porcelain love

I’m about to show you the man that made me fall in love with porcelain.

Jack Doherty.

I’d never touched porcelain until I went to a week of throwing and firing whilst at University, it can be like throwing butter, but it’s beautiful stuff.

I think I’ll have to do this in little bits as there are quite a few photographs.

Jack spiral wedging porcelain clay.  Wedging is what we have to do to get clay that is perfect for throwing, it’s a bit like kneeding bread really.  Spiral wedging is just what it says, pushing and turning the clay in a spiral shape.

This is a rarity as Jack has a pug mill and does not often wedge clay these days.  (a pug mill is for mixing clay and getting it right for throwing)

Jack is throwing a tea bowl off the hump.  The hump is a mound of clay on the wheel and is the traditional way of throwing items in Japan.  It is used for throwing tiny items or things like lids of jars or tea pot lids that would be impossible to throw flat on the wheel head.

Done, and he made it look so easy!

The second tea bowl on the way and Jack telling us how he uses a pastry cutter to smooth the outside of the tea bowl while he is throwing it.

With the rest of the clay left on the wheel Jack is throwing a bowl, this is him bring up the sides of the bowl.

Opening out the bowl with a wooden tool without touching the outside of the bowl that he has finished off with the pastry cutter to make it smooth.

Using a sponge to get the water out of the bowl that has run in there during the throwing.

Jack about to wire off the bowl with a cheese wire that will separate the bowl from the wooden board he is throwing it on.

After trimming at the base a little the bowl is finished.  When it is dryer Jack will up turn the bowl on a chuck (usually a plastic round tub that he places on the wheel head and puts the bowl on the top so he can trim the base further), and turn it, removing any excess clay.

A finished bowl and a tea bowl.

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