Category: 365 days of clay cups

Cup #355 – The Final Count Down – 10 Ceramic Cups To Go!

Well folks….this is it! 10 more cup throwing videos!! Can you believe it? 😀 There is a lot of reflection going on nearing the end of the project.( Listen to this song while watching the video…No copyright infringement this way 😀 The Final Coundown )
I can honestly say I now feel comfortable about throwing cups! For the last clips I wanted to share some of the important lessons I’ve learned along the way:
Tammy’s TOP 10 of 2011:
#10. Find What Techniques Work Best For YOU!
When it came to the basics…I learned not everyone uses the same techniques (and some people can be pretty adamant about the benefits of their own technique). No one technique will fit every person, so I decided on which ones gave me the best results (for me) then practiced them over and over to work towards mastery! ……….
Thanks for watching and hope you enjoy!
Warmth and Friendship,
Tammy Jo

Cup 342 Quite possibly my favorite cup to date

I don’t remember if I mentioned this before (may have), but when I was a teenager I worked at the Egyptian Museum in San Jose and lots of time was spent in the galleries with ancient artifacts, pottery, mummies etc. (along with washing a lot of windows and giving tours of the tomb ;). At that time I learned to really enjoy “archaeology” and the treasures of old…the form of this cup just reminds me!

There isn’t anything about this cup I would change!

Thank you for watching and hope you enjoy it as well 🙂 ~ Tammy Jo

Cups ~ Videos ~ Life!

The intent of the blog was to keep you posted daily on what I’ve been working on, my thoughts behind why I’m doing what I’m doing..just a little  more deep than the vlog.  That just hasn’t yet happened. What surprised me was the amount of time it took to edit and upload the vlog….big surprise. 

Then there was the internal debate about the blog..”Do I post the present day I’m working on, or the day of the video upload?” When videos are posted online, these cups were made 3 days prior, for example I just uploaded Day #12 of 365 Days, but today’s shop experience will be Day #15! So before I decide on a concrete post date…let me recap what I’ve learned in the last couple weeks: 

There haas been so much helpful wheel throwing & pottery tip information posted on the youtube videos, I wanted to gather up in one place so I can go back and reflect the past 14 days): Here are some excellent video responses: 

    • Smooth the lip of the cup with a chamois .
    • Tie a piece of sponge around a stick to get water off the bottom of a cup.
    • If using a sponge to throw, cut it in 1/2 (lengthwise is the correct way..I just cut it in 1/
    • Try not to use the sponge when opening or pulling up, it will dry out the clay and doesn’t allow me to easily feel the thickness of the clay. 
    • Work on centering and securing the piece to the bat, also be sure the pieces are leatherhard before trimming!! (big exclamation point on this one).
    • So many more tips I’ve received and will add to future blogs!
    • One of the biggest suggestions was a video response from Steve Booton that shared a simple way to make a cylinder and get all the clay up from the’s the link:


      Steve Booton~
  • “Throw the base of the cylinder out farther than you want the width of the outside rim.” Then continue to pull up!
Too Darn Cold!
Because I’ve been dealing with a cold workshop, I’ve had to make some adjustments such as bringing in the cold clay to warm up and the thrown pieces to dry in time to be trimmed. 

Editing ~ Not for the Time Starved
After 15 days I think I finally have this monster under control. I was spending way too much time editing and saving in a professional software program and optimum settings when I could have easily taken another route (which I have) and saved myself hours (no joke)! 

What’s Next? 
After typing this blog I’ve decided to use my blog to type what I’m feeling and experiencing on an actually given day. So today ( 1/12/11) is the 12th Cup online, but the 15th cup in the shop. So in a sense this blog could be a ‘SPOILER ALERT’ for future videos or a “preview” of what’s to come! 

Signing Off ~ Now go enjoy some clay~
~ Tammy Jo


Dialing in on the Details….

My scrambling is done for Christmas tomorrow and I was just going over my game plan for 365 Days of Clay Cups. 1st I wanted to say Thank you to my daughter Rebecca, she is a graphic designer and made a logo for the website.  THANKS BECS!

Now…the details. I keep going back and forth on how to present the videos since the biggest challenge is finishing a completed cup in one day because of drying time. To make it clear…1 cup may take 3 days to complete. So, I’ll be throwing a minimum of 1 cup a day and vlogging my daily activities for each cup which includes the throwing, trimming, altering and glazing stages.  To be sure I’m working in a loose routine and allowing for creativity, I charted out the flow of one cup and what I’d like to include in each video. Obviously this can change if the cups design dictates..but the constant is beginning a new cup every day:

Here is an example of my daily schedule: 
Day 1      Cup 1
                    o   Journal Clay used & weight
o   Take Video
§  Prep work
§  Throwing cups (select best cup form as my daily cup, I may throw more than one.)
§  Placing form on shelf until leather hard.
Day 2
          Cup 1
o   Take video of trimming, adding handles or embellishments & any underglaze painting.

          Cup 2
o   Journal Clay used & weight
o   Take Video
§  Prep work
§  Throwing cups (select best cup form)
§  Placing form on shelf.
o   Take Pictures
§  Cup 1 (Before) Set aside for bisque fire.
Day 3
          Cup 2
o   Take video of adding handles or embellishments & any underglaze painting.

          Cup 3
o   Journal Clay used & weight
o   Video
§  Prep work
§  Throwing cups (select best cup form)
§  Placing form on shelf.
o   Pictures
§  Cup 2  (Before) Set aside for bisque fire.
Once I have enough for a firing, I’ll add that to the vlog including any glazing sessions.
I’m feeling pretty good about the plan and would encourage anyone reading this to let me know if there is something I’ve missed or that you would like to see 🙂 !
Have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow and will see you soon!
Virtual Cheers & God Bless!
Tammy Jo

Getting Ready!

After spending a few days mentally playing out how to share my 365 Day quest, I’ve come to some very interesting dilemma’s and decisions. 

1. Not every cup will take one day to complete. It will take a short time to throw or hand build the basic cup form, but there are the added details and trimming that must be done…quite possibly a day later. The question remains as to the best way to share the 365 day process.  
2. When to start?  Since I will be posting videos & blogs each day, I think it would be more manageable to publish them to the internet the next day. So to begin on January 1, 2011, I’ll need to throw my 1st cup on December 31, 2010 to get it online by the 1st deadline. 
3. Keeping the goal in mind. I wanted to establish a habit of throwing on the wheel, working with clay and improving on a daily basis. The “documentary” process should show my “real life” throwing journey. I  already possess basic throwing and handbuilding skills…but I’m an amateur work in progress. I’ll be sharing the triumphs as well as the trials. If I happen to “crash and burn” on multiple cups, I’ll be sure the day does not end unless I have at least 1 cup to show for the efforts!
There are many other items on the list and the reason being I want to start well and develop a steady pace..a comfortable pace, a peaceful flow.  Looking forward to this experience and I hope it can inspire others to get started doing something they love…you never know where it will lead!