I realize that some people are more intuitive than I am. But, we all have to work to our natural dispositions. And, I am analytical by nature. So it is no surprise that I measure and count everything – even in pottery.
As I mentioned in the previous post, for me, developing a recipe is the beginning stage of designing a pot. I keep a record of the basic stats of a pot as I am developing it in order to make that pot again. I really enjoy this part of the process.
Having an idea of the approximate size pot you can throw from a given amount of clay is key. It is also is a developmental accomplishment that will help you make the pot you intend to make. So here are a few steps I work through when developing a new pot.
- Decide what size you want to make
- You can use calipers or a calculator to help account for your clay body’s shrinkage rate
- Begin with a best guess amount of clay. There are plenty of books that provide estimates for functional pottery (Throwing Pots gives weights in pounds and metric conversions). But these weights may not be enough clay for intermediate and beginner potters; use them as a starting point. They aren’t the ‘right’ answer – the right amount of clay is the amount that lets you make the pot you want to make
- Be persistent. Keep making adjustments and notes until you make the pot you want.