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I just setup a studio at home, one of the changes I made was raising my wheel. I used to have terrible hip pain from long sessions, even with a block under my opposite foot to balance the pedal. This has made a HUGE difference for me. My stool is a hydraulic adjustable motorcycle-style stool (bought for my dad from Costco, I got it back when he passed) and then I use the furniture lifts that you put under your bed or sofa. You can see part of it in the link. I'm right about what others were saying, seat height at or just above wheelhead  level. I'm just about 6'. I think the furniture lifts would work for the Shimpo too.

 

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Three pieces of longer pipe replacing the original are always an easy way to go.  Maybe one intermediate support if raising it very high . For the lifts I have seen in the picture three pieces of longer pipe would likely be fine and they don’t absorb clay, are not mold food and leave a neater footprint on the ground to mop around.

just a thought

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31 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

Three pieces of longer pipe replacing the original are always an easy way to go.  Maybe one intermediate support if raising it very high . For the lifts I have seen in the picture three pieces of longer pipe would likely be fine and they don’t absorb clay, are not mold food and leave a neater footprint on the ground to mop around.

just a thought

The reason I made a stand instead of using longer legs is so I can put it back down on the floor if needed. If it's your only wheel, you may need to put it down for tall forms. In my case, I sometimes need another wheel for my classes. I used green treated lumber for longevity.

@CaroleLagace Some brands, like TS/Skutt, sell legs in whatever length you want. Brent makes extensions. They may work for your Shimpo- give them a call and ask what diameter legs they use. It wouldn't be too difficult make your own extensions out of pipe fittings, or find longer pipes on the web. I recommend first using cinder blocks or something cheap like that to figure out just how high you want it, then you can get or make legs of the correct height.

Throwing standing is very different than sitting. You lose a lot of bracing- you can't rest your elbows on your knees or put your elbow into your leg for added strength. It takes a few weeks to get used to, and to build the muscles you'll now have to use to to compensate.

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On 11/1/2012 at 7:56 AM, Guest JBaymore said:

I have mentioned this on the forum a number of times before in this kind of thread about positions in throwing.........

 

Have someone who knows something about throwing, ergonomics, and physiology watch you when you are throwing. (I'm lucky in this regard since I have the highest level of certification in a particular sports instruction....... the human body in motion and physics applies to many things.) A lot of the "issues" people develop over time when throwing come from a poor use of the human body for the task at hand.

 

Throwing is, at the very first, a totally mechanical skill .... like hitting a golf ball, turning a pair of skis or a snowboard, driving a nail into a board, and so on. It is only later that the aesthetic components overlay the mechanical skills. Some instructors of throwing tend to miss laying the solid fundamentals down first...... so things like HOW the body is being used tend to get short shrift. Plus many students (particularly here in the US) want to just "jump" to the "creativity" side of things as a shortcut without putting in the long period of hard work that the mechanical skill development deserves.

 

Getting the wheel height (or the seat height) adjusted a bit is certainly a part of this. But more often it is simply understanding what you are actually DOING and how that compares to the best use of the body. Sometimes it is not the seat height or the wheel height but what you are doing with your BODY. Once you know what you are doing, you can make changes in the movement patterns you are developing so that you use your body as efficiently as possible. Particularly as a beginner, this is the time to start to develop good ergonomic habits..... it is far easier to develop new movement patterns correctly than to have to go back and change long established "muscle memory".

 

Repetitive stress is a fact of life for anyone that works regularly using their bodies to perform various tasks. There is much useful information about this in the medical literature. Do a bit of research on "preventing repetitive stress injuries" and then take what you find out there to heart.

 

Marcia already hit one big point here....... seriously extended periods of doing one thing is inviting problems, no matter what that single thing is. In my throwing classes there is a "one hour limit" on sitting and throwing without getting up and doing something else for a few minutes. In my own studio I do about the same, getting up ansd moving wareboards of pots from the to racks adjacent to my wheel to the main storage racks elsewhere in the studio, making a cup of tea, checking drying work, and so on.

 

In my long time in teaching ceramics and in working with and associating with ceramists in general, I have seen plenty of people who attempt top "fix" one issue (like help the lower back) and then move the injury point to another body part by the changes they have made. Fix one thing and break another. If you make changes to how you approach throwing, make sure that you are not just "robbing Peter to pay Paul". I've seen plent of people who decide to "throw standing up" shift the injury zone to their knees, ankles, or particularly the wrists. (If you go to throwing standing up, research John Glick's setup for this. THAT is how it should be done.)

 

To answer your exact question.... for me (5' 8", male, 63 years young) I set my butt height (the center level of the seat surface) at the height of the top surface of the wheelhead (or bat surface) plus about 1 inch additional. When I am working in Japan this relationship is just about the same to the standard "throwing stations" that you see in most potteries there; the flat deck surrouinding the wheelhead (wheel sitting down in the "pit") and then a small thin zabuton (cushion) to sit on. When I am demoing at the college, I use bat(s) on the flat-top stools to get the level correct for me..... and have students do this also as needed to adjust their positions.

 

I use a Brent CXC and it is set on the floor at the "standard height". Another very important important point in my home studio is that I use a seat that has an angled seating surface that tips the pelvis forward (CI Potters Stool). And I do not "round" my back and hunch over the wheel.... I tip the upper body forward toward the wheel by breaking at the hip joints. Both of these help to maintain the natural curvature of the lower spine.... the place that most throwers have their "back problems". I have also modified the backrest on that CI stool to have it more forward from the position it comes in. And my upper back is also kept pretty straight.... the shoulders are not "rounded" either. This kind of position also "happens" (heh...heh....heh.....ergonomics) to give you the most freedom of movement of the upper extremities and the best use of the muscles in the upper body......which helps with the pure mechanical aspects of throwing.

 

best,

 

..............john

thanks.

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