1. These sections (6 inches x 1.5 inches) are made cubed shape in order to uses the mini-harp which is the tool used to evenly slice the clay. A picture of the harp is at the bottom of the page.
2. Starting with the black blocks, these are sliced with the mini-harp and laid out in even spaces.
3. The other blocks are sliced and fill in the gaps between the black sections.
4. The slices are glued together with black porcelain slip and compressed with a rolling pin.
5. After leaving the glued block to dry for a few hours the edges can be cut to create a manageable shape.
6. Stretching the block will compress the structure of the clay and create a bond between the slices.
7. These blocks are 3 inches long. They match each other so it is important to keep them the same size and weight.
8. Shaping the pieces helps establish the over all shape.
9. The four pieces are sliced to an even 1.4mm. This is the pot wall and now the importance of evenly sliced pieces is evident, the wall needs to be even from the early stages of development.
10. The pieces are joined with black slip.
11. For some reason this always reminds me of a turtle or similar creature. The pieces are now together in one slab; still a long way to go.
12. The clay is leather hard and has some give so it is possible to twist the base, this creates a contour in the pot shaped like a spiral.
13. Right side up and worked by hand into a shape that fits the pot.
15. The pot is centered on a wheel and trimmed to a regular shape. This is where the evenly sized and weighted slices apply to create regularity in the thickness of the pot wall.
17. An hour or so later using a turning tool and knife a bowl shape emerges with the foot of the pot showing the swirling lines.
14. This is the vase, upside down showing the twist in the base. It is ready for trimming.
16. At this point the consistency of the clay becomes important. trimming the pot requires soft clay but too soft and it loses it shape.
18. The finished pot, still wet clay at this point. A slow drying period awaits.
The tools are; brush for applying slip, wire for cutting clay, turning tool, mini-harp, thin metal kidney, rasp, stainless steel ruler, blunt and sharp knife and a thin rolling pin-half these tools are used for trimming clay on the wheel.