Still kickin'

Here is a small crayon drawing my ole buddy Dave McCowan made of me when I was about 35 years old. I had a group that met at my house every Tuesday night.  I was single parenting and the kids would go to Nan's on Tuesday night. I would make a meal, we would drink, smoke(but never inhale), listen to rock and roll, tell jokes and lies and have a great time together.
I made all my pots on a William's kick wheel. The William's wheel can still be purchased used here in Ontario rather cheap as they are big , take up a lot of room and the motor on them is puck driven and can be noisy if you use the motor. I love these wheels and would have another if I could get it down the basement to my studio. I loved to give the wheel one good kick and trim a cup or bowl.  The wheel slowing appropriately. I think everyone should learn on a kick wheel as it teaches you to slow down. I find the main problem with  teaching most students today is speed. They put the pedal to the metal. Slow wheel, soft clay is my mantra.
I was telling people at my talk last night that when i started you couldn't buy prepared clay or glazes. I had an old bakers dough mixer I used to mix my clay. We used to believe that peeing in your clay or pouring tea into the mix made it age better. I've tried it all it seems.  Frank Tucker bought Rodaco Clay from Ron Roy who started making clay for potters in around 72. You could also take your reclaim in to have it remixed.  Frank had to send out a memo to potters to stop peeing in their clay as it was making the guys mixing it hurl.
It is all so much easier today but that said I think the best pots in my life time are being made today. There is some awesome work being made.


Anonymous said…
Hello Tony, Enjoyed seeing you at your open house on Sunday. The items I purchased are awesome. Please reserve a spot for me at the Shino workshop in April!!
gz said…
many don't understand the way of working on a wheel that is slowing down,as opposed to one which is constantly pushing.
Makes you use softer clay on a kickwheel, makes you work with the clay,not use it
Anonymous said…
You are lucky tony to have the ability to buy Frank's clay. Most of the clay available here in the formerly united states is crap. We were having a good laugh in the online clay class when Matt Katz told us some potter had told him he had crap clay from a us company and the rep said, huh, that's funny, you're the only one who we have heard from about that clay who doesn't like it. Katz had been tracking it on FB and stopped counting when he saw ten of the exact same comments and ten of the exact same responses from that clay company. I was visiting Ron and Liz two summers ago and Ron is still firing cone 10R test bars for Frank - I don't know if any of the us claymakers actually test the clay they make. I'm exploring mixing my own clay, not that I want to but I feel I have no choice. I would happily pay double for a good c10 US made body so if anyone knows one leave a comment eh! Cheers and merry Christmas, Owen in Oregon

Popular Posts