Thursday, August 9, 2007

Just took a look at Tony Clennell's "Get a Handle on It" and "Taking the Macho Out of Bigware". Both are great videos.

In 'Get A Handle on It', (back and front of the case are shown here) Tony shows several different design techniques for making a rolled handle, then does the clearest, easiest demonstration of pulling handles I've seen. He manipulates the clay with great technique and understanding of the material during the pulling process. The aesthetics of placement and attachment is also discussed and shown.

'Taking the Macho Out of Bigware' shows how you can make very large pieces using a two-part technique, marrying the top and bottom of thrown pieces to produce tall or volumenous vessels. It is such a sensible solution. Tony demos this approach in a clear, easy to follow process with several different forms. P.S. Don't miss the trick for finding the bottom of a big bottle. It's Priceless!

These two DVDs make a wonderful addition to Sheila Clennell's great video on creating handmade cane handles. It is also clear in directions and well shot with detail camera work that doesn't leave you wondering how something would look from another angle. Being able to make your own handles allows you to custom design them to match your work.

Every potter comes up with their own version of how to place their hands in the clay for throwning or making components, but I found I was very interested in closely watching Tony's hands as he worked. He has a very light touch along with the good advice of 'leave it alone and keep it fresh'. (You can fiddle clay to death, you know.)

DVDs in general are a great resource for your reference library. The good thing about owning a video is you can look at it over and over again. You can try the technique, then refresh your mind by viewing the process again.

This form of information is especially helpful to me, since I tend to either watch something so intently I don't hear the sound or pay so much attention to the dialog, I miss seeing something. (Quirkey, I know. Watch CNN and read the crawl at the bottom at the same time? Forgettaboutit.)

You can find all the videos beside view great looking pottery on the Clennell's website:, click on the number 4 for Videos.

Segue Alert:

Last night I dreamed I was at my daughter-in-law's house (not her real house; this was a quirky dream-house) and she had a little 'droid dishwasher like a Rumbo floor vacuum. When you wanted to load it, you called it from underneath a cabinet and it rolled to the table for loading. When you were finished, you sent it away with the wave of a hand and it rolled to another cabinet, hooked itself up and washed the dishes.


Emily Murphy said...

I wanted to let you know that I wrote about your blog on mine:
Thanks for writing a great blog!

clayartist said...

Wow Emily,

Nice webpage yourself! I've bookmarked it for mining later.

Thanks for the kind words.