Fart Proudly

For many years I inhaled every pottery book I could get my hands on. Now my library is full to overflowing and I read mostly for pleasure. From time to time I do re-read that classic “Stuck in the Mud” for inspiration as to what I should have learned from what I did.
 I am currently reading an old book of the writings of Benjamin Franklin entitled “Fart Proudly”. Men don’t fart but if they did they should do it proudly. Farting is the domain of women.  Our poop doesn’t smell either.   I like the idea of being proud of who you are and what you do.
I stayed up late last night watching “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. The ending made me sad for her so I couldn’t sleep and remember seeing the clock at 4:30am. I didn’t have much in the tank after getting wood this morning so I threw 30 cups and handled them. My clay is bullet proof. Throw, put out in the sun, trim and handle and back out in the sun. None of this whoosie porcelain for this cowboy.
The cups were basically cylinder tankards that I can throw blind folded. I maintain that a good handle can make an ordinary pot look excellent. In the 15 years I spent at Sheridan I remember all the students being happy as clams in the studio throwing or trimming but ask them to pull a a handle and they found other things to do. Handles are harder to learn to do than throwing. I can teach someone to throw a cylinder in less than a day. To pull a handle would take weeks if not months and in my case years.

So the dog, cat and horse people hate me so I might as well go all hog and say out right I have never seen an extruded handle I like on a cup. A friend used to extrude a slug and then pull it for a decent handle but straight out of the extruder-no thank you. I have owned 3 extruders trying to take the short cut.  There are no short cuts: process is still the best way to make something of quality.


Unknown said…
Wish I could post a picture of extruded handle. Like thrown pots it's what you do with it after !
Anonymous said…
Amen on the handles Tony. Took me years and years to get it right but when someone gets one of my mugs they just got their new favourite mug, guaranteed. So many potter's I know pooh pooh me cuz I don't extrude my handles. Why not do something different I reply. Mugs aren't supposed to look like they were slapped together in the least amount of time possible. But that's just me. I watch them selling their mugs for twelve or fifteen bucks and they watch me selling mine for forty five and I can't keep mine in stock.

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