Duluth artist Dorian Beaulieu combines his love of ceramics, creativity & education for the benefit of students at Lake Superior College. He has a true passion for learning and sharing his gifts with all he encounters.
I have been making a lot of platters recently and I thought I should do a video. The video shows how I throw my platters and plates.
Some tips I have learned:
– Make sure to leave a good amount of clay (1/2 – 3/4 inch) on the bottom if you plan to have a foot.
– Throw with dryer clay and less water especially if you plan to have a wide flat lip.
– Let it dry upside right until the lip becomes a little stiffer than leather hard, then turn it upside down (make sure the center doesn’t collapse and if it does let it dry longer upside right and place it on newspaper or something that will help soak the moisture from the bottom) and let it dry until it is ready to trim.
Mugs are what I make the most of and every single mug comes out different. I don’t tailor the mugs for certain people but rather allow the mugs to be unique and call out to each unique and individual person. Below are a few steps and tips to remember when throwing mugs.
– Throw using the COPS method (center, open, pull, shape) – I will combine steps to make it faster.
– Make sure the bottom is compressed and free of any extra water before you pull. Also, the bottom should be the same thickness as the walls unless you plan to trim the bottom later. I don’t trim my mugs but rather roll a studio foot.
– Use a metal or plastic rib to scrap any excess slurry off the outside of the vessel.
— This helps the outside to be smooth.
— You can shape the vessel while you do this.
— It helps when transferring the vessel off the bat immediately after being thrown (your hands have more grip so you don’t drop or squish it in the process).
– The lip of the mug is important because that is where you put your lips and you want the liquid to pour out without dripping. I use the skin between my ring and middle finger on my right hand to smooth and shape the lip as a final touch.
Watch and learn to trim a bowl from start to finish. Gather helpful insight whether you are a beginner or an expert.
Some tips when trimming a foot:
– Make sure the vessel is leather hard and is securely attached to the bat before trimming.
– Check the bottom while trimming with the bounce technique or sound check, you don’t want to trim through it! These techniques also work when trimming the side.
– Be creative, the foot is important and should complement the overall vessel.