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Source & type of plastic to keep pieces leather hard


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#1 scoobydoozie

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 10:08 AM

Still very new to pottery and am looking for advice on what type of plastic to store my wheel thrown pieces in so I can trim them up to a week later ater taking them off the wheel. I'm in a class now and need to keep the pieces leatherhard so I can trim them the following week. The class focus is on creating the pieces but I want to complete the process by trimming also as I learn. Is there a special type of plastic and supplier? What about various sizes and closures? I'm getting a wheel at home in a month after I'm sure I will get the hang of it and stick with it. I can read about pottery for hours. <3



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Posted 12 September 2011 - 12:44 PM

When I was a student, the standard plastic was dry-cleaning bags that people had saved and donated. These had a few advantages :
1. They were already on hand, so easy to get and use.
2. They are very lightweight, so will not crush or mar your work when draped over/around it.
3. They are very clear, so you can see what is what even if they are wrapped up. Until they get "clayed up" that is!

I adopted this idea for my home studio, but I have never been a big user of dry cleaning, so I was able to find the same weight of plastic at the home store, in the form of a painter's drop cloth. The cloths are, I think, 8' x 10' in size, or 10' x 12', and will yield ten or so pieces of plastic you can use. You can, of course, cut them to any size you need, which is also part of the beauty of these. The plastic is 2 mil thickness, I think, and the last time I bought one, it was $1.69. That was two years ago, because if you treat them well, they will last quite a while.
I'm sure others use different plastics, and some even put them in plastic bins.

#3 gallagherpottery

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 12:58 PM

Still very new to pottery and am looking for advice on what type of plastic to store my wheel thrown pieces in so I can trim them up to a week later ater taking them off the wheel


If you can't get enough dry cleaning bags, REALLY cheapo kitchen trash bags cut down the side and across the bottom will work if the pot isn't too large. They're thin, lightweight and you can purchase an entire box inexpensively.

#4 scoobydoozie

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 01:16 PM

Thanks! I have shirts dry-cleaned weekly for my day job so have easy regular access to the dry cleaning bags. I have always hated not having a way to recylce that plastic and now I do! Hadn't given that plastic a thought. I'm so glad I asked! :D

#5 Pres

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 02:48 PM

Still very new to pottery and am looking for advice on what type of plastic to store my wheel thrown pieces in so I can trim them up to a week later ater taking them off the wheel. I'm in a class now and need to keep the pieces leatherhard so I can trim them the following week. The class focus is on creating the pieces but I want to complete the process by trimming also as I learn. Is there a special type of plastic and supplier? What about various sizes and closures? I'm getting a wheel at home in a month after I'm sure I will get the hang of it and stick with it. I can read about pottery for hours. <3



I use a lot of plain shopping bags to cover my smaller work. Garbage, Trash and Yard bags for larger stuff.

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#6 Chris Campbell

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 02:55 PM

If you are in a studio that you can't get to but once a week you might need a better strategy once the heat is turned on. The thin dry cleaner plastic is air permeable
One is to put a piece of paper over the opening of the pot then cover snugly with a double layer of plastic ... The paper will absorb and spread out any water droplets that accumulate.
If you find the piece still dries out, wet a paper towel and put it around the pot without touching the sides of the pot, then proceed as above.

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#7 atanzey

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 04:35 PM

I use large plastic bins for mini-damp rooms. There's a size limitation, but I mostly do functional, so most fits. You can even put water in the bottom if needed, and not only can you keep things leather hard, I've had pieces still plastic after a few days. Mostly I have to work at getting them dry enough to trim.

#8 phill

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 05:51 PM

for mugs or cups, i group in threes and put under an old clay bag. i fold the rim of the bag over itself to shorten the bag too. if you have a small enough bat or something and the pieces are on that, you can totally seal the work by putting the bag edges under the bat when you set it down. your work will be workable for months!

#9 bciskepottery

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 10:06 PM

For tall bottles and vases, I use the plastic bag that our is used for our newspaper. They are tall and can be adjusted by rolling up/down the sides.

For most items, I use a large piece of plastic (dry cleaning, drop cloth, trash bag, etc), lay it on the table, center my ware board in the middle, and then wrap the sides over the top -- creating an envelope. The ends are tucked under and placed on a shelf. The envelope at the top allows me to control the drying depending on how open I leave it. This approach also reduces the smushing/misforming of bowl and cylinder tops when plastic is draped over them and then tucked under.

I also put either plastic or newpaper/newsprint on top of the wareboard so that the vessel has a surface that gives while it is drying (and shrinking).

Your drying time (and plastic needs) will be determined by the temperature and humidity of the room where you store your work.

#10 Pres

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 08:34 AM

If you are in a studio that you can't get to but once a week you might need a better strategy once the heat is turned on. The thin dry cleaner plastic is air permeable
One is to put a piece of paper over the opening of the pot then cover snugly with a double layer of plastic ... The paper will absorb and spread out any water droplets that accumulate.
If you find the piece still dries out, wet a paper towel and put it around the pot without touching the sides of the pot, then proceed as above.


I use your trick with the paper on bowls when moving them. A piece of paper on the rim of the bowl will help to keep it from warping when moved. The paper does not give, and does not have weight on the bowl so it equalizes forces a bit.

