I threw a couple teabowls as they are probably my favorite form to make, and was attracted to the stem-like nature of the clay when it was pulled tall and faceted. I decided to focus on the chalice form and see what I might come up with if I worked through several iterations. After a productive time in the studio playing with these forms and developing the ideas, I began to feel confident about the margarita cups I would make for the show.
Forming and Faceting the Stem
Once you are done faceting the body of the chalice, use a paint scraper or stiff, sharp rib with a right angle to accentuate where the facets meet the wheel head (4). This will create a sharp, angular foot that fits with the overall surface design.
Forming and Faceting the Cup
Smooth and refine the interior of the bowl, which will become the cup, with a soft, flexible rib (8), then smooth the lip with a chamois to finish the pot (9).
Prepping the Forms for Attachment
Attaching the Stem and Cup
Once you have the pieces trimmed and the stem is firm enough to take the weight of the cup, slip and score the two surfaces where they will be joined (13), then attach them (14). I often use vinegar in place of slip and have been known to forgo the scoring process, but with more elaborate forms I do recommend slipping and scoring because it is more reliable.
Applying Finishing Touches
To clean the foot, set it on a smooth surface and gently gyrate the cup so that the foot stays in contact with the surface, your hands grasping the form and the weight of the chalice pressing down into one section of the foot at a time. Move your hands in a counterclockwise motion while maintaining your grip on the pot and keeping the foot in contact with the hard, smooth surface. If the clay is on the stiff side, you may need to apply a bit of downward pressure, but be careful not to smush the pot! I start with small circles and gradually make bigger circles before returning to center. The foot should be relatively smooth by this point. Use your thumb to blend in any imperfections and finish by using a smooth sponge to compress the seam where the foot meets the stem.
Dwayne Sackey earned his BFA from Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2019. He exhibited at the Multnomah County Justice Center in 2019, and at the governor’s mansion in 2021. Sackey was a recipient of the 2021 Studio Potter grant for apprenticeship alongside his mentor Chris Baskin, had a demo presentation at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) in 2022, and taught a workshop at Clay By The Bay in 2022. To see more, visit www.dwaynesackey.com.