Potters & Sculptors - Making Rock from Mud
Just a couple of things that came to mind whilst in the garage earlier...
I don't have any batts, and cut my pots from the wheel after throwing. To avoid making hand prints on the pots I remove slurry with a stick. I've never been able to avoid getting hand prints by this alone so I use a hot air gun - the type for paint stripping to dry the pots a little. So far I've had no problems but I wonder if it may cause any problems, with drying the surface too fast?
I also threw a 1kg lump into a vase. I have struggled getting height but think I'm improving, I was wondering what sort of height you guys could get from this size of clay, a cylinder about 3inch diameter?
The height will depend on the diameter of the opening, that is about 2.2 #s of clay and if you open it about 3" diameter you should be able to get it about 6" or app. 14 cm. The foot of the pot can take a fair amount of clay in the bottom. The pictures you posted showed the lovely feet that you trimmed, I like a pot to have a definite trimmed foot as yours do so be conservative. Your work is very nice.
Thanks for your reply Nadine, I made a vase about that high but it still seems very heavy. I guess I just need to keep practising to be able to pull more clay up without making the pot unstable.
You are so welcome Tom. My pottery teacher made us do a great excercise in order to get better quickly. We wedged up enough clay so that we made a group of 2 pound pieces (910 grams) say 20 of them. Then we had to throw cylinders from them. She threw the first one and we had to replicate it. When they were done one had the option to make large mugs out of them or just re-wedge to repeat the exercise! The other trick she taught me was to measure the amount of bottom they had with a pin tool which had a tape marker to ensure that they stayed the same depth. It really worked for me to get better. Everything essentially can be made from a cylinder so once you have that you are way ahead of the game! Did you have any lessons or are you self-taught? The most valuable thing she noticed when I first started throwing was where were my elbows. I looked like a bird with them at an angle to my body! Keeping them tucked to your body as much as possible helps. Best of luck with your throwing.
Wow they must have been very large mugs :)
But yes I guess I just need to practice lots. I'm self taught from youtube mainly Simon Leach's channel who I love for his English eccentricity. I may take a video of myself throwing someday and ask for critique from you guys because I probably do many things wrong.
They make a device, I do not know what they are called, that one can use to lift a pot after it is cut off the wheel. They are two metal, for lack of a better word, dust pans. They have the center cut out like a horseshoe and you slide them under the pot, one from each side and lift it off. You can then put it on a board and slip them back out. I remember them from school, never fiddled with them much. I bet if you get looking for them on line somebody will have them. For small pots you can take two strips of basket reed, the kind that is about an inch thick. You place one on each side of the pot at the base and pinch them together as close as you can to the bottom of the pot. Then you can lift it from the wheel and set it on a board. It will leave marks at the base of the pot but I think it looks kind of neat on tea cups. I saw a video of an Japanese potter lifting tea cups and bowls that way. He was throwing them off the hump, cutting them loose and lifting them with the strips. Happy firing Kabe
Morning Tom I looked in an old Bailey catalog 2004-06 and they are called Pot Lifts, imagine that, they were $8.39 back then. Happy firing Kabe
There are a lot of different bate systems out there. Might be a good discussion question. What do some of the other members like or dislike about different systems. I use plaster bates, they have good points and bad. You don't have to cut your pot loose from the bate and when it is perfect to trim it pops loose on it's own. If I need to replace them I just pour more. The system I use makes a bate that is convex so you don't have to trim a foot on your pots. be good for a production potter. I have the flat ones so I still have to trim a foot. bad side they take a lot of room to store and you have to be very careful not to get plaster in your clay. My interest is more in the line of tile making but I still enjoy throwing. Throwers would know more about bate systems than I.
Tom Humphries said:
Thanks for the suggestion Kabe. It's actually working ok the way I'm doing it, just a bit concerned about the speed I'm drying the outside. I may try the pot lifters if I encounter any problems down the line. I'm also thinking of getting some bats, especially as I'd like to make some plates and lifting those off really wouldn't be easy.