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Chris Throws Pots

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About Chris Throws Pots

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 12/19/1985

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    Snowboarding, skateboarding, good food and drink, screenprinting, pottery.

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  1. Chris Throws Pots

    Slop bucket clay seems a little bit "short."

    To help prevent our reclaim from throwing short, we buy 50lb bags of dry mix of one of our clays and add a big scoop of the powder directly into the pugmill with each batch we mix/pug. Each bag lasts a long time and it has really helped the quality of our reclaim.
  2. Chris Throws Pots

    Teaching Wheels on a Budget

    @Frankiegirl Will you be moving the wheels around your classroom much? Or will you set them up and leave them for the most part? I ask because the connection between pedal and controller of the VL Whisper is more or less a coaxial cable and is pretty delicate. In my classroom we often pull the wheels away from where they're set up for throwing in order to clean beneath/behind. This cable on our VL Whisper has broken a couple times when moving the wheel and after a handful or repairs I ended up just hard-wiring the pedal to the controller. Also, even though the splash pan design has been improved in the last few years, it's still not great. It is one of the messier wheels when beginners are working in the studio. More experienced students and many of our studio members love the VL but I have opted not to purchase ore of them as our studio serves many beginners. Have you considered the Pacifica GT-400? They cost $700-$800 (right in the middle of the Clay Boss and VL) and are no-frills work horses, more than adequate for students and hobbyist potters. When I give studio orientations and get asked about our different wheels I describe them as the Honda Civic of pottery wheels: function over fashion but not without attention to design or aesthetic, easy to operate, low cost of ownership, easy to repair when needed, attractive price-point. Plus they have a great splash pan design, especially for students who tend to use a lot of water.
  3. Chris Throws Pots

    Replacing Soldner Pedal - Cost? - UPDATE

    Thanks, Mark. I figured I’d be calling Bluebird Tuesday morning when they open. Just a little antsy to have a sense of what I may be paying for the replacement.
  4. The chain/cog mechanism in the pedal for my Soldner S100 is slipping, rendering the wheel all but useless. The timing couldn't be worse, but that seems to be how pottery mishaps go. Has anyone had to replace one of these before? I am sure I could send it to Bluebird and have it repaired, but I just don't have the time in my production schedule to wait. The Bluebird/Soldner website is lacking to say the least and I cannot find any listing for a replacement pedal on any of the major (and some smaller) ceramic supply retailers' sites. Does anyone know the approximate cost I should be expecting? --- UPDATE: For reference for anyone who has a Soldner wheel, as of September 2018, the cost of a new pedal is $489 and the cost to send it out to Bluebird to have it repaired is usually around $250. HOWEVER, unless the pedal has been dropped/abused or has water damage, these measures are typically unnecessary. My pedal needed some lubrication in a specific spot and two set screws needed tightening. Aaron at Bluebird/Soldner was super helpful and walked me through the process. The tune up took about $5 (WD-40) and 15 minutes. Now my wheel is running like it's new again.... or at least what I assume is how it ran when it was new. In my conversation with Bluebird/Soldner I learned that my wheel, that I got used from its second owner in 2010, was built in 1999. Not bad for a 19 year old wheel!
  5. Chris Throws Pots

    Emulating other people's work

    In my college Intro to Wheel Throwing course my professor had us all do this as a project over the course of a few weeks. We found pieces in Lark 500 and other ceramic books or from websites like Schaller or Musing then did our best to deconstruct and reconstruct the forms. As very green clay students we were completely unaware of the challenges that lay ahead of us when trying to recreate salt/soda/wood effects with only cone 6 ox, but it was a pretty great exercise for getting a crash course in materials we likely wouldn't have otherwise touched: latex, oxide washes, oxide resists, colored slips, underglazes, vinyl. Very few of the pieces looked much like the originals they aspired to, but the project was graded on progression through a few rounds of tests, and it planted lots of seeds for how to use the other materials in projects for the rest of the course. So in that case emulating was extremely valuable not for the products of emulation, but the lessons learned about the medium.
  6. Chris Throws Pots

    Where do you put freshly thrown pieces?

    @Denice The idea is to replace/modify the existing table so that students use it in the exact same way they currently do... to replace/modify so that the new table has the same function but takes a smaller side-to-side footprint in order to increase the walkways on either side of the wheels. The current tables are used every day, they are just a bit too wide for our space (as mentioned earlier in the thread we recently to a new studio space similar in overall size but with very different dimensions). I intend to build something with two fixed tiers or one fixed tier with adjustable tier(s) above the fixed platform. I was seeking pictures/examples of existing shelf/table setups that function the same way to use as a starting point for my design.
  7. Chris Throws Pots

    Where do you put freshly thrown pieces?

