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  • Sharon Feigal

What's Up with the Wonky?

If you have a look at my Etsy shop, you might notice that a lot of my pots are a little off-kilter. Is that an accident? No. And also yes.

Some years back, I worked at a shared studio where one of the wheels was always wobbly. No one wanted to work on it. Really, you can throw perfectly symmetrical things on off-kilter wheels - it's just trickier. But one day I was playing on it, and I was just about to start cutting the wet pot off the wheel when I bumped it and it wobbled. I'd already worked it nice and even and thin, and it wouldn't need very much trimming in the leather-hard stage, so I decided to mess with that a bit. And I liked it. A happy accident!

My pots all start out well-centered and symmetrical, but I think they're more interesting when they're not. So now I either bump them off-center at the end of the throwing process, or I tug and pull at them while they're still flexible, or I mangle and carve them and add other forms to them as they harden.

There are no duplicates. None exactly matches another. Sometimes I want to duplicate one, but even if I made a mold from it, it would be smaller and thus not the same.

I think this is one of the more interesting things about handmade work anyway, that there's always something unique about each piece, even if it's not wonky.

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