25 Pound Pots

Just this last week I got my hands on some clay which is ideal for very large coil and paddle work. It had been sitting in the corner, calling out to me for a few days before I figured out what to make with it. Perfect practice shapes, new planters for the root-bound palm trees in our living room. They are waaayy overdue for a re-potting and looking a little peaked. Once they have new homes they should be really genki again.

Each of these pots is one 10kg pug of clay. Wet, they are about 47cm tall by 47cm wide. I made an important discovery this time: my electric Shimpo Whisper makes a good wheel for coil and paddle of big diameter work, because when it is disengaged, the wheel spins freely like a banding wheel. So, I can use it for paddling, then engage it for using ribs on the shape, or forming the lip. You can see the kickwheel in the photo, the flywheel is at a bad height for my body and difficult to kick. My other kickwheel is in the corner and there is not enough room around it for large work. So, the electric wheel solution was a stroke of luck.

These pots were constructed from one base slab and 3 wall slabs, stacked and paddled. These are great shapes for practicing the slab and paddle method, because they don’t require any technically difficult shaping, ie. forming a tapered shoulder or neck, and they don’t get much wider than the base. Once I get comfortable with these, I’ll go back to storage jars with more belly and more taper at the neck. Having a few of these around will be really convenient for storing glazes too.