[Clayart] The "Throw it away" mentality.

Paul Gerhold gerholdclay at gmail.com
Sun Oct 9 07:35:54 EDT 2016

Well said. All I would add is that repairing is probably more applicable for decorative as opposed to functional pieces, particularly where large amounts of time are involved in a piece.


Sent from my iPad

> On Oct 8, 2016, at 9:41 PM, Vince Pitelka <vpitelka at dtccom.net> wrote:
> I don't see that the title of this thread has anything to do with what we are really talking about.  It has nothing to do with what we really know of as the "throw-away" mentality.  Learning how to repair forms damaged in the greenware or bisqueware stage is of course a valuable skill, applicable to items where the repair job is a small task compared to the labor required to make another from scratch.  But attempting to repair a crack or reattach a handle on a bone-dry coffee mug makes no sense.  Recycling the clay and making another one is far more productive and worthwhile in the long run, because you make more progress in getting better, and you quickly learn to make forms that do not crack.  Getting good at making repairs involves valuable skills, but letting yourself use those skills to repair things made carelessly just gives license to keep making things carelessly.  
> A maker should certainly respect their own accomplishment, especially as skills and design sense improve, but when it comes to simple undecorated or minimally decorated forms handbuilt or thrown on the wheel, getting hung up on the preciousness of the individual object at the greenware or bisqueware stage is counterproductive.  In teaching throwing, I always advise beginning throwers to sit down at the wheel with at least a dozen properly-prepared balls of clay, and to never labor a form.  As soon as it starts to misbehave in a way that is not easily fixable, think about what went wrong, and then scrape it off the wheel and start anew.  
> One of the most valuable ways to advance in any craft is to consciously make every new piece in the context of the last one completed.  What went right?  What went wrong?  What can be done to improve the technique and the design and finish of the item?  Craftspeople who always consciously think about these things are the ones who make the most progress in developing technique and design sense.  You have to train yourself to do this, but pretty soon it becomes a matter of habit.  
> - Vince
> Vince Pitelka
> Appalachian Center for Craft
> Tennessee Tech University
> vpitelka at dtccom.net  
> https://sites.tntech.edu/wpitelka/

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