Wheel Throwing Video: Who Says You Need Water to Throw Pots? Ayumi Horie’s Unique Dry Throwing Method

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 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.

Comments
  • that was amazing
    i will try it out
    jayamala
    india

  • that was amazing
    i will try it out
    jayamala
    india

  • That is a great technique when you want to throw with a fine clay body that can’t take much water. I’m throwing with that kind of porcelain clay right now. Thanks.
    My favorite part of the video though was the boston terrier’s look when he was wearing the clay circle from trimming the top.

  • That is a great technique when you want to throw with a fine clay body that can’t take much water. I’m throwing with that kind of porcelain clay right now. Thanks.
    My favorite part of the video though was the boston terrier’s look when he was wearing the clay circle from trimming the top.

  • That was a really entertaining video! Great job!

  • That was a really entertaining video! Great job!

  • Don’t you have trouble with airbubbles in the clay or with braking of the clay during firing because you don’t “work” the clay?

  • Don’t you have trouble with airbubbles in the clay or with braking of the clay during firing because you don’t “work” the clay?

  • @Katrien – I’ve taken Ayumi’s workshop and have since taken her method and have expanded it to my own needs. You should always start with properly wedged clay, so the air concern is not an issue. You want it well wedged, too, to have uniform consistency when stretching the clay during opening to remain even.

    @Sweet – I find that it does work well with fine clays to a point, If you stay on the chunkier side you’ll be OK. I’ve taken the technique farther and stretch it much more than Ayumi does here. Finer clays can tend to not hold up – for some of the same reasons they may be giving you problems with “traditional” wet throwing, but possibly even more so because you aren’t creating as much tension in the dry method to help it hold itself up. But give it ta try. It’s lots of fun.

  • @Katrien – I’ve taken Ayumi’s workshop and have since taken her method and have expanded it to my own needs. You should always start with properly wedged clay, so the air concern is not an issue. You want it well wedged, too, to have uniform consistency when stretching the clay during opening to remain even.

    @Sweet – I find that it does work well with fine clays to a point, If you stay on the chunkier side you’ll be OK. I’ve taken the technique farther and stretch it much more than Ayumi does here. Finer clays can tend to not hold up – for some of the same reasons they may be giving you problems with “traditional” wet throwing, but possibly even more so because you aren’t creating as much tension in the dry method to help it hold itself up. But give it ta try. It’s lots of fun.

  • I’ve seen this many, many times and find whenever I get discouraged I watch it again. Not only the technique, but the music and that precious Pooch. Thank you so much for sharing your positive energy…

  • I’ve seen this many, many times and find whenever I get discouraged I watch it again. Not only the technique, but the music and that precious Pooch. Thank you so much for sharing your positive energy…

  • FINALLY…this video has gotten my kids interested in throwing with me. Thank you Ayumi.
    I think pup is thinking, “you’ve got to be kidding..” 🙂

  • FINALLY…this video has gotten my kids interested in throwing with me. Thank you Ayumi.
    I think pup is thinking, “you’ve got to be kidding..” 🙂

  • I’m a new member and am disappointed by this, my first video view. I was, at fist, intrigued by the possiblity, but found it very amateurish.

    For the person who stated that dry throwing could come in handy for working with porcelain….if you let it air dry, by making coils and arching them up on your wedging table for awhile, you should have no problem. Most people who say that they can work with porcelain, are just using it in a far too soft state.

  • I’m a new member and am disappointed by this, my first video view. I was, at fist, intrigued by the possiblity, but found it very amateurish.

    For the person who stated that dry throwing could come in handy for working with porcelain….if you let it air dry, by making coils and arching them up on your wedging table for awhile, you should have no problem. Most people who say that they can work with porcelain, are just using it in a far too soft state.

  • All I can say is WOW. I want to try this. Can this de done with the white throwing clay?

  • All I can say is WOW. I want to try this. Can this de done with the white throwing clay?

  • Intriguing – haven’t tried this yet… I hate to think of all the rewedging from the trimmed-off clay though! lol I am lazy and have no pug (mill or dog) – thanks for sharing. Enjoyed the track too!

  • Intriguing – haven’t tried this yet… I hate to think of all the rewedging from the trimmed-off clay though! lol I am lazy and have no pug (mill or dog) – thanks for sharing. Enjoyed the track too!

