Unrounding - Discovering and Befriending Asymmetry
From Thrown Forms
A two-day workshop presented by Jack Troy
Nine wheels are available to work hands-on with Jack
Ten seats will be arranged for watch Jack work
and listen to his thoughts on 'Unrounding'
The wheel’s use as a tool for making hollow, round clay shapes will be our starting point. Rather than refining what we already know about throwing, we will start with intentional bottle forms and discover how we can "evolve" them into pieces that often give no clue as to how they began.
We will throw an arsenal of bottles and progress into enclosed forms of varying sizes and shapes to alter in both gentle and more vigorous ways with simple tools and paddles as we become sensitive to the clay’s willingness to change according to its soft and stiffer leather-hard states.
Years ago David Shaner sent me a thrown paddled form about the size of half an apple with something inside that rattles softly, creating a hidden "voice” when shaken. Since then I have been exploring a variety of rattling forms, the Japanese name of which is “ishi no sasayaki” – “stone with secret voice.” The pieces may also subtly change their presence as the center of gravity shifts within.
We will be throwing completely enclosed forms and paddling them into organic and geometric shapes that can be both sculptural and functional. We do this by discovering as we go - scuffing and “chasing” the clay around its supporting air pocket. Some will contain the objects to create different tones when fired. This is not a “gimmick,” but a way of enlivening the space inside what we make, creating an element of surprise for whoever picks it up. Sound unique to each piece can only be experienced after firing and is accompanied by a sense of subtle movement within.
This lively class will be a memorable opportunity to engage our curiosity about the potential for what we feel confident in making - creating a more expansive, and original vocabulary than we had imagined.
Hands-on class members should confidently throw bottles 6" and taller (intermediate level).
Participants are asked to bring a clay object they have lived with for at least several years that has a particular meaning to them they would like to share.
Please read on my Website and if you respond to any, please bring them up as discussions topics.
About the Artist / Teacher
Jack Troy is a potter, teacher, and writer, from Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, where he taught at Juniata College for 39 years. He has taught more than 250 workshops in the U. S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, and other countries, and has worked at the Institute of Ceramic Studies, Jingdezhen, China; he was an Invited Artist at Japan’s Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park. His education in ceramics has included trips to 26 countries. Having published over 100 articles in ceramics publications, he also wrote Salt Glazed Ceramics, Wood Fired Stoneware and Porcelain, as well as Calling the Planet Home, and Giving it up to the Wind [poems]. His work has been exhibited widely, and is in numerous collections, public and private, including the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery, Auckland (NZ) Museum of Art, Kalamazoo (Michigan) Institute of Art and Alfred University. He received the 2012 NCECA (National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts) Excellence in Teaching Award, and gave the closing talk, “Anecdotal Evidence,” (accessible on You Tube) at the 49th NCECA conference in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2015, and was accorded Watershed’s “Legend” status with Paula Winokur and Wayne Higby in 2017. 2022 is Jack’s 60th year as a potter.