Solo Spinning the Wheel on Pottery

Evalynn begins her long journey making her first plate

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Spinning the Wheel on Pottery

Postby Evalynn Frostfawn on August 9th, 2022, 11:34 pm

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Summer 28th 522AV

For the past several weeks, Nesra gave Eva the job of throwing plates, and Eva was extremely excited. At first, Eva found it difficult to throw a single mini pot, turning all eight of her kneaded balls into clunky, wobbly looking cups or tiny bowls. To be honest, They were supposed to be cups and bowls, but they looked more like planter pots. Eva was happy about them either way, and now she had a gift to deliver to Moritz when she saw him next. But now, since she was able to get more practice, and given permission to continue to make clay for throwing, Eva hasn't stopped trying to perfect the bowls and cups.

Right now, Eva was preparing another batch of slurry to replace the one she was about to use today. The process was becoming less and less messy as she worked, but all in all it was always messy as she pulled out sticks and rocks from the initial mix before straining. Once poured into the hanging cloth, and wiping off excess mix from her hands and arms, Eva then recovered the last batch of clay and brought it over to the table.

She popped it down and proceeded to slice it into roughly eight pieces, patting them into balls and setting them to the side under some plastic. She gave a long winded sigh and tenderly wiped her forehead, trying not to get as much clay on it today. Once she had finished kneading her clay, she could probably see if Nesra needed help loading the kiln with all the projects she's done. Eva gave a peek around the kiln to check on her mentor, who was busy checking on recently fired pots. Her focus was unwavering, so Eva decided not to bother her right now and focus on the task at hand. This would be her first time making a plate, and Nesra forewarned her that plates, although simple looking, were actually more difficult to handle on the wheel.

They were more prone to flying apart if too much speed was applied or even the smallest area was too thin. But this didn't intimidate her, as she had clay fly at her before when she had first started out. So, while she was cone kneading the clay, her thoughts were off and about, reminiscing and learning from past mistakes. After about thirty to forty-five minutes, Eva then took a kneaded ball of clay and walked over to the wheel. She wiped the surface down with her hand then grabbed a bat and attached it to the wheel with one hand. Water was then lightly squeezed on the surface, just enough to help the clay stick, before she slapped it in the center as best she could. Her next step was to begin coning, which is where the fun began.

WC:475



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Evalynn Frostfawn
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Spinning the Wheel on Pottery

Postby Evalynn Frostfawn on August 9th, 2022, 11:36 pm

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Her foot gently got the wheel moving as her hands pressed into her sides of the clay. She used her body as a weight, helping her make the process easier. With both of her palms, she eased up the clay into a tall, skinny tower. Then, with only one hand on top, she used her palm to ease the clay back down while her other hand helped it keep center and not go out of control. On occasion, she had to take the sponge from her water bucket and squeeze on some water, but not too much otherwise the clay may get too soggy and fall apart. Or worse, it may all together just come flying off of the wheel, slinging across the ground and into the trees. Eva chuckled at that memory, her expression was of shock and she basically had to scramble to get her emotions in check before she looked back at Nesra, who in turn, just shook her head and instructed Eva to fetch it.

After coning her clay four or five times, Eva shaped it into a cylinder and began the process as if she was making a bowl. She inserted her index finger into the center, creating a hole, and gradually made it larger by inserting two more fingers while pressing outward. She also helped keep steady pressure on the outside as well with her palm while she opened up the clay. At this point, she began utilizing the sponge more, wetting it when there wasn't enough water and also helping to make sure the clay stayed smooth and uniform. As she began to thin out the walls in the form of a bowl, Nesra walked over and gave a bit of an approving noise.

"Already started, have you? Here, let me see…oh, nice, those walls are starting to look more even, though still too thick. Are you planning on making a plate with that?" Nesra gave a bit of criticism as Eva chuckled, not looking up from her work. "I see that is a no since you're still thinning out the sides. Mhm, oh yes, now start bringing it up more then easing it down."

