Article 3 - What pottery workshop would i take?

Article 3 - What pottery workshop would i take?

What pottery workshop would I take?

Our studio has been accepting students for workshops for quite sometime and we were often asked by this question, “What pottery workshop would best fit for me?”

Let’s get to the point: There are different pottery techniques and disciplines that we can learn depending on our preferred outcome. Learning the techniques could be very challenging since clay has its own life. Personally, it takes time and dedication to be more comfortable in using this medium as this craft is very progressive and cannot be mastered. As always mentioned in my lectures, clay teaches us to be more patient, disciplined, and mindful in our surroundings like any human being who uses his senses, and becomes part of the natural flow within himself.

In my own limited capacity, I had been fortunate to be trained in several techniques and processes such as clay processing, hand-building, wheel-throwing, slip-casting, using jiggering machine, ash glaze formulation, kiln building and wood-firing technology- all were obtained from hard work and self-determination.

At present, the studio caters to hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques; so, which of the two would I choose? Let me give you some ideas and expectations about these techniques.

Hand-building is more of "freestyle", wherein one creates certain pieces using his bare hands without using the machine or potter’s wheel. This technique enhances one’s resourcefulness and creativity. The outcome usually looks like raw-finished and a bit rustic, although, it really needs more practice – i.e., in combining hand-building techniques like, coil, pinch and slab, which may look so mechanical, and the entire process can take time. If you have simple and straight forward designs, you can complete your project in just one sitting.

hand-building

Hand-building

 

What about wheel-throwing? This is basically using a machine, the potter’s wheel, which is always associated with pottery and popularized in movies and tv shows.  As always said to some, each technique has its own charm and being practiced based  on one’s preferred end result and purpose; could be raw-finished, mechanical or designed for mass production. This technique enhances our focus and mindfulness since this is a step-by-step process: from preparing your clay (breaking the clay memory - slamming or wedging), centering, forming, trimming and drying. It takes days or sometimes weeks for someone to complete the process until trimming.

wheel-throwing

Wheel-throwing

 

With these two different techniques, which include proper drying, glazing and firing into the kiln, these processes  are also critical to achieve because they are completely two different worlds. As neophyte myself then, it took me months to years to be more proficient in clay centering, more so in other processes. I must admit that I had so much to learn from my “sensei” back then in Japan, who had been patient and dedicated in sharing the skills in doing all of them, as well as, in meticulously creating my craft into becoming an effective and efficient potter and ceramic artist.

From this simple information, I hope this could help you discern which would best fit your choice in pursuing one’s interest in the art of pottery, which our studio is offering.

As a final note, let us reflect once more that “every individual has his own unique way in expressing oneself”. Let me be a part of your pottery journey as you join us in our upcoming sessions. Enjoy the process and learn to let go.

To know more about our pottery journey, you may visit our Youtube Channel at www.youtube.com/amtrajeco

 

Written by AM Trajeco

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