Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Claying at home




Hello my friends, 

So this is day (whatever) of self isolation and I am finally getting around to doing some pottery. I thought I would share this with you in case you, like me, are missing our pottery classes (and all the cool equipment we have in the studio). 

I am feeling a bit cozy with all the rain we have been having and being required to stay home and self isolate, I have been looking to the "Hygge" culture for inspiration. So I thought I would do a tutorial on how to make a slab snuggle mug.  

  • See tutorial on YouTube

This brings me to the issue of mugs. 

As you can see, I have been experimenting with mugs for some time. I have a few I like. So, if you are interested, I will break down the pros and cons of what I know about mugs (with a nod to those of you who know more than I). 

The thrown mug vs. the slab mug.

Throwing a mug is, hands down, the favourite way to make a mug for both the maker and the user for some very tactile reasons. It is the easiest and fastest way to make the form. But there is a lot of set up and clean up involved. And if you don’t have a wheel then the slab mug is a good option as opposed to coil or pinch pots that have limitations (not that I am saying you can’t make perfectly good cup using either of these techniques). 

The next consideration is form. 

The pros and cons of the “S curve” mug. 

I love this form. Aesthetically I love how it looks. I love how it feels in my hand. And if it is thrown, I enjoy feeling the throwing lines where my fingers can slip in.  Practically, I like how it keeps the beverage warm longer. 

However, there are a few functional issues. One, there is a problem with the last sip. Because of the shape on the inside, it creates a well as you take a sip which isn’t a problem until it is the last sip and then you must put a bit more effort into getting to it. Some people don’t like this. I, personally, don’t mind it. As there always seems to be one more sip for me to en. Second, there is a problem with the lip. If it is done just right it will gently reach out to greet the users lip. But if it is too big if feels a bit like a tongue reaching out to lick you and functions more like a spout pouring too much out at once. 

This shape is fairly easy to create with both throwing and slab. With throwing you have to be very skillful in keeping a thine, even thickness with the perfect lip. With slab it is much easier. As the thickness is predetermined and you can test it as you are working. 


For these reasons I usually work with slab myself. And most of our class projects are also slab built. But if you are at home and don’t have access to the studio equipment and tools right now, I wanted to just walk you through working at home. 

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