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shawnhar

180 days along, run of 40 mugs

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Well it's been 6 months since I started going to the studio, things are moving along quite nicely I think.  Sometimes it does not feel like that, the glazing is still a crap shoot and often disappointing, but seeing a bunch of greenware mugs on the table with the handles all done feels great. A few blunders here and there, lost a few, tossed a few, but I feel like the quality has gone up quite a bit. I even got creative with a few of them and experimented with handles and tried lots of different mug shapes. I need to make another 300 handles it seems, before it really clicks, some of these are still pretty amateur. Throwing the forms has gotten way easier and faster, maybe still a tad heavy on the bottom for some of them, but not boat anchors like some of my previous attempts. 

Thanks in a big way to all of you that have helped me with the bazillion questions and given great feedback, the folks on this forum are awesome!

Any and all critiques, criticisms or comments appreciated

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If these are all greenware, you can still round the rims by taking a wet sponge or chamois or even fine sandpaper to them. Just be careful with the handling of the pieces since they are very fragile. The handles do need some refinement as some of what you show are a little rough. I'm guessing that you are pulling them. What's the possibility of extruding them since you have to make so many? You can pre-form them and store them in a damp box until you need them... Keep up the good work and great effort!

JohnnyK

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On 9/18/2018 at 10:04 AM, neilestrick said:

You're doing great! If I may offer one piece of advice, it is to make the lips of the mugs thinner and more rounded. A thinner lip is more comfortable to drink from, and a rounded lip will be smoother.

I've had some customers who preferred a thicker rim. I think they might have been people who had previously had trouble with chipped rims. People know their own dishwashing style (or that of their kids) and sometimes choose accordingly. 

When you, @shawnhar, like Mea and @neilestrick have completely refined your style and technique, and customers buy your work specifically for your aesthetic, you will, after throwing an infinity of mugs, have yours, too. :)

Edited by Rae Reich

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You may decide you're a complete loser as far as pulling handles is concerned, and decide to extrude for efficiency, consistency or serenity. 

But, I hope you'll give it a good try for the first umpty-thousand. 

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WI use the notch betwen my index finger and middle finger. Think in gives the illusion of more refined rim, haven' t lost it in the scraps yet....

Handle attaching to mug compress so glaze doesn' sit thicker there or get air bubbles...

Go Shawn, well done 

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Thanks all! They are all still green and I can round them off. I did try using a chamomile but half of these were thrown at the studio and transported home a couple hours later, I think they "settled" on the trip and flattened the rims, yet another learning opportunity, lol.  Handles are kicking my arse right now, too dry and they crack, too wet and they get marks all over them, squished, nicked, bumped, edges not connecting completely, then trying to push more, smooth edges where they connect. I am not a fan of the "smashed" handles on most of the forms I threw and attaching them is a skill unto itself. All of them were pulled except a few experiments. I thought of the extruder, but will continue to pull "umpty thousand" as it were and keep practicing for now. I'll have to try the finger thing!

Gabby they are not for a specific show, but I did sign up for 4 Saturdays in December at an indoor farmer's market. There is one show in October I may do if I have enough inventory I am comfortable with.

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If they are leather hard or even a little more, you can use a notched rib to round them. Try drilling a hole in a thin board 1/4-3/8", then taper the hole edges so no square edge on the hole. Use this with a slight amount of water by dipping the tool into water then use it to rub, compress the rim to roundness.  This type of tool is often used by handbuilders to smooth rims of mugs and other items.

 

best,

Pres

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2 hours ago, shawnhar said:

Thanks all! They are all still green and I can round them off. I did try using a chamomile but half of these were thrown at the studio and transported home a couple hours later, I think they "settled" on the trip and flattened the rims, yet another learning opportunity, lol.  Handles are kicking my arse right now, too dry and they crack, too wet and they get marks all over them, squished, nicked, bumped, edges not connecting completely, then trying to push more, smooth edges where they connect. I am not a fan of the "smashed" handles on most of the forms I threw and attaching them is a skill unto itself. All of them were pulled except a few experiments. I thought of the extruder, but will continue to pull "umpty thousand" as it were and keep practicing for now. I'll have to try the finger thing!

