Master class by Phil Elson
Went to a workshop held at Northcote Pottery today. Phil has been a potter for over 30 years and therefore has a wealth of experience which he generously shared with us. To see his work you should visit his website www.philelsonpottery.com.
As potters usually work in isolation we don't often get to see how someone else works and so it's always a great privilege to watch someone else's practice. We all throw pots but we all do it a little differently, we've all found various little techniques and ways of doing something. I have been throwing for over 25 years and I always gain some new insight in how to throw by watching someone else's technique.
Phil throws a variety of shapes and these include some vary large cylinders and bowls; they are extremely fine and sometimes seem to defy physics!
Phil told us about his daily practice and it struck me that we all have our own rituals that we undertake in order to get ourselves in the right headspace to create. I wonder about collecting these anecdotes from artist to see if in fact we all do something very similar or whether it varies.
This piece is by no means the largest that he creates!
And he lifted it off the wheel without warping, now that's skillful. I use batts so that I can remove a piece and let it harden up before I attempt to touch it. Phil did say that he uses batts when he throws his really big pieces. I guess size is relative!
So there we have it, a good day was had by all I think and I would be surprised if anyone came away without gaining some insight into their own methods of making.