I didn't get to the studio for my usual session this past Sunday. I was knee deep in deadlines and slap boxing a few gremlins. By Sunday night I was in full scale terror worrying over the status of my pieces in a well heated and ventilated studio. Greenware, even when covered with plastic, goes from damp to leatherhard much faster during drier seasons or when subjected to heat. With three jars, one dish and four lids waiting to be trimmed and prepped for bisque firing, a week might be a bit too long to wait.
I hustled to the studio early this morning fearing the worst. I found instead that double wrapping my pieces and tucking them away from any heavy ventilation made the difference. In fact, my dish wasn't even leatherhard, so I wrapped it and will tend to it on Wednesday night.
But that's not the highlight of this potter's tale.
Today, I threw four handles for my lids - off the hump. And I made all four of them from that hump in less than 20 minutes. For me? This is a level up in my capabilities. Throwing "off the hump" means creating multiple pieces from one centered clay mass. So, you center the clay on the wheel and then work with a portion of clay at the top to create your piece. You slice that piece off, set it aside and immediately start making your next piece using another portion of clay. And so on. It works really well when you're making multiple smaller pieces like small lids or lid tops; but I've also seen expert potters create cups and mugs working from the hump. I'm not there...yet.
I have to laugh at myself because this time last year I was convinced I would never even attempt a jar, or anything that would require a lid. Now, it's all I want to do. I'll update with some pictures soon.