With Nesra's gentle guidance, Eva began forming a bowl at first before flattening it out to a slightly raised plate. She grinned to herself, she was going to be able to make her very first plate! As she went to go get some more water in her sponge, Eva was brimming with pride. So much so that she didn't watch the speed of the wheel and by the time she looked back down at her project it began to wobble wildly. Eva gave a gasp and immediately let her foot off of the wheel, in a desperate attempt to correct her mistake. But the damage was done, and the plate that was hovering just a couple inches from the bat collapsed.

"Shit." Eva grumbled as the wheel came to a slow stop. "I was so close, and so careful." She began scraping off the ruined project. She looked up at Nesra, who seemed to be amused, and shook her head. "I am glad it's amusing. You get to watch me learn from failure some more."

WC:537



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Evalynn Frostfawn
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Spinning the Wheel on Pottery

Postby Evalynn Frostfawn on August 10th, 2022, 2:33 pm

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She removed herself from the wheel and took the clay over to the table. She attempted to shape it into a messy ball and set it under the plastic of unready clay in an attempt to let it dry out for kneading. She then grabbed another ball she had prepared and went back to the wheel, repeating the process to center the clay before opening it and thinning the walls. This time, she kept a conscious eye on the speed of her wheel as she started stretching the walls out and down. She made sure there was a good bit of water so her hands could glide smoothly over the surface of the clay, as well as mentally imaging the wall thickness. She felt her excitement grow as the bowl turned into a plate and showed no sign of flying apart.

“Okay, looking good, lets smooth out this rim.” She muttered to herself, switching the sponge for a small piece of cloth and taking its wet surface to the rim. She had to admit that it was a little wobbly on the rim, but the overall centering of the plate looked good. At this point, she had no doubt in mind that this plate wouldnt turn out well as she began to slow the speed of the wheel. Tossing the cloth in the water and gently using her hands to help slow the spinning, she knew the next part was the hardest. Taking the wire tool to the bottom of the piece and hoping that she didn't cut too much off the bottom.

Grabbing the wire from her bucket of water, she gently skirted it along the bat and it came out clean on the other side. She wanted to wiggle it off like she watched Nesra do to other pieces, but she didn't have enough confidence to do it. Instead, she took the batt off of the wheel and brought the piece over with the rest of the drying pieces.

“Alright. Let's see if Nesra needs any help loading up the dried pieces to be fired.” She gave a stretch over her head as she made her way around the front and smiled when she walked close. “Hello boss, do you need any help?” Eva’s greeting was met with a glare.

“I told you not to call me boss, but yes, I need help. Go grab some more pieces. Were loading up the kiln for another firing once its fully cooled, right now we're bringing over pieces to be put in.” Eva nodded with a smirk from her response and walked over to the start of the drying area, picking up two pieces and carefully walking them over. She handed them to Nesra before turning and going to gather more, this time a larger jug which required two hands. Eva continued this for a while until Nesra told her that she had enough pieces. It wasn't until Eva finished bringing over the last piece when she asked about the temperature the kiln had to be at. “It's tricky to tell at your level, but I found that a consistent stoking of the fire every five to ten minutes for three to five days keeps the temperature about right."

WC:539



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Evalynn Frostfawn
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Spinning the Wheel on Pottery

Postby Evalynn Frostfawn on August 10th, 2022, 11:07 pm

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Having just been told how the community kiln works made Eva sort of thankful she wasn't at that level. That much work to put into the kiln was timely, and she wondered how Nesra was able to get anything done when she was by herself. Eva was coning her clay while she was lost in thought, getting it ready to throw another plate. This time, Nesra suggested that Eva flatten out the clay before bringing up the edges just a bit to make a lip. She understood the idea behind it a bit, and was able to visualize what Nesra was wanting, but she didn't know how she was going to make it work. But, there was no progress without effort, and so Eva did as she was instructed and started to gently press down on the clay to flatten it out.

Her left hand guided the outside and her right hand pressed down from above until the clay was roughly an inch thick. Her fingers then guided the clay outwards from her center, thinning the base and forming a lip for the edge like she needed. She then took the sponge and started to smooth out the surface and edge, trying to make it even. When she seemed satisfied with the result, she began slowing the wheel as she switched the sponge for the wire. When the wheel stopped, she slid the wire across the bottom to detach it from the bat and ended up watching as it sliced through the center.

