There is a hurdle in throwing that you have to get over in order to move to the next level of being a potter, and that is the ability to create a consistent form on the wheel, over and over and over again. It has been something I've put a lot of energy into fearing rather than embracing.
It is one thing to be able to throw a cool form on the wheel, that in itself is an achievement. It is quite another to be able to make that same cool form repeatedly. It takes a long, long time for most people to master this craft. But it is a necessary skill if one is to become a production potter, or anything close to it. Time is money, and the faster, easier, smoother a pot can be thrown to consistency on the wheel, the better.
The potters I worked for were amazing at this. 30, 40, 50 mugs or more in an hour, all of equal size and shape, were a non-issue. But when it came my time to practice, the results would be mediocre. Amateur. Frustrating.
Now in my own studio, I'm working harder than ever at achieving consistency, and I'm getting better. I've discovered three things:
Here's a sampling of my consistency. I was almost out of my beautiful new clay, having only bought one box to see how it fits. But these shapes, they only took one try, where in the past it would have taken me maybe 10 attempts before being able to match the shape. Oh, and these are going to be mugs, to be proudly sold in pairs.