The mini pot is the one item that I have produced easily thousands of over the my last twenty years of clay work. So when I say to people that I am not a production potter, well, this one throwing ritual of mine may debunk that myth.
The thing with the mini pot is this - I am amazed that I can throw such petite little pots - with such large, awkward hands. These little pots may be my one testament to grace. My usual mode of operation is anything but graceful. I bump into things, knock things over, break stuff all the time.
But I love to make these little, vulnerable pots.
Each throwing session in the studio begins the same way. Chris helps me by carrying out a big bucket of warm water. I grab 25 lbs. of clay and cut 12-24 small cubes off the block. I form each cube into a ball in my oversized hands, crank up the tunes (Shawn Colvin or Delco Ray perhaps), and sit at the wheel.
Now, I lost the on/off knob years ago - on moving day from Knoxville, TN back to Maine. The moving fella was carrying my wheel - I heard a thud - Yep, wheel on ground. Amazingly, the wheel still works, but...the knob never to be seen again.
So, I grab a pair of pliers, turn on switch, clunk the clay down, and center this mini-sized mound into a little beehive. From there, open, form, trim off wheel, place on board to my left.
Repeat up to 24 times.
This is my ritual - my centering meditation, every time, before I throw the larger pieces. I use this time to experiment with form - like a little drawing thumbnail, only three-dimensional. And, I sell gazillions of them.