Saturday 6 February 2010
Coiled and Filmed: Hand Building Pottery
I've been trying my hand at some rather poor film making (OK those of you who have read my mini rant about experimental archaeology (below) would have every right to say don't make a film without asking someone who knows what they're doing, and you'd probably be right). That said my intention has been to record some of my methods rather than make an Oscar winner.
Here is one that I put together which shows me making the large Anglo Saxon pot for the Yeavering Exhibition, it's more of a slide show than a video but it gives an idea of how I work.
The technique of hand forming pots differs from one part of the world, indeed in Lesotho I found that it differed from one village to another and even from potter to potter. The one thing that I am pretty certain about is that it probably never uses the technique which is so often taught in schools where coil after coil of clay is places on top of its predecessor in the rough shape of the finished pot and then finally smoothed together. This is why I tend to avoid the term 'coiling' because this is the image that it conjures in the mind.But as you will see from the video, my technique which is much more akin to the techniques I have seen used in Africa, forms the wall of the pot as each new coil of clay is added. It also results in the sort of diagonal joints that have been reported in much prehistoric pottery.
Visit my website at www.pottedhistory.co.uk