining that final shape.

    I also throw with the inner contour of the pot in mind, and when finishing, I trim according to that inner contour.

    ..I hope that’s of some help..

  • Brian MNo Gravatar Says:

    Thank you for responding so quickly!
    I find myself checking your blog daily these days.
    My technique has been to make a cylinder and then push from the inside
    with two finger tips(index and middle) moving up as I go. Using a rib on the outside for support. The trouble I have is i tend to get the same shape, but it may just be that i need more practice.
    Do you use your hands or tools on the inside of the piece?
    I keep in mind that your very busy with your blog and your own work, so if you know of any videos online or websites I should look into that would be very helpful.

    From TX

  • annewebbNo Gravatar Says:

    Actually, Brian, when I first start to shape the pot, I roughly make the shape using my fingers, pushing from the inside and steadying with my outside fingers. Then I come in with my wooden kidney rib on the inside of the pot (and often a flexible rib on the outside at the same time) and refine the shape further, kind of like I mentioned above.

    One thing I also find particularly helpful is throwing with the aid of a mirror. Any old mirror you can get at the dollar store or Goodwill will do. It really helps you see the contour of the pot as you are forming it. It will give you a completely different perspective. Takes a bit of getting used to, but I swear by it.

    You’re right.. practice really *does* go a long way. When you get to the point where you are able to throw every day, you will notice that your skill will improve exponentially. :)

    There are LOTS of great videos to watch on YouTube for pottery… some are better than others, of course. My username is webbpots and you can go to my favorites and check some of those out. I’ll try and think of some others that might be helpful.
    As far as actual videos (tapes or dvds), I recommend Stephen Jepson’s “Intro to pottery” video. I found his explanations really clear.. talked about hand positions and all that. The link to that:
    The other fantastic video series is one by Robin Hopper. Here is the link:

    I’m glad to know you keep coming back. Gosh I better think about something clever to post next! heheh

    Anyways, again, I hope all that’s a help.

  • Brian MNo Gravatar Says:

    Just what I’m looking for!
    I found Emily Murphy’s pottery blog on a Google search and was amazed to discover the community of potter’s online. I really liked your work and you have been so helpful. Thanks again.
    I’ll keep reading!

  • annewebbNo Gravatar Says:

    Yes there are a lot of great blogs and resources out there. Emily’s blog really is great (and so well done). Check out some of the blogs she has linked to on hers and I am sure you will find several you like. :)

    All the best, Brian. Again, Happy potting :)

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