I have started to work on a new mug form. Its kind of Ruggles&Rankin/Clary Illian/Sequoia Miller inspired. This mug form is pretty different than the mugs I have been making recently (Simon's mugs). I just got back from a trip, which I will write all about soon (I promise Ryan). Anyways, this trip made me think a lot about the pots I am making and the pots that I want to make. Being surrounded by a lot of good pots and potters made me think a lot about what makes a good pot. This is kind of an unanswerable question but it is very thought provoking.
The point that I am trying to get at is that I am back in a very "investigative" place in making pots. I am trying lots of new things and following lots of new influences. I am very excited about these new influences and new ideas to try out. This has caused me to get back into the mode were all I want to do is make pots. I am trying new things with clay bodies and also I have been throwing almost everything off the hump. I was inspired to throw and trim off the hump by Simon. He throws most of his pots off the hump, including plates.
Throwing off the hump can be difficult to begin with but provides many advantages in my opinion. There are the obvious benefits of not having to make individual balls of clay and increasing how fast you can make pots. But for me one of the biggest things is that the pot is raised up on a pedestal of sorts (the hump). This allows you to see the pot from a more objective angle while you are throwing it. I also like the freedom of making many pots quickly and I also like the process and the marks left from cutting the pot off the hump.
Trimming off the hump (soft clay chuck) allows you to keep the pot steady without using wads and without flattening the rim by sticking it to the wheel head. The pot also moves around a little which allows you to have a little more movement in your pots.
I believe that working in this way, using the processes described above, allows me to move closer to making the pots that I like. I have a lot more ideas I am currently working on and I will share them with you soon.