  • Very Cool! I can’t wait to try it. This is not what I have thought of as “dry throwing.” I love this idea; your work is wonderfully creative! I am inspired!

  • Very Cool! I can’t wait to try it. This is not what I have thought of as “dry throwing.” I love this idea; your work is wonderfully creative! I am inspired!

  • @Deb:
    How can you say this is amateurish? She has made her own way of making. This is not amateur work. Take a look around her website and hopefully you’ll notice her body of work is cohesive and intriguing. Her pots are very fun; the throwing process, her own videos, her postcards, her website, etc. all scream fun and coincide with her clay work. It is fantastic and very hard to accomplish!

  • @Deb:
    How can you say this is amateurish? She has made her own way of making. This is not amateur work. Take a look around her website and hopefully you’ll notice her body of work is cohesive and intriguing. Her pots are very fun; the throwing process, her own videos, her postcards, her website, etc. all scream fun and coincide with her clay work. It is fantastic and very hard to accomplish!

  • Hello Ayumi and folks,

    Just watched the “dry throwing process” video and found it inspiring; gotta give it a try. Been potting since the early 60’s with a time out the last five years and not until this week Googled my way into what’s happening in pottery out there now. Amazing what I have found on the net and will be working with clay aged some 35 years I just brought down from Canada to Terlingua, Texas to my new studio space. Any of y’all following this site close to Terlingua. Would sure love to share information and experiences.

    Peace,

    Ring in far out, far west Texas

  • Hello Ayumi and folks,

    Just watched the “dry throwing process” video and found it inspiring; gotta give it a try. Been potting since the early 60’s with a time out the last five years and not until this week Googled my way into what’s happening in pottery out there now. Amazing what I have found on the net and will be working with clay aged some 35 years I just brought down from Canada to Terlingua, Texas to my new studio space. Any of y’all following this site close to Terlingua. Would sure love to share information and experiences.

    Peace,

    Ring in far out, far west Texas

  • The stuff of legends. Miss Horie’s work is a new Japanese Diaspora tradition. Extremely inspirational for a mud slinger in Africa like myself. And thanks to Ceramics Daily/ Monthly. YOUR energy is uplifting to the max. Asante sana.

  • The stuff of legends. Miss Horie’s work is a new Japanese Diaspora tradition. Extremely inspirational for a mud slinger in Africa like myself. And thanks to Ceramics Daily/ Monthly. YOUR energy is uplifting to the max. Asante sana.

  • funny I had thought of doing this but assumed that as nobody else did it it wouldn’t work. So much for assumptions!!! How do you wedge it into that conical shape? Sometimes a professional makes things look so easy/amateurish because they are so skilled but just you try it and see how difficult it really is.

  • funny I had thought of doing this but assumed that as nobody else did it it wouldn’t work. So much for assumptions!!! How do you wedge it into that conical shape? Sometimes a professional makes things look so easy/amateurish because they are so skilled but just you try it and see how difficult it really is.

  • I visited her website hoping to learn a little about her image making technique as well as glazing method and why she uses earthenware to make her bowls, cups, plates, etc. Whenever I see earthenware functional pottery I wonder why the potter chooses that low-fire body as it’s more porus and prone to breaking/chipping when it’s being used . . . . or am I missing something? She doesn’t speak about her methods on her website – anybody know??

  • I visited her website hoping to learn a little about her image making technique as well as glazing method and why she uses earthenware to make her bowls, cups, plates, etc. Whenever I see earthenware functional pottery I wonder why the potter chooses that low-fire body as it’s more porus and prone to breaking/chipping when it’s being used . . . . or am I missing something? She doesn’t speak about her methods on her website – anybody know??

  • Hi there, Enjoyed the video. Could you tell me more about your cutting tools: the diameter sizes and make.

  • Hi there, Enjoyed the video. Could you tell me more about your cutting tools: the diameter sizes and make.

  • Great technique and would like to try it soon. Love the music! Nice Thanks …

  • Great technique and would like to try it soon. Love the music! Nice Thanks …

  • She embodies the word “artist.” With this video of dry throwing which is amazing, she has given me lots of ideas. Also, her video of the match striker is so, so clever.

  • She embodies the word “artist.” With this video of dry throwing which is amazing, she has given me lots of ideas. Also, her video of the match striker is so, so clever.

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