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#11 Idaho Potter

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 02:54 PM

My students usually aren't throwing tall/large vessels when they are learning. I've found that a box of wastebasket size white plastic bags fit their work and, as they can't see the work through the bag I have them write their name on the bags. As class goes along, when they trim the pots, the bags are kept for the next days throwing. A well wrung damp cloth can be wrapped around the base or just included under the plastic to keep the clay workable.

I emphasize not wrapping in plastic unless you have a paper towel or cloth over the piece to absorb the condensation if the work will be wrapped for a week.

#12 Christine

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 11:44 AM

My students usually aren't throwing tall/large vessels when they are learning. I've found that a box of wastebasket size white plastic bags fit their work and, as they can't see the work through the bag I have them write their name on the bags. As class goes along, when they trim the pots, the bags are kept for the next days throwing. A well wrung damp cloth can be wrapped around the base or just included under the plastic to keep the clay workable.

I emphasize not wrapping in plastic unless you have a paper towel or cloth over the piece to absorb the condensation if the work will be wrapped for a week.



I adopted this method too, except instead of writing students' names on the bags, we sealed the bags with wooden sprung clothes pegs. Each student was issued with three pegs to write their names on them with fineline marker pen and they used these to close the bag round their work .... and to quickly identify their bag(s)

#13 meisie

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 06:14 PM

OMG clothes pins I have about 100 in my classroom. I love that idea. Why didn't I think of it Im bringing some home on Monday. I hate wrapping and am no good at it but those will make life much easier. Thank you.....



My students usually aren't throwing tall/large vessels when they are learning. I've found that a box of wastebasket size white plastic bags fit their work and, as they can't see the work through the bag I have them write their name on the bags. As class goes along, when they trim the pots, the bags are kept for the next days throwing. A well wrung damp cloth can be wrapped around the base or just included under the plastic to keep the clay workable.

I emphasize not wrapping in plastic unless you have a paper towel or cloth over the piece to absorb the condensation if the work will be wrapped for a week.



I adopted this method too, except instead of writing students' names on the bags, we sealed the bags with wooden sprung clothes pegs. Each student was issued with three pegs to write their names on them with fineline marker pen and they used these to close the bag round their work .... and to quickly identify their bag(s)





#14 clay lover

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 07:39 AM

Scooby, I had exactly the same issue when I started with class once a week, how to hold things till I got back.
I went to the junk store and got old plastic, tupperware cake storers with a plastic base to sit the cake on and a domed round plastic cake cover piece with a handle for easy lifting. If the pot is still on the bat and you don't want it to dry at all, then you have to move it onto a non drying surface and then set the cover part over it. Most covers that I found fit a 12" bat perfectly. . Leaving the work on the bat allows for some drying, so a freshly thrown bowl at leaving time, too sticky to put any plastic on, would be perfect to trim or add handles to a week later.Posted Image
This method works great for slow drying plates .
I also recycle those big ,16"-`18", clear plastic pretzel jars with the red lids for taller works. With a sharp kitchen knife, cut the base off where it begins to narrow in, then set it down over forms, with the top on or off depending on how tall it is. If the pieces will fit inside the jar, great, if too tall, take top off and then add plastic to top.

#15 Madmingei

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:42 AM

Has anyone tried putting a plaster batt inside a plastic bin and then sitting the wet work on it & put the lid on? Some college students told me about it but I've never gotten around to testing it out. Its supposed to even out the drying as well as slowing it down....I'd love to know if it works but I suppose I'll just have to try it out if no one knows!

#16 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 08:17 AM

Still very new to pottery and am looking for advice on what type of plastic to store my wheel thrown pieces in so I can trim them up to a week later ater taking them off the wheel. I'm in a class now and need to keep the pieces leatherhard so I can trim them the following week. The class focus is on creating the pieces but I want to complete the process by trimming also as I learn. Is there a special type of plastic and supplier? What about various sizes and closures? I'm getting a wheel at home in a month after I'm sure I will get the hang of it and stick with it. I can read about pottery for hours. <3



You could put a bucket or a tupperware container over them without touching the surface. But in a community environment they could get bumped or "borrowed" so that is hard to say what would work for you.
Marcia

#17 teardrop

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 08:36 AM

The thin dry cleaner plastic is air permeable


Rather than dry cleaning bags, buy "Oven bags" if you want plastic that will NOT breathe/allow any moisture to escape. The only drawback is that they aren't "free".

We also use the tupperware/plastic top of an old cake plate/transporter to cover bowls less than a foot in diamater.

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#18 Diana Ferreira

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:34 PM

damp plaster bats (just pour plaster into a sealable container) works amazingly well. I discovered a still damp teapot spout a while back in an icecream container. I figured out that the sput was about 5 months old.
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#19 Lucille Oka

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:55 PM

If you have prepared moist clay bags, they are terrific. Place damp paper towels all around the ware, double bag the ware and use a twist tie to close. Also the thick mil bags can be purchased at many ceramic suppliers.
The large plastic storage bins are very good also; you can place damp paper towels on the ware and even place a damp sponge in the corner of the bin, away from the ware and close the top securely. This works for once-a-week classes very well.

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#20 ~janie

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:09 AM

I went to the paper supply store (Gulf Coast Paper, here) and bought a box of ice bags. They are tough plastic, a good size for just about anything I throw or build, and they will last a long long time. They were not free, but for a nominal amount of coins, I have a very good supply of plastic bags that will last me for years.

I also found a good deal on small buckets, and a piece covered with a bucket will stay workable for months! The buckets were $.79 each, and I bought all they had.




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