Eva groaned and pulled the wire out, tossing it in the water and lifting the plate off the bat to examine it. It flopped over when she lifted it, finding out she had made the center of the plate way too thin. All Evalynn had to do was run the wire under the plate for her to find out. She gave another groan of defeat and squished the clay together into a messy ball, all while walking back to the table. She put the ball in her hand under the plastic, and grabbed the one previously, needing to calm herself and focus her mind again.

The clay was still just a tad bit wet, but from the little experience she had with kneading, she knew that the more she worked with the clay the more it would dry out. So she went on patting the clay into a ball first then started smacking it onto the table to shape it into a square. Having completed that necessary step, she began the kneading process and delved into her thoughts about her next steps. She figured she had the right idea about how she flattened the clay, but how thin should she make it? And how would she make the lip of the plate? She needed to have a tool to get under the clays edge and help lift it some while the wheel was spinning.

WC:487


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Evalynn Frostfawn
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Spinning the Wheel on Pottery

Postby Evalynn Frostfawn on August 11th, 2022, 12:26 am

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“Nesra! May I borrow one of your tools to help me make this plate?” Eva inquired as she walked over to a resting Nesra who was currently stoking the kiln fire. She looked up and revealed a sweaty face glistening against the fires light before she swiped a bead away.

“Sure, it is in the bucket under the shelf of glazes. Make sure you put it back when you are finished or I'll take it out of your pay.” She then turned away from Evalynn and stared back into the fire, using a long rod to poke at it. Eva only gave a smile before skittering off shortly after, hunting for a specific tool that could help. She knew not of what the tool was called, or what it looked like yet, but she figured since Nesra had an array of tools she may have something Eva might be able to use.

As she was ruffling through, she came across a few tools that could help. All of them were carved from wood and looked to be suitable for the task. However, a larger piece, about as big as her palm and in the shape of a large bean seemed to have a thin enough edge to lift clay from the bat. Eva grinned wide, putting back the other two wooden tools back and standing from her squat.

“This looks like it will do nicely, i'll just go grab my ball of clay and begin my work.” She spoke to herself and gathered up her clay, sitting herself at the wheel and beginning her process. She worked with the clay for a bit, getting it to the point where she was finally able to try out the new tool. Swishing it around in the water that it was soaking in, she looked at the spinning wheel before going to lay the tool onto the bat. The moment it made contact, the tool was ripped from her fingertips and sent flying. Eva squeaked in surprise and jumped back, watching it tumble a few feet away. She sighed and went to fetch the tool before returning to her work, this time keeping a tighter hold on it. She was determined to make this work, she knew it had to work somehow, and so she went through the trials and errors until she got it perfect.

It took her two hours and a few ruined slabs of clay, but she finally was able to produce a somewhat chunky plate from her trials. Tossing the wooden tool back into the bucket, Eva heaved a sigh of exhaustion as she waited for the wheel to stop. Her eyes stared up at the sky and watched a few birds fly overhead through the air. It was nearing late afternoon, early evening and her body was now starting to feel the effects of throwing and kneading all day. Her neck hurt, arms were sore, hands numb and chilled but she wasn't complaining about the knowledge she gained today. While she was taking a break, she heard someone approaching and glanced over to see Nesra coming around the kiln.

“Come out here and stoke the fire while I go shower and eat, then you can head home for the night. I just tossed in some wood, so you have some time before you need to toss more in.” Her eyes dropped down to the plate and she raised a brow. “Not bad, could be better, but not bad for your first plate.” Eva chuckled as she grabbed the wire and slid it under the plate before taking it over to the drying area. She thanked Nesra for the praise before making her way to the front of the kiln and sitting on the stool that was set up.

WC:630


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Evalynn Frostfawn
Don't Stand Out
 
Posts: 136
Words: 97601
Joined roleplay: February 23rd, 2013, 12:16 pm
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