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Hi,

Does anyone have experience using this type of slab roller?  My instructor said she does not recommend using a slab roller because it pulls the clay too much--she said a good rolling pin is much better.  I am 66 and think anything that would help me make big slabs could be a good tool.  Some people in class say that these types of slab rollers are too much bother and I would be better off using the rolling pin because you must put the boards in and out and that that is not as easy as it seems.

All and any comments would be appreciated.

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this statement is just not true.

(My instructor said she does not recommend using a slab roller because it pulls the clay too much--she said a good rolling pin is much better.)

any slab roller that uses two rollers to compress the clay between them is way better than just one roller (rolling pin).

A good slab roller uses two roller and no boards. Only Brent slab rollers use boards to get different thickness. Most of the Bailey slab rollers are adjustable and use TWO rollers. I am not that familiar with the mini might but I have that larger 30 inch electric bailey and its a two roller system.Just look for a two roller system as my setup is to much for you. I'm sure bailey makes a smaller two roller slab roller.

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Thank you Mark!

I am going to investigate the Baileys. 

 I am glad to hear that slab rollers do not stretch the clay too much.  She makes a lot of money doing hand building and insisted that if we had enough time in class, she would make us use the rolling pin for everything.  

 

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I had the Mini 16" roller, worked well to get me started. Way easier than breaking your back trying to roll out a biggish slab with a rolling pin, believe me.

There is enough work in just preparing the clay for the roller, that's all I care to do by hand.

The Mini is very handy (and priced well), but it should actually be secured to a bench so it doesn't move around when cranking the clay through.

I just sold mine to a student this week. Glad to say I have a big table nodel 30" Bailey now...

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  Oh Mark,

I have to agree. I am also a teacher. My students were always amazed that I would have them discuss ideas openly and did not require them to have  "my opinion" . I have had 3 different instructors since I started in 2013 taking classes as a senior citizen.  They all have very different views, approaches, and ideas.  I am learning a great deal more here on the forums that helps than I get from these instructors.  The classes are free, the clay is free, the firing is free so it's a great resource.  Some of them let those of us who are "seniors" just do what we want--others insist we do the projects that the class would do.  This most recent one is having all of the throwers throw blindfold to create different shapes by feel--she said she is trying to push them to stretch, improve their skill levels, and  try new things.  I knew here reputation so I did not take the level 2 class because I am not able to make ten 5 inch cylinders to cut into pieces to see how perfect they are.  The one lady was furious yesterday because she had all her pieces of her cylinders glazed for test tiles and because she did not have her name of every part of the 1/4 of a cylinder (she is the only one teaching and has very few students) she would not fire them.   I just try to give her a wide berth and do my hand--building until fall semester begins.

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The real lesson here is compression -when clay is compressed -either rollers or extrusions its always stronger than not compressed.One roller is better than none but two are far better than one-compression which pushes the molecules together.Its one of the reasons I like my extruded handles so much -they are very strong.

Edited by Mark C.

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I have a table top North Star slab roller.  Two rollers.  I bought it 4 years ago and I have to say it has more than paid for itself.  If I were to purchase again I would get a larger one.  I bought the 16 inch because of space considerations.  I would get the 24 in if I were to do it again.    If you do very much handbuilding at all, you will love having a slab roller.  

Roberta

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