Altering freshly thrown pots is one of the best ways to take advantage of clay’s malleability. When the clay is this wet the movement created by altering really becomes fluid too.
In today’s post, an excerpt from Mastering the Potter’s Wheel (which has just arrived to the Ceramic Arts Network Shop!), Ben Carter shows how to take advantage of that freshly thrown malleability to create a gorgeous scalloped rim. – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.
Altered Rims Based on Geometric Pattern
One of my favorite ways to wet alter is to draw a two-dimensional pattern with a roller tool and then push it into three dimensions. This style of alteration can cause a lot of stress to the body of the pot, so I often only do this on a rim or a defined section rather than the whole pot body.
Ben Carter’s Mastering the Potter’s Wheel is the perfect guide to have by your side when trying to build skills on the potter’s wheel. What pushes this book beyond the competition, are the techniques offered beyond the basics. From a variety of methods for throwing large objects such as pitchers and platters, to alterations, darting, and paddling, this book offers potters a world of possibilities. The Skill Building assignments peppered throughout the book give it the structure of a class, and help you to build on the techniques you learn as you progress through the text.
Start with a bowl form that has a sectioned flat rim (1). Draw a pattern, in this case a border of triangles, around the rim of the pot (2). Push up to form scallops at the points where the triangle hits the rim and the interior border (3). Supporting the underside of the rim, work your pointer finger back and forth on the triangles that make up that interior border (4). The combination of upward and downward alteration turn this two-dimensional triangular border into a dramatic three-dimensional rim (5).