Standing to Throw & CM Spotlight

Kristen Kieffer Spotlight Ceramics Monthly Summer Working Potter issue 2015

Ceramics Monthly summer issue 2015 Steven Rolf coverThanks to Ceramics Monthly for posing a question to me for the Spotlight page of the summer issue on the Working Potter. It was interesting to reflect on the last 12 years (and in only 300 words!), which is when I declared myself a full-time studio potter. Cover potter Steve Rolf was a grad when I was an undergrad at Alfred (’93-95), and super helpful and supportive of my beginnings, making this extra special on thinking back and change. Thank you, CM!

Thank you to my hubby for taking this much requested but never till now fulfilled shot for CM, which gives me another opportunity to discuss what’s pictured. I’ve been standing to throw for TWENTY years. I began in ’95 when I threw pots at Greenfield Village for a year, and then with a backrest like this designed after John Glick‘s in ’96 when I worked with him for a year. Standing saved my back. I can’t recommend enough for my fellow potters to check out these two articles John wrote for the Studio Potter journal: “To Sciatica and Back” (1987) and “Down the Spinal Canal” (2001). Everything from his backrest design I adopted to a ‘checklist for longevity’ is addressed in the former article. Both have excellent and thoughtful reflections on adapting to change for body health and are must reads! Thank you, John!

PS: Below is an image of me at my worktable stamping pots. Note how I stack several bats on my banding wheel (my parting gift from my assistantship/residency with John!) so that I’m working about chest high, not hunched over.

Kristen Kieffer stamping in her Massachusetts studio



2 thoughts on “Standing to Throw & CM Spotlight

  1. Great article. I stand throwing as well which relieved pressure in my neck from arthritis. When I made the switch, it felt like why hadn’t I been doing this from the beginning? Thanks for sharing.

  2. Nice CM article. It’s what got me moving and did a subscription on my new iPad!
    I always stood when i had my treadle wheel. When I had surgery umpteen years ago I had to sit, which quickly became a habit. Now I am trying to mix it up and do both!

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