My obsession

Already obsessed with bigger and bigger pots I decided to buy Nic Collin's book, "Throwing Large" I had tried some of the techniques in the book to no avail as I had previously read about most of the techniques, but the book gave me fresh courage, and like always I went head on into the challenge like a man possessed.

I kept throwing cylinders and drying them with my hot air gun and trying to add coils, it would go wrong so I would cut it off and try again.  I just kept at it till it took, and then just one more layer, and another etc.

Finally I made this pot, it is made of coils from being about 6 inches tall as I kept messing up from it being about 10inches, I just kept cutting off.  But here is is with various battle scares from me not being the best at it, but I intend to keep going, bigger.  The only problem is with kilns, I can't use my own as it is only 12inch height and diameter so will be contacting people with bigger kilns.
It is so much bigger than all the other pots on my desk, none of the others are bigger than 12 inches.
This is tomorrows base, it took me 30 minutes to wedge the clay up and throw it to this size, tomorrow, I will be making coils and trying to beat 17inchs while trying to create a nicer looking pot than the base currently is. 11 inches another 11 would be nice at least.

One of the things that used to put me off of trying to make bigger things was the fact we never carried more than 8 12.5kg bags in stock at any one time, now I have almost 750kg of my own clay plus a couple of my wife's ES5 which I'm only allowed to throw with if it is too dry for her to hand build with.


  1. wow now those are some big pots! congrats on getting them to being that large. Must say one thing I still struggle with is shrinkage, in my mind everything always looks too big and I always just have to trust myself to make things a certain way.

    Of course when they dry out they're the right size!

  2. Robin Hopper's video was recommended as a good source of information for throwing large also.

  3. Well the one I started for yesterday developed a wobble at about 20inchs and at 23 inches collapsed. I had put 1.30 minutes into it, but it was a learning curve. Quickly wedged up some more clay and threw a 25inch bottle vase like an example in the book, that took me two hours, then I cleaned the studio before closing up.

    @ little wren: do you keep a log book with sizes(fired and unfired), shapes, weights. I have one I started in Uni but some of the forms have changed so I need to update them.

    Shrinkage is going to be big on these pieces. I need a clear day to throw, looking at being a week on Friday before I can throw big again.

    @Lori: I will look at getting that DVD next time I have some money. Guy Wolff is also one that I have watched on Youtube and is very good to watch for bigger things.

  4. Ah I don't currently keep track of shrinkage rates, I really should then I'd be able to more create a percentage. At the very least it'd be interesting to know!

  5. Hi Joseph
    I use a gas burner(raku or weed burner) rather than a hot air gun, so does Nic. It dries the pot out in a different way, just drying the surface off, rather than slowly drying it all the way through like a hot air gun does. It makes it much easier to add sections and the moisture within the dried section, soaks back through to the surface. Not sure if that made sense, but a gas burner will work much better. Good luck! Doug

  6. Hi Doug

    I have seen and read about the gas burner, but my landlord would throw a wobbler if he found out that I was using gas in the workshop. There are several parts of the lease that specify no propane in my studio too, so I have been stuck with the hot air gun at the moment.

    I can't wait to change out of those premises so then I can actually do this a with some efficiency.