In the Potter’s Kitchen: Traditional Jugware

Throwing the Jug Body

Center 4 pounds of clay on the wheel and open the interior quite wide, to about 4–5 inches in diameter (1, 2). Begin pulling straight up until the cylinder is almost twice as tall as you want the finished form to be (3). Start shaping the wall of the cylinder with a wooden rib tool (4)—compressing from the bottom to the top, stopping about two-thirds of the way up the cylinder.

1 Center 4 pounds of clay on the wheel.

2 Open the interior to about 4–5 inches in diameter.

3 Pull up until the cylinder is twice as tall as you want the finished form to be.

4 Start shaping the wall of the cylinder with a wooden rib tool.

5 Collar in the top third; pull inward from the shoulder in toward the center.

6 Repeat this step a few times to collar in the form.

Creating the Neck and Spout

Collar in the top third, then pull inward, moving from the shoulder of the cylinder in toward the center (5). Repeat this step a few times until the rim has sufficiently closed in to create the spout (6, 7). Establish a line at the base of the spout (8), then reinforce it with a wooden rib (9). Compress the walls with a metal rib (10). Establish another line about ¾ inch above the shoulder of the jug (11). Bevel the bottom of the jug with a wooden fettling knife (12). Clean the form up with a damp sponge before setting it aside to dry to the soft leather-hard stage (13).

7 Collar in until the rim is sufficiently closed in to create the spout.

8 Establish a line at the base of the spout by pressing in a small indentation.

9 Reinforce the line with the corner of a wooden rib.

10 Compress the walls up to the shoulder with a metal rib.

11 Establish another line about 3/4 inch above the shoulder of the jug.

12 Bevel the bottom of the jug with a wooden fettling knife.

13 Clean the form with a damp sponge before letting it set to soft leather hard.

14 Roll out a small piece of clay, about half the size of a small carrot.

Adding a Handle

A traditional jug form has a small pulled-off-the-pot handle. To make the handle, roll out a small piece of clay—about half the size of a small carrot (14). Taper and gently flatten the clay. Score and add water to the attachment points of the jug—one on the spout and one above the shoulder of the jug. Add a dab of water to the scored face of the handle and attach it to the spout with a gentle push and wiggle (15).

Begin pulling the handle from the pot by dousing your hands in water and pulling away from the spout. Use the scissor/scissor/pull method while keeping the handle supported horizontally (16). Once the handle is long enough, curve and support the handle with one finger and press its end into the surface of the lower attachment point (17). Then give it a gentle press with your thumb (18). Cut off the excess clay with a metal rib (19) and clean up the area with a wet horsehair brush before setting the jug aside to dry (20).

15 Add a dab of water to the scored face of the handle and attach it to the spout.

16 Use the scissor/scissor/pull method while keeping the handle supported horizontally.

17 Curve the handle with one finger and press its end into the lower scored point.

18 Then give it a gentle press with your thumb to attach it.

19 Cut off the excess clay with the edge of a metal rib, then clean up the area.

20 Set the jug aside to dry slowly before bisque firing.

** www.bonappetit.com.

Excerpted from Pencil & Process: From Sketch to Finished Form by Jared Zehmer, published by The American Ceramic Society. This title is available from the Ceramic Arts Network Shop at https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/shop.

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