    @PSC Me too. I stop the entire class every 45 minutes or so to have students stand, stretch and look at their pots from different angles. Most students are good about getting up form the wheel when they feel their body needs it, but some students need reminders that pottery isn't the most ergonomic activity and that frequent stretching is important. The goal of my question was to get ideas about improving the studio layout by increasing walkway space between the wheels and the shelving racks lining the walls. Our current system works well: Students place their freshly thrown pieces on wareboards and place the wareboards on the table between the wheels. When they fill a wareboard (or sooner) they get up and move the wareboard to their personal shelf space. I am not seeking to retool the system, just the tables. Once our summer camp program ends, the studio has a couple weeks of downtime before our fall programming gets in full swing. If I decide it's ultimately worth the time/energy/material cost to overhaul the tables I'll be doing it during this quiet time and will post pictures of what I come up with.
  8. Chris Throws Pots

    Will Re-Bisqueing Stop Bloating?

    Hi Plum, I'd like to add one other thought to the conversation, as I recently found myself with an entire kiln's worth of work badly bloated and had to go through the process of diagnosing the cause. As many have already stated the two major causes of bloating are insufficient burnout of organics during bisque and overfiring. What I discovered was that I was overfiring, but wI was oblivious to it. The calibration of my thermocouple had drifted due to corrosion on the wires that connect the TC to the controller. Essentially my kiln thought it was firing its normal ^6 medium speed program, but it was really firing a hard ^8. The thermocouple was telling the controller that the kiln was the equivalent of two cones colder than where it actually was, so all my work was getting scorched and bloated. Hopefully this is not your issue. Hopefully you're firing with cones either in a sitter or as a check on the controller's/TC's accuracy. But if not, include cones in your firing to make sure the ^6 you're intending to fire to is actually the heat work you're achieving. My understanding is that the Standard 266 really can't handle overfiring/refiring without bloating. So making sure your kiln isn't overfiring will be helpful in figuring out how to best proceed with clearing up your bloating issue.
  9. Chris Throws Pots

    Where do you put freshly thrown pieces?

    Thanks Lee, Neil and yappystudent for your thoughts, but I don't think I explained my question well. Our studio already has the walls lined with boltless/rivet style shelves for members and students to put their work in progress, clay, personal tools, etc. I'm talking about when you make a piece on the wheel and wire it off, where do you put it then, in the moment so you can move onto the next piece without getting up? Below is a picture of the current setup. While throwing, people land wareboards and bats on the tables that sit in the middle of the wheels. Then later, when they clean up to leave the studio, they wrap their work and store it on their personal shelf. When people are seated at the wheels it's a tight squeeze between the wheels and the shelving units. I'd like to rebuild the two central tables that the wheels are positioned around so that they are both narrower and hold more. Vertical is the way to go, I just haven't figured out what will work better than what we have without obstructing students' view of their instructor at the wheel on the end.
  10. For those who run or work out of community studios: What shelving/counter top space is available to place freshly thrown pots on bats and ware boards? About year ago the community studio I manage moved from one location to another. Last year's budget limited us to moving all our existing equipment and setting up in the new building, without purchasing/building anything specific to the new space. Now that we're into a new fiscal year I have some available funds to make improvements. The facility is much better overall, but one of the quirks is that the wheel room, though comparable in square footage, is narrower than where we'd been. Our (14) wheels are set up in the center of the room around a long low table, 24" wide and the height of wheel. So 6 wheels on either side facing each other and one wheel on each end to make an island. If you're seated on either long side of the island there are storage racks behind you for studio members/students to store their clay and work in progress. When the studio is in use it gets pretty tight between the storage racks and the wheels/people throwing. So I'd like to rebuild the wheel pod/island tables to be narrower and potentially have two fixed tiers or some sort of adjustable/track shelving to take advantage of height/levels and gain much needed walkway space. If anyone can share what their studio does for at-the-wheel storage it'd be greatly appreciated. I have a few ideas, but before I go and try to reinvent the wheel I figured I'd ask. Space is always a precious commodity in a clay studio, so I'm thinking there must be some folks on the forum who have been faced with this chellenge. Thanks!
  11. Chris Throws Pots


    Can you get the seller to meet you at a middle point to limit the travel? Even if for a little more on the asking price? Four days of travel, travel expenses, lost wages... seems like the wheel may cost significantly more than the $400 you'll be handing over.
  12. Chris Throws Pots


    Teala, As others have mentioned, the foot pedal adjustment is easy. Here's a how-to video from Brent:
  13. Chris Throws Pots

    Brent Wheel not turning on

    That fuse looks strange. Every glass tube fuse I've ever seen is clear glass with a wire running through the center. If the wire is intact, the fuse is good. If the wire has split, the fuse is blown. Usually when the fuse blows it also leaves the glass a little cloudy/dusty on the inside of the tube.... but not opaque. Is there a wrap on this fuse?
  14. I use 2x4s to make the frames forms for plaster wedging slabs and fill 1/2 to 3/4 full. So somewhere in the 2"-3" range. I'd recommend using pottery plaster, not PoP. It's going to be stronger and hold up better.
  15. Chris Throws Pots

    1 ramp vs. 2 ramps in a segment

    To mimic the effect of two ramps per segment just set the hold for segment 1 as 0:00. Like others have said, there's no real benefit of having two ramps in a segment if you have 9 segments available. Seg1: 100C/h to 600C; no hold Seg 2: 150C/h to 1200C; then hold for xx min/hours is the same as Seg1: R1 100C/h to 600C; R2 150C/h to 1200C; then hold for xx min/hours

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