Gabby they are not for a specific show, but I did sign up for 4 Saturdays in December at an indoor farmer's market. There is one show in October I may do if I have enough inventory I am comfortable with.

I would not try to deal with the lips of your mugs after they are trimmed and handled. Even if you do not notice it is likely you will cause issues by bumping, jaring the attached handles while you mess with that. Not sure about your 'settled theory' but I occasionally miss a step if I needle the top. As my pulls became more consistent I needle the top only occasionally and thus more prone to forget to go back fix that.

I would just sand them after bisque when they are more durable.

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Ha! I already broke one trying to do it, so....point taken, lol. 

I am seeing the same thing with throwing, if I open carefully and do the pulls right, there is no need to needle the top, but I still had to on a bunch of these.

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7 hours ago, Stephen said:

I would not try to deal with the lips of your mugs after they are trimmed and handled. Even if you do not notice it is likely you will cause issues by bumping, jaring the attached handles while you mess with that. Not sure about your 'settled theory' but I occasionally miss a step if I needle the top. As my pulls became more consistent I needle the top only occasionally and thus more prone to forget to go back fix that.

I would just sand them after bisque when they are more durable.

By the way:-))))) drink the chamomile, smooth with chamois said shall   leather from the chamois....:-))))) auto prompt eh?

Sorry Stephen I was trying to quote Shawn......

If fiddling now maybe run a damp sponge over rim before fiddling.

Sanding  protect your lungs very carefully. Dust in air for hours unless done outside.

 

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Haha revenge of the auto correct. That's it, I'm using a microfiber cloth from now on so no tea in my clay.

Absolutely no sanding inside, ever.

I once stood inside a 6 foot concrete culvert that was standing on it's end, and cut out a section with a rotary concrete saw, using one of those little cloth masks, coughed up black crud for a week, it's amazing I can still breath at all.

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On 9/19/2018 at 1:37 PM, Rae Reich said:

I like a folded scrap of clay bag plastic to compress and smooth rims a little more tightly than a chamois. (Just don't lose it in your scrap pile )

Attach a small bobber to the end of your chamois or plastic and you'll never find yourself fishing (grooooaaannnnn) for it again.

 

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Looks pretty darn good for 180 days in. What weight of clay ball are you starting with and what is the final size of the wet mug from that clay ball. That will tell us a lot about the pot as well. Pictures can be hard to see the thickness and height of a mug. When I first started I felt like 1# of clay was not enough for a good mug. Now I feel like 1# of clay makes a gigantic mug.

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On 9/25/2018 at 1:48 PM, Joseph Fireborn said:

Looks pretty darn good for 180 days in. What weight of clay ball are you starting with and what is the final size of the wet mug from that clay ball. That will tell us a lot about the pot as well. Pictures can be hard to see the thickness and height of a mug. When I first started I felt like 1# of clay was not enough for a good mug. Now I feel like 1# of clay makes a gigantic mug.

Thanks Joseph, all of those were 1lb 4 oz. of clay. I trimmed off 3 or 4 oz. from the bottom on most of them at the time of throwing, some much less and then carved foot rings in almost all. I did some with 1lb but I like the thicker ones, keeps my coffee warmer longer, the thinner ones with less clay "feel" like a better made mug...but my coffee gets cold before I can drink it. The final glazed mugs were 4 /2 to 5" tall.

Thanks Rex, it would not have occurred to me to make handle-less mugs! You sell many like that?

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Haven't sold a handled mug since the 70's...but then again I'm just 7 years back in the 'making'. Truth is I don't have the patience for putting handles on pots.

Not me cup o tea! But yes, sold most all I've made. Just happens that if you check out most of the hipster art fair makers, half glazed handleless coffee mugs are all the trend.

So, yeah, all the better for me. :ph34r:

1 minute ago, shawnhar said:

Thanks Joseph, all of those were 1lb 4 oz. of clay. I trimmed off 3 or 4 oz. from the bottom on most of them at the time of throwing, some much less and then carved foot rings in almost all. I did some with 1lb but I like the thicker ones, keeps my coffee warmer longer, the thinner ones with less clay "feel" like a better made mug...but my coffee gets cold before I can drink it. The final glazed mugs were 4 /2 to 5" tall.

Thanks Rex, it would not have occurred to me to make handle-less mugs! You sell many like that?

 

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