Published May 11, 2009
Well, Ceramic Arts Daily readers, you are in for a special treat today: a bonus Monday video. This video is so super fantastic that I couldn't wait until Friday to show it to you. If you're used to the conventional method of throwing pottery, then Portland, Maine, potter Ayumi Horie's dry throwing method just might, I dare say, blow your mind.
Even if the technique is not new to you, you should still enjoy the delightful soundtrack by Lullatone, the superb production by Joe Lutton and Ayumi's terrific sense of humor. Plus, below I have posted some remarks from Ayumi on how and why she developed this method. Enjoy! - Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor
About the Dry Throwing Process
My work is largely informed by the process by which I make it. I try to rely on the skill I have in the moment of making and accept what my state of mind brings to it. My cardinal rule is not to overwork a pot, but rather to throw it or assemble it with freshness and candor. If a tear develops, I patch it with a band-aid of clay; if a pot is accidentally dented, it becomes another thing that defines its character. There is great pleasure in understanding a pot's history of making.
At Alfred as an undergrad, I developed a process called "dry throwing" in which I trim to center using a pin tool, scoop out the inside using a loop tool and thin out the walls by pushing them out with a rib. I use no water because I like the surface of moist clay, rather than wet. This method allows me to preserve the inherent textures in clay that I love- the stretching, cracking, and sagging. Fingerprints have a different kind of crispness and I can coax out a delicate edge of a line on a massive wall. Using this method, I can also work more spontaneously and intuitively because I don't have to wait for the clay to dry out quite so long. When I glaze, I try to keep up the same level of spontaneity and intuition so I can keep things real. I've found that if I set up 100 cups to glaze at once, my exhaustion and desperation at coming up with new ideas and variations pushes me to take risks and grow.