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Chris Throws Pots

Where do you put freshly thrown pieces?

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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!

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I can't respond specifically becasue I don't work in a community setting, but this came to mind. Maybe take the measurements of the space, and a good diagram of it "as is", and some gross aggregate measurments of the space a wheel takes up. Then go find a graduate design student or just ask if a local architectural firm would be good enough to suggest a couple of layouts for what you want to accomplish. People are often usually pretty giving of free time/expertise for such things, I have found.  They like the challenge I think, and to contribute to projects like art for  community benefit.

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My studio walls are lined with shelving units. They stand 6 feet tall, with 5 shelves in each unit. I get them at Menard's. The bottom shelf is for whatever anyone wants to put there, the 3 middle shelves are for student work (each student gets his/her own shelf) for their pots and tools and clay, the top shelf is where we put finished pieces to dry and await bisque firing. I have 2 other shelving units that are dedicated to bisqueware storage. My classes run on 8 week sessions, and we do most of the glazing during the last week of classes, so the bisque shelves just get stacked up with work until then. It's a good system for my little studio, and I've had up to 42 students enrolled at once.

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I love this thing and have used one for about 3 yrs now: 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-5-Shelf-36-in-W-x-16-in-L-x-72-in-H-Storage-Unit-21656PS-YOW/100656305?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal1_rr-_-202627508-_-100656305-_-N

Each shelf holds about 350 lbs. 

 

Edited by yappystudent

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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.

1526861974_BCAWheelRoom.jpg.23b7d9c20f54f2147516de2ebf090004.jpg

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.

Edited by Chris Throws Pots

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I think you can have both. A narrower, two-tier central table seems desirable. Perhaps the demonstration wheel could have the Brent leg extensions so you demonstrate standing up or on a higher stool with a box holding up your pedal (I prefer the second and have boxes for both feet).

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I clear my 4' x 10' work table and put my thrown work on that. I cover the pots with various size buckets or large 24" or 30" storage containers to keep them damp. I can get 10-12 small bat inserts under one storage container. If I am doing large orb , I use 5 gallon buckets or larger storage containers. I also have shelves if I need them.

Marcia

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Get a student or teacher's aide to serve as a runner? Hand off the bowl to them and they carry it to a shelf against the wall. The student at the wheel would have to mark their bowl clearly to not get it mixed up with others. 

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We had a similar setup to your image in college. The instructors would demo, and the students would crowd around the instructor's wheel. The students and the instructors wouldn't be throwing at the same time, so I think building a 2 tier shelf that you could remove a section of for clear sight lines during demo times wouldn't pose any issues. 

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Due to the fact that I work outside, I use your standard Home Depot-like steel shelves and wrap them in plastic making them waterproof and create a good drying cabinet of sorts. The front plastic cobvering the 'door' is just a flap I can flip up on top when using the shelf. I 'close' it and can secure it with simple hardware clamps.

In the morning, after I throw a dozen pieces that I set on a close shelf or cart, I'll transfer them to the drying shelves. I can easily monitor how fast the dry depending the outside temperature.

I can normally take a 2-4 hour break and go back and trim in the afternoon.

 

IMG_9799-XL.jpg

Edited by Rex Johnson

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6 hours ago, PSC said:

I encourage my students to stand up between pots. So if they have to move to put it some place its better for them healthwise.

@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. 

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Can the long narrow table be replaced, do you use it?  I put a shelf unit next to my wheel to put freshly thrown pieces on.   Some of them are deep and student from each side of the unit can put work on it.  It is also far enough in that they will probably have to stand up to reach it.    Denice

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@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.

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chris, the bailey wheel offers a shelf that fits just above the wide part of the wheel.  i am not suggesting you buy their  shelf unit, just look at it and figure out a way to adjust it to your situation.  

one possibility is to separate the wheels just a few inches and insert narrow shelving perpendicular to the central table.  a  6 inch wide shelf can hold a lot of smaller items especially if it has two layers, one at wheel height and one 8 inches higher.   if you do not have room for 6 inch shelves between the wheels, use a T shaped support that would be above wheel height and  run it down to the floor where it can be fastened to a heavy base.  

that won't get you any more movement space for walking behind the wheels so perhaps it is time for a total re-thinking of the entire space.  why run the shelves all around the outside walls?  what about changing the shelving to stand alone in rows down the center like the local library and put the wheels around the edges?   gather students at demo time and disperse them to work.  shelves back to back in the center or down one side?  

try one of the architecture or home design websites and put the whole room into  a floor plan and move them all around.    all of them  around

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I thought a shelving unit  running between the two row of wheels would give you more room behind the wheels.  My shelving unit is 14 inches deep,  I have long term storage on the top and bottom and open shelves in the middle.   I put two 4"  plastic shelves put together so the shelves are also adjustable.  You could use a 12"  if you kept the height lower,  the higher you go the wider the shelves need to be to keep it from being wobbly.  I used these shelves for 13 years in my last studio and 11 years in this one.    I learned three different architectural programs to design my own house and studio,   Better Homes and Garden had the easiest program if you decide to go that route.  Denice

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