View Full Version : Throwing Clay
08-28-2001, 11:36 PM
I noticed in your profile that you want to throw a great pot again. Refresh my memory, what's you're level of injury? I ask because, while in art school, I took a ceramics class, and they bought a wheel specifically designed for throwing clay from your wheelchair. Now, I never threw clay before, but I threw a couple decent pots after MUCH practice. I'm a C-6 quad, btw. Have you had a chance to throw since SCI?
08-29-2001, 01:11 PM
i'm glad i read your post, rus. i was kind of wondering what "throwing clay" was about http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif
i have a pretty normal c6 injury motorwise. (i'm sensory incomplete though) good tenodesis but no finder movement. that is pretty chill that your art school had a wheel that you could use. i had wondered if there was even such a thing. i guess it probably wouldn't be that complicated though because they make them with a motor even for AB use.
i messed with pottery back in high school before my sci but i haven't had the chance to since i broke my neck. i keep thinking i should go ask brother (my art teacher) what we could try. maybe i'll just have to figure out if i can get under the kickwheel and then con one of the high school kids to provide the power http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif
i used to love throwing pots back in the day. i got away with murder in brother's classes so i'd be running around with no shoes or socks, shirt untucked, (serious offenses in the dress code at my high school but i liked having bare feet to kick the wheel) covered in clay. i ended up having to cut off my long fingernails (which i loved) so i wouldn't gouge a hole in the clay, but it was worth it. i always had fun throwing the clay on the wheel to start too. i've never been very big so i had to basically do a whole body throw to get it stuck good. i know brother always got a kick out of that.
i have some really good memories of it. thanks for posting. i'll have to find out if it's a possibilty around here. (small town iowa) i hope my hands would cooperate. thanks, melissa
Life is a lesson you learn when you're through.
08-29-2001, 01:36 PM
My school (University of South Florida) was quick to order the wheel when I joined the class. They figured, even if I never used it, they needed it for any other students in wheelchairs. The cool thing was, it was adjustable so an A/B could use it too. I've seen wheels powered by washing machine engines too. I'm a C-6 sensory incomplete too, and if i could throw a pot having never done it before, I'm sure you could do it with practice considering previous experience. Hell, I relearned how to draw.
Your bro is an art teacher? Cool. One of my degrees is in art education, the other in fine arts, but I'd rather be the cool guy who visits the class than the regular teacher at this point. http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif I have other creative outlets I'm pursuing right now, but I love kids, and I'll teavh in some capacity again.
Anyway, as for tjrowing pots, I realized the key was technique, not strength. And technique starts in the mind, not the body. (Works for sex too http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif )
08-31-2001, 02:37 PM
that is pretty chill that they bought a wheel for you to use. the schools around here are pretty tiny and there aren't any students in chairs so i doubt i would be lucky enough for them to get one. i think i will ask if we could modify what they have though and try it out. (my old principal likes me so i could probably con him into it...hehehe) if your pottery skills are anywhere close to your drawing skills i bet they were nice. it does take a lot of practice but it's worth it in the end to see the finished glazed product. (unless someone f's with the kiln and there's a big crack in it... http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/redface.gif )
oops...i forgot to mention that the brother i was talking about is only a couple years younger then my parents...and his name happens to be mr. brosnan...and he never questioned the lil green leaves that always seemed to end up on people's projects/drawings http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif oops...i got off the subject a lil there.
art education is definitely a nice major. i have a friend studying that right now. you're right about the cool guys that visit class...everybody always loved them back in school. i'm sure the kids would love seeing your work. i've thought about teaching also. lil kids have got to be one of the best things in life and it can be really fun showing them how to do things.
my art teacher did a very good job teaching us the finer techniques of pottery. although my method of getting the clay on the wheel probably looked unorthodox, it was pretty precise. i always took the time to prepare before throwing because having good clay positioning on the wheel definitely starts everything off right. (one controlled clay bodyslam coming up)
i think i just channelled a lil extra energy into my efforts...oh yeah, my pottery skills weren't shabby either http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif melissa
Life is a lesson you learn when you're through.
