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Okay Prez- now for a question.

the biggest problem I am having is leaving too much clay in the base. I never seem to be able to pull all the clay up the cylinder. My wall thickness is getting very close, but I would "guess-a-mate" that I am leaving a third of my clay in the base.

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that is a sign that you really are normal.  most people make hummingbird nests inside bowling balls with flat bottoms for a very long time.  

if it would not break your bank, you might want to look for an old book by charles counts.  he wrote Pottery Workshop in the 1970s and it takes a person from total novice to pretty good thrower in very simple, logical steps.  you might adapt the size of the clay ball you start with to fit your own hand if you find it too small.  do not skip a step, work from the front to the back and do not look ahead.

remember, you are not making a product, you are learning a skill.  do not expect perfection. 

and, get that excess clay out before you raise a wall, then you can lift instead of smooshing, counts shows you how.

oh yes, do not even read the glaze recipes.  some people say the errors were deliberate to keep the recipe private.

Edited by oldlady
correction
D.M.Ernst likes this

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Ron, 

I have seen this excellent video before. One of my ex students showed it to me a few years ago as he had begun using the technique to pull pots. I help with an adult class at the HS and saw him using the technique after I had tried it after seeing the video. I find the inverse on the wrist to be difficult for me, it was not the technique as I found it worked well, it was the pain in the wrist that I would get after using it for a few hours. In the long run I have returned to my finger tip braced with the thumb method of throwing.  The biggest take away from this in the long run was his bowl shaping rib.

best,

Pres

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16 hours ago, glazenerd said:

Okay Prez- now for a question.

the biggest problem I am having is leaving too much clay in the base. I never seem to be able to pull all the clay up the cylinder. My wall thickness is getting very close, but I would "guess-a-mate" that I am leaving a third of my clay in the base.

I've been throwing for fifteen years or so, and I will still leave a bit too much at the base occasionally (Especially with newer forms).  Some of it is just getting a feel for what a thick base feels like, and what a thinner base feels like.  I also drag my thumb along the base, to create a groove, before beginning some of my pulls.  It gives your fingers a path to follow, and has helped me pull more clay, than just a normal pull.

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Tom, 

The biggest advice I would give my students came with a hand on hand assistance to the first pull and the second. (Assuming you are RT handed )Create the donut after opening up. That is a donut attached to the wheel head, centered. Then using your left hand with the thumb down at the base of the wheel head on the outside, and the fingers bent to the floor on the inside with the rt hand with a sponge on the roll of the donut. . . . begin squeezing firmly with the thumb and fingers of the lft as you push inward on the roll with the sponge in the rt hand.  As you feel the roll going up, ease slightly on the pressure and continue to rise with the roll just above your fingers and thumb. Continue until to the point that you have gone off of the clay. Never stop the pull motion at the top of the pot, always imagining the clay to be 1-2" higher.

Second pull, begin with lft on inside, rt with thumb or pointer or whatever edge you use to pull with. Elbows braced against the body leaning to the rt. Firmly squeeze the clay between inside and outside fingers of lft and rt hand. As the roll moves up, ease slightly on pressure again and continue up with the pull as before. 

The firmly here is important, as that is where thinning the base comes in on a pull. Without firmly squeezing at the base level of the pull, the pull actually starts above the base of the pot leaving a heavier area in the base. You must firmly squeeze that roll on every pull to get it to move out of the base.

best advice I have, now practice. . . 

 

Pres

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4 hours ago, Pres said:

Ron, 

I have seen this excellent video before. One of my ex students showed it to me a few years ago as he had begun using the technique to pull pots. I help with an adult class at the HS and saw him using the technique after I had tried it after seeing the video. I find the inverse on the wrist to be difficult for me, it was not the technique as I found it worked well, it was the pain in the wrist that I would get after using it for a few hours. In the long run I have returned to my finger tip braced with the thumb method of throwing.  The biggest take away from this in the long run was his bowl shaping rib.

best,

Pres

This video shows a variety of things. FWIW, I don't use the inverse wrist either, its just not comfortable for me. I have an oval rib that almost works like his and I plan on making one that he uses in the video for myself.

Tom's question was about leaving to much clay on the bottom, which was why I posted the video. What I felt was important is how he achieved getting the little amount of clay on the base of the pot before he started to raise the walls . Alice did a good job explaining and I felt this video shows what she was taking about.

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Babs, I have heard in the past that the Asian methods of shaping worked from the top down where as Western world was bottom up.. . . . I really don't know, and FYI I do it both ways, often forming the jar with bottom to top and then back down. . . especially when forming a large jar.

 

best,

Pres

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yes, I have established the basic shape with fingers, then finish the bellying with CD from top to bottom, last touch of rim and that's it.

this way I know the rim can handle the expansion of the interior.

Edited by Babs
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On 11/15/2017 at 10:22 AM, Pres said:

Baking apples. . . Tablespoon of water, teaspoon of butter, spices-I use cinnamon and ginger, sweetener(sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey), as a diabetic I use none, others(nuts, granola, etc) Liquor(?) 

 

Apple baked 7 1/2 minutes in microwave oven. 40 minutes will work in a regular oven. Great Winter desert.

BakingApple.JPG

Oh! An apple baker is like a ring holder, but with taller sides! Now I want a baked apple! 

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Question Pres?

in the last week my throwing skills have improved dramatically. ( pictures will be up in gallery late next week) is that normal: do you hit a point where things just sorta click? Getting much better at getting the clay off the bottom and up the wall..TY.

current problem:  when I get up to the top of the cylinder, I start pulling unevenly...wobbles. Even when I slow down, pay very close attention, still pull the top of the cylinder slightly off and open. Remember, I am an old farm boy with bear claw hands: not exactly good for fine delicate work.  Help please.

nerd

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nerd,
Based on your statement:
            "Even when I slow down, pay very close attention, still pull the top of the cylinder slightly off and open,"
and my observations of many students (including myself) I am guessing that you are pulling your hands of horizontally from the top and you are moving them rapidly while the wheel speed is slow.
If so, the most likely cause is the surface tension between the clay and your hand - usually the fingers. 
The corrective action is: move your hand away from the clay surface slowly to allow the wheel to rotate several times as you move your hands off the clay.  
LT

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Well LT, I would say you are exactly correct. Just came in from practicing again, and noticed I tense up when I get towards the top. So I did a couple cylinders while standing up: not as bad. I just might be one of those "stand as throw" people. Just wish I had more time to spend on the wheel. Bought almost 18 months ago, and maybe have 3-4 weeks of actual time on it. 

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