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Kristin_Gail

Does your wheel face the wall?

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My studio construction is lagging far behind schedule, and I'm now finding myself over-planning and re-thinking the innards while I wait for walls.

 

I had it all planned out, the flow of clay from wet to wheel to dry to glaze to kiln ... Then I started looking at old CM, SP, PMI, CT magazines ... and it appears I'm the only fool who sits at a wheel with my back to the wall. If I went this route, I'd be making a fair amount of changes in the layout (which would be easy, as it's empty now).

 

But about that wheel: Is it all a matter of having solid shelving surrounding you on three sides? Is that why so many potters face the wall? There's something about this positioning that feels uneasy to me. But obviously there's a reason for it. Please do enlighten me.

 

 

You should never have your wheel facing a wall. That's just asking for someone to sneak in and shoot you in the head.

 

Jim

 

 

 

So would the vessel, you were working on, be known as "The Dead Man's Pot"?

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I'm in a university setting, there are 15 of us in a tiny room. I made sure I was back to the wall facing the rest of the class, I too am uneasy unless I can see who is coming.

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Heres some 6 year old shots of my newer throwing/greenware room.

One large consideration if you ever plan on doing this for more than fun consider work flow-

That is where clay comes in- gets made (thrown-slab whatever) and dried, fired, glazed and packed.

Put your wheel in this work flow where it makes sense so you are not going back and forth so much. The clay movement will tell you where this is best. This becomes most pronounced when many tons goes thru the shop in a year.

My shop is a circular work flow shop . Clay comes in the door makes a left and travels around to the right back out door to kilns.

 

If you are worried about being shot in head I suggest two things -reconsider who your friends are or if self examination is to painful lock the door.

35 years ago I put brass bells on the inside of the studio door to let me know someone was coming in- they still work just the same today.

My studio is never locked

Everything else does lock and get locked now and then but never the studio-wheels and clay and glaze has zero value to most humans-the gram scale could be had by druggies but my attack cat might get them.

Mark

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I love this place. I know there are no rules, but I wanted to see why you chose whichever way you chose. Might help me think this through a little better. Moving the wheel around, trying it different spots will come (once it's actually in there), but I'm happy to now see your whys.

 

I'll be facing the windows either way, either from the other side of the room or sitting right in front of them. When I picture sitting with my back to the wall, I feel somewhat trapped, physically and energy-wise. (It's a big kick wheel; you have to climb up and in behind it to get onto the seat.) But, with my back to the open space, I feel much more free (again, all imagined). But there's a little matter of the windows and door being drafty in these Canuckian cold snaps (yes, I have - or will have at least - heat!) ...

It's a silly topic, I know. But I'm thankful for your insight.

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My wheel faces the wall. My studio is small so it makes the wheel easy to get to. Having the wheel face the wall also keeps my floor cleaner. I took a piece of denim fabric, added some grommets along the 'long' side of it and tied it onto the metal conduit that runs along the wall my wheel faces. Conduit is about 36" off the floor. Any wheel splatter goes onto the fabric. Once a year I untie the ribbons that hold it up and hose the denim off outdoors. Am lucky to have a great window beside the wheel, a door with windows and good overhead lighting.

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Talking of compact studios:

I have my wheel in the garage, as it is a messy job, but once I am done throwing, I bring my vessel inside.

I set up a small studio in the nicest room of my house. It takes only 4x4 feet. I bought this Tool Table at Costco

that has multiple metal drawers. I use the drawers to work in. I keep my tools, glaze and even some clay in it.

No dust, easy to clean. Works for me. (Well, I have shelves, too.)

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I face the wall because I enter the throwing/wedging/slab rolling area from a central point and go to my task from that point. If the wheel faced the center of the room I would have to circle it.

 

Joel.

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