Uncommon Impressions with Kyla Toomey
There is something really special about using a tool you made on your work. Even the simplest of tools made with your own hands make marks that are uniquely yours. Kyla Toomey found that making simple tools enabled her to ...(Scroll for more.)
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Runtime: 2 hours 30 minutes
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… create a distinctive body of work that is unmistakably hers. If you are interested in making pots that are unmistakably your own, Kyla’s video is packed with ideas and information to help you do that! In addition to inspiring you to think outside the store-bought toolbox, Kyla presents practical throwing and glazing tips throughout the presentation.
Trying to make delicate little buttons and embellishments by cutting them out of a leather hard slab is tedious, but Kyla figured out a genius way of making them ahead of time that not only is more efficient, but reduces the amount of clean up required. As a bonus, she finds that setting aside some time at the beginning of each making cycle to produce these little adornments allows her to let her mind wander and she often comes up with some of her best new ideas during the process. After seeing Kyla’s buttons in action, your mind will also wander to myriad ways you can apply her techniques to your own work. Kyla’s stamping tools are simple blocks of Masonite or bisqued clay that can be made into just about any shape imaginable. She uses these tools in a somewhat unconventional stamping method creating grid patterns and playing with the negative space in between. You’ll be amazed at the complex patterns these simple tools can develop.
In addition to stamping her work when it is freshly thrown, Kyla stretches it from within to create further movement. She’s able to put her pots through these paces because her throwing skills are strong. Throughout the demonstrations, she shares her tips for throwing even, sound forms using minimal water. Even if you don’t plan to alter your forms as dramatically as she does, you’ll benefit from these tips.
When Kyla developed her plaid series of work, she wanted to figure out a way to get the plaid texture on every surface of a mug – inside, outside, and bottom. She decided to dissect thrown forms in order to determine the templates she would need to slab build these pieces. But she found that, being a wheel thrower at heart, it worked better to “throw the slabs,” dissect them, texture them, and put them back together. If you are more comfortable with wheel throwing, but want texture on the insides of pieces, this could be the trick you need in your arsenal!
It can be challenging to make thrown-and-altered jars because the altering can make lid fitting tough. Kyla shares all of her tips for pulling off a heavily altered jar with a thrown lid that fits. She also shares her unique way of slab-building a knob that mimics the grid patterns in the overall piece.
Kyla’s glaze demonstration is loaded with useful information applicable to not only her Cone 6 glazes, but glazes at any firing range. She gives great advice such as how to hold and smoothly dunk pots to get an even coat, and a super cool MacGyver-esque hack for avoiding drips.
A bonus video on throwing a bowl and decorating it with circular buttons is included, as well as Kyla’s glazes recipes.