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emma_19

Rolling Pins

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Hi All 

 

Just a quick question, doesn't really warrant a whole thread but didn't know where else to ask -

 

I wanted to know if anyone has tried using silicone rolling pins for rolling out slabs? I don't know if the clay would stick to the silicone in which case I will stick to wood. Which is better in your experience?  I know I could go out a buy one to test but just for convenience I wanted to ask here first. 

 

Thanks 

Emma 

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I purchased a long silicone rolling pin. The clay sticks like crazy. Don't know if it's because of local manufacture or if it is just a silicone thing. But as oldlady says wood is best.

Andrea

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Emma-

I agree with the statements above. If you have a restaurant supply house nearby, I'd recommend a large baker's rolling pin with ball bearings in the handles. You may find that wooden pins have a clear finish on the barrel, which you can remove using a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper. The larger the diameter, the easier it is to produce smooth, flat slabs. You can use 1/4 inch plywood or plexiglass strips as guide strips to get an even thickness for most slab projects. Personally I prefer these over dowels, as they won't dent the barrel.

Have fun!

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wow i am surprised it sticks. apparently clay is not supposed to stick to silicone.

 

one of my classmates brought her silicone baking sheet to school and the clay never stuck to it. 

 

interesting!

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wow i am surprised it sticks. apparently clay is not supposed to stick to silicone.

 

one of my classmates brought her silicone baking sheet to school and the clay never stuck to it. 

 

interesting!

Maybe it has something to do with the pressure used to roll a slab

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yep, I use a piece of old bed sheet or even newspaper when rolling small slabs.   I also have those special paper mats that you can use to roll out slabs on a slab roller without getting any texture that canvas leaves.  I call them my "rolling papers". have one set for dark clay and one for white.   

 

But I agree wood rolling pins are best. We also have some pieces of 3 inch pcv pipe that work pretty well.    rakuku

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yep, I use a piece of old bed sheet or even newspaper when rolling small slabs.   I also have those special paper mats that you can use to roll out slabs on a slab roller without getting any texture that canvas leaves.  I call them my "rolling papers". have one set for dark clay and one for white.   

 

But I agree wood rolling pins are best. We also have some pieces of 3 inch pcv pipe that work pretty well.    rakuku

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I'm a wooden rolling pin person...no particular reason, but it might feel like I'm cheating on a girlfriend if I switched.  Rolling pins have feelings after all :)

--Paul

 

 

Yeah, I've dated women that were built like rolling pins too.....but once you've had a few drinks...... :lol:

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I had a hard time finding a wood rolling pin and didn't want to pay a lot from a clay supplier so I ended up with a teflon-coated one. I like it because it's easy to clean when I switch from red back to porcelain clay. It sticks a little, but only when the clay is really wet and thin.

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I'm a wooden rolling pin person...no particular reason, but it might feel like I'm cheating on a girlfriend if I switched.  Rolling pins have feelings after all :)

--Paul

 

 

Yeah, I've dated women that were built like rolling pins too.....but once you've had a few drinks...... :lol:

 

Well, when you put your rolling pin in the microwave and then enter your PIN number, you've had more than a few drinks.

-Speaking for a friend, :P

 

-Paul

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Mark why do you prefer the slab roller? even thickness? time saving?

 

having used a slab roller (thick canvas and then a thin canvas on the bottom and same on top) i will say given a choice i prefer using a rolling pin or punching with a fist. i find machine slabs dry out too much. i usually work with soft slab and not really almost leather hard slabs.

 

if i was making a set of 4 bowls by the time i finished no. 3 the 4th was too hard to manipulate. i guess i could keep the slab moist. that is rolling slabs out for 4 bowls at the same time. 

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For me, the choice of slab roller vs rolling pin vs thrown & stretched technique for making a slab, depends on how big the finished slab must be.  A long wide slab is more efficiently made on a slab roller, if available.  A thin slab for a drinking cup is easier to make with a rolling pin and two gauge strips. A thick single plate slab is quickly made by throwing onto the table or floor.

If the slab sticks to the roller or table, the contact surfaces are too wet.  Dry the roller or clay or put plastic on the clay, or do both. 

 
Even when making sets of soft slab items, I keep the slabs on craft foam and covered with plastic - usually the thin "cling" wrap stuff.

 

 

The sticky-ness of clay is dependent on the water content, and my experience with stoneware and porcelain slabs is that porcelain will dry faster than stoneware and thus is less sticky.

 

 

LT
 

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Emma, porcelain clay is normally drier and because it has a larger particle size it is not so sticky ( plastic) My studio table is covered with Masonite( kitchen counter top)

Unless your porcelain is very soft, it is better to use non absorbing surfaces ( including when you roll clay out) while you work with it, because it will stay workable for longer. 

That being said, there is good advice on rolling pins. If you roll your clay between two layers of paper or plastic, even fabric;  interfacing ( the very thick one available from fabric stores used to stiffen up cuffs and collars) will prevent texture. I use slabmat from slabmat.com. If you are just starting out with slabs, I will suggest you use a piece of interfacing. 

Remember to always peel the paper, plastic or fabric away from the clay and not the other way round. 

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When I was desperate--which I am not any longer--and only had a silicone pin & a metal one, I used cornstarch on the surface of the clay to get it to roll out "good enough" without the agony of sticking. My heavy duty wood commercial baker's rolling pin is great.  So is the (Bailey) table-top slab roller I finally got, tho I still use the pin for smaller work. 

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