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Throwing light on lanterns

To brighten up January, the Friday Potters decided to work on another challenge from the 2017 Great Pottery Throwdown programme. Having previously tackled raku sake sets, sponge decorating, hand-building a large clock ... this time we went for lanterns.

In the show, the contestants were presented with ready-thrown cylinders and had to produce a well-executed carved design in 50 minutes but of course we adjusted the terms & conditions!

The first challenge was for me to throw the shapes - each from a kilogram of clay.

Not exactly identical ... but not bad!

We gathered with appropriate tools and a few ideas.

After 50 minutes, we were nowhere near finishing and really appreciated the difficulty of the task.

We took our pieces home ... and met again the following week. They were starting to take shape.

Between us, we produced both organic and geometric themes, some with further carving.

In the show, viewers didn't hear any discussion of the technical difficulties such as the removal of swarf (rough bits) from the inside of the lantern or how to glaze without drip marks.

We were left to work out all that for ourselves!

I went for trees: the first lantern inspired by a fabulous image by a Korean photographer on show at the "Into the Woods" exhibition at the V&A until late April.

The other two represent the Calanques: the coastline to the east of Marseille, which frequently features in my pottery.

Check out the Current Events page for details of the next event at Denbies (4th March)

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