Week 4 – Death by a Thousand Cuts

Last week I reviewed a few different types of social media platforms in terms of their access to tutorials for slab-building pottery. What came of that was youtube and blogs had a lot of good visual information that helped make the slab-building process smooth! TikTok on the other hand, although had visual aids, did not have the same detailed instruction because of the shorter videos and less verbal or written instruction. With last week going smoothly following along with a detailed blog post, I decided to use only TikTok to learn how to make a squared bottom mug (which is different from the one I created last week) and compare my experiences!

My inspiration for making these square bottomed handbuilt mugs came from a local Regina Potter whose business name is Wildfire Ceramic Studio. She makes beautiful handcrafted mugs that you can buy periodically when she drops them on her website and at Mortise and Tenon in Regina.

Screenshot of a photo from instragram from Wildfire Ceramics. The photo is of a white mug with pink interior and cherry blossoms on the outside.

Retrieved from Wildfire Ceramics Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/p/Croe27oPQBN/

The video inspiration from TikTok that I used was from a creator named Hannah Notsch. I watched it a few times to try to best understand the visual component of the skills.

Here is how my mug creating process turned out!

The Positives

  • I was able to create a product that could function
  • The visual aspect of being able to watch someone create was helpful
  • I could watch and review as many times as I liked
  • Being able to save the video to my phone and on my TikTok account for easy access and reaccess was super helpful
  • The video was short and concise, therefore I did not need to fast-forward throw unnecessary steps
  • I could pause and rewind the video as needed

The Downside

  • Some steps were unclear. For example, when I was cutting my triangles out of the bottom of the mug, I did not know how big to make them
  • Because TikTok videos are so short, I had to go back several times to really get a grab on each step and skill. I was not able to follow along in real-time with the video.
  • There was no audio component to the particular one that I was able to find
  • No troubleshooting is offered in the event that you run into any issues. For example, my clay started to crack while I was folding it. I was able to add some water, however, if I did not have any prior knowledge of working with clay, I may not have come to that conclusion on my own. Meaning that you would need to look for other sources outside of TikTok to troubleshoot.

In the future when looking up different projects to do, I think I am going to be sticking with youtube and blog posts for help with instructions as they provide more details. However, TikTok is a great place to start to get inspiration and ideas for what you would like to create! Once I improve more at slab-building, I may even be able to follow along to TikTok tutorials a bit easier!

Next week…

Next week I am going to explore adding textures to clay and see what some of the best options are for doing this technique!

One thought on “Week 4 – Death by a Thousand Cuts

  1. Amy – I could watch you make mugs all day. You must get such satisfaction cutting into that clay. I love this square mug. It’s beautiful! I’m envious of your abilities. I understand your pain with trying to learn from TikTok videos. They’re so fast. Haha. I can’t wait to see what you create next.

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