[Clayart] how long does a mug last

Linda White lin6clay at gmail.com
Wed Apr 27 19:08:53 UTC 2022

Wow, this made me remember my introduction to the wheel. I was in high school and my art teacher gave me a scholarship to the Wichita Art Association. I didn’t know anything about wheel throwing and I could have taken many different courses. Since I’d had little interaction with clay, I took Ceramics. There I met a nice older gentleman named Jack Pharo, who showed me how to wedge, did a throwing demonstration and turned me loose. What was my goal? I have no idea. I just knew I was fascinated, trying to duplicate what Jack had done especially what he had said was the most difficult—making a bottle. My first effort was tiny—I had to cut the top off several times as my attempts to collar failed. I ended up with a little bowl with inturned edges about 2 inches high and 3 inches wide. Undeterred, I wedged more clay and tried again. This time I was rewarded with a bottle with a small body and a neck about an inch wide and 5 inches long. I still have it. I handmade a little plug for the top. After that, it took me weeks before I could center with ease and left me with a desire to continue taking more ceramics classes with Jack. I was enrolled in every session for the rest of my high school life. Came back later for more while in college.

What was my goal? I have no idea. I only know it absorbed my attention in a way nothing else had ever done, and I wanted more.

I’ve been involved with clay for the rest of my life. I tried making my living at it but for many reasons, that just didn’t work. I’m 78. I still have a studio with a wheel and a kiln and I still make stuff. Some of it I sell. Why do I do it? I really couldn’t say. I just know it makes me feel complete—satisfies something in me that needs to do it. And what a wonderful thing it is to take clay, water and other materials and come up with things that I use every day and know there are people who use things I’ve made and love them partly because I made them.

Linda White
LickHaven Pottery
Dushore PA

> On Apr 27, 2022, at 11:48 AM, Terry Lazaroff <terrylazaroff at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have a question for those who taught high school art.  When a select few students were working the wheel. What were their goals?  We’re they just looking at the wheel as an experience, or we’re they trying to master the craft?  
> Terry

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