08-31-2001, 07:56 PM
Well, if you want to take pottery, they have to accomodate your disability somehow. Maybe that's modifying a wheel they currently have like you mentioned, maybe it's buying a new one, but they have to do it according to the ADA. I say, if you loved it as much as it sounds you did, go for it. It'll be frustrating asd hell at first, but very rewarding in the long run.
When I did my internship for Art Ed, the kids in elementary quickly got past my disability, and I was just Mr. Wooton, the cool art teacher. (Mr. Wooton still sounds SO old) The kids were great (it was a good public school w/good parent involvement). And I enjoyed teaching, but didn't feel in my gut I wanted to do it full-time. A college friend became an art teacher at a middle school, and I visited his students on several occasions briefly discussing my injury, then talking about how comic books are made, finishing with a drawing demonstration. I also subbed for him a few times. Teaching full-time takes a certain kind of disposition, and I think I could do it, but I feel the need to pursue different creative outlets for now.
BTW, I've seen some of those 'clay bodyslams' you're talking about. http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif thanks for the compliments on my drawing, but I only spent about a mpnth 'throwing clay'--they were decent all things considered, but nothing great. It's an artform that is often overlooked but can produce beautiful stuff in the right 'hands.' Did you ever do any salt-firing?
09-04-2001, 06:02 PM
that's a good point about the ada. my only problem is that the only colleges within reach right now don't offer much in the way of art classes. hopefully once i'm able to go away to school i'll be able to take some good art courses. i'm thinking about just talking to my high school teacher like i mentioned to see if we can set something up now. i'm sure i'll get frustrated like i have with some things since my injury, but it would feel good to make something again. i was always into more craft type projects then drawing so i've had to figure out new ways of trying to do them again. i'd really like to get back into candle-making, but i'm not sure how good an idea it is for me to be playing with hot wax http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/redface.gif i wish i had a picture of my favorite candle. it is a mix of blues and purples in the shape of a hand with a reservoir carved into the base to fill with water. it is one of the only projects i ever did that i thought was ok. brother ended up buying it from me to use as an example to show his classes but he said i can have it back now if i want. the only problem is that someone cracked the pinky and we've had a hard time getting it re-attached. we melted it a couple times but that never lasted and we don't really want to just glue it.
aren't kids great http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif i bet they forgot your wheelchair almost immediately. in fact, i've met a lot of kids who think my chair is chill so you might have even gotten a couple "cool points" for it. i bet it was a lil strange being called mr. wooton by a bunch of kids not much taller than chair level. http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif that is great that you've been able to visit and sub in some classes. i'm sure it was rewarding for both you and the kids. i'm sure they loved learning about comics. a good art teacher can definitely can bring out some wonderful talent. in high school i ended up wanting to go into accounting partly just because i had a wonderful accounting teacher.
lol...sometimes you just have to put your whole body into things. the way i got the clay on the wheel was part of my enthusiasm for throwing a pot. i'm sure your pottery was nice. some of your talent in drawing probably showed up in it. i never had the change to salt fire anything, but we did discuss it in class. we did some interesting things with glaze though. we had some pretty chill metallic type ones. thank goodness everyone always made sure "food safe" glaze was used on things that needed it.
i've always been amazed at the way people's pottery can be such an extension of themselves through their hands. the loss of my finger function was a large blow to me as i'm sure it was for you. it feels good when i figure out new ways of doing things i used to love. i hope i can get my new "paws" to behave so i can throw again. melissa
Life is a lesson you learn when you're through.
09-04-2001, 09:44 PM
Ya wanna do something? Try it! http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif I bake (on occasion) putting stuff in & taking it out of the oven, and I've even done some welding back in sculpture class. I used an oxy/acetaline torch to weld a steel cube then cut into it on my way to creating a scuplture. Our task was to 'lose the cube'. Anyway, it's a matter of being careful and planning things out before doing them. When welding, I used gloves of course, and I had a thick welder's apron to protect me, my chair and my CUSHION. I dreaded a hot piece of slag dropping on my Roho, deflating it immediately. Yikes!
Good luck with pottery if & when you try it again. And don't give up right away, ok? http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif
[This message was edited by Scorpion on September 05, 2001 at 02:03 AM.]