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Re: throwin' pots. in 39 minutes

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From: KPRS (KPRS_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu May 16 2002 - 18:38:53 PDT


First day have them wedge up 3 balls and place the balls in plastic bags and put them in the damp closet for the next day..

Second day, you demonstrate with the essentials (elbows on thighs, centered body, etc). I can throw a pot in 2 minutes, so I have this down (and I don't EVER throw on my own, just when I teach). You make sure everyone gets the steps. I have a certain routine I do. My wheels are electric and not kick.

Then I assign students to the potter's wheels in PAIRS...one acts as the 'eyes' for the other...so for example, the one will say to the other, KEEP YOUR ELBOWS DOWN, or WHERE IS YOUR NOSE SUPPOSED TO BE, or they will splash water on the ball for them since getting the water/clay ratio is a bit tricky. The three balls are so that the first day they CENTER only...or in many cases, the first week they center only. We NEVER keep anything the first week, we cut everything in half so that I can talk to them about wall thickness (my metaphor is the human pyramid, with the fat guy on the bottom, and the little kid at the top~it's a visual). My philiosphy is that you don't throw anything until you center, and when they do center, they call me over, and then I PUSH the ball off center so that they center it again..

Repeat the first day step, by having them make 3 more balls, and then working in pairs until they get it (they do switch off). I have demonstrated how to bring the walls up, so both partners know what to look for when doing that. I walk around, helping the wheel people and their partners. So if I come over to a wheel and the piece is off center, I ask the one NOT throwing first, why isn't it centered? Then we talk it through, then I give the person on the wheel the answer as well, in this way EVERYONE gets trained and knows what to tell their partner when they are off the wheel. Eventually the rhythm is that people throw without their partners, some are putting feet on, others are making lids, others will be handbuilding on top of the wheel thrown object, others glazing, etc.

You can get it done in 39, if everyone is trained and organized.

San D

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