Hand building with Matthew Thompson

Matthew Thompson  – technical demonstrator in clay and glaze, practicing designer and maker of ceramic tableware, plaster model and mouldmaking.  www.ceramicmatt.blogspot.co.uk

by Matthew Thompson

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In the lesson Matt demonstrated how to use slab roller machine and rolling pin to roll out clay slabs. Although the slab roller is more efficient and convenient, as a learner I prefer to everything put my hands on it to experience how materials are changed through the working process and to have better understanding of control materials. So most of my slabs were rolled out by rolling pin. Matt also showed us the slip join technique. Although I had experience of this technique from my evening class, it is good to have revision.

We were asked to build two small pots and a bigger vessel. I didn’t have any idea of what to build. I just randomly started to build a pot. This is the most interesting part of creation, now and then to let the materials lead you the way and tell how to move on. It was very funny that the pot was fairly similar to the calf I made in Natasha’s lesson. Based on its traits I continued to build another pot which was similar to the first one but with a twist.

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A larger slab-slip-join vase was also made. As the straightness of the vase could be warped due to its shrinkage in the drying process so I paid more attention to keep my vase drying evenly.

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Another hand building lesson with Matt. This time we concentrated on surface decorating/adding texture onto a ceramics surface. Colour slip, sgrafitto, inlay, grog..etc were introduced.

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