Frank Jung learned potting as a apprentice production thrower in a factory in Höhr-Grenzhausen, one of the centres of ceramics in Germany,
First, you do menial tasks (clean up after the journeymen potters, load and unload kilns) and then you’re shown how to throw pots.
After a while (and if you’re good enough), they’ll give you lump of clay weighing exactly, say 200g, and you make a plate. Then another. Then another. Then another.
At some stage, you can almost do it with your eyes closed and you’ll be able to produce a perfect piece every time.
You can still see that training in his work today.
We visited Frank and his wife Ingrid (know them quite well) with another friend, Jane Hamlyn, world-renowned and one of the great studio potters.
She looked at the perfection of his throwing (and she’s not too bad herself, as you can imagine..) and said “These plates are just so exquisitely thrown – I can’t believe how flat he gets the base”
Frank looks all embarrassed and says “Well, I’ve got these really good kiln shelves….”
Jane just gives him a look that says “Yeah, right….”