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Seat For Potters Wheel


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#1 pent19

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 06:02 PM

so if its not my back being injured (i overextended a muscle from too much wheel, computer time a few years back) its my scaitica nerve. The chair i have been using has pinched my sciatica nerve-caused from sitting on the edge of the wooden chair. so sitting is painful.

So basically i am wondering what others sit at at their wheel and any specific recommendations for a chair/stool and injury prevention. I forunately have insurance (am a teacher currently on the my off season) and should be able to remedy the pain, but would like to look into some prevention. Hindsight is 20/20 right?
thanks

#2 JBaymore

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 06:22 PM

pent19,

I have been using the potter's stool from Creative Industries for years now. It allows you to tilt the axis of the saddle ( it is not really a "chair") so that you keep the tilt of your pelvis forward, assisting in retaining the natural curve in the small of your back. I also modified it so that the back rest is more in contact with my back also, by bending some of the metal.

One of the things I actively teach in my throwing classes is good ergonomics. Prevention is the key to potter's back problems, carpel tunnel, neck issues, and so on. Plus good ergonomics allows you to get the most performance out of your body...... which translates into the ability to make work more fluidly and with less effort.

Try to make sure that instead of leaning forward from rounding the back and lower spine area.... you break at the hips, and keep the curve in the small of the back. (The CI stool helps facilitate this movement.)

Also, make sure to not sit and throw for hours on end. I try to limit sitting a the wheel to about 1 hour at a clip before getting up and moving ware boards, and so on.

If you decide to shift to throwing standing up, you can often just shift the potential injury zone to other body parts''''' like the wrist joints, the knees, and even the back again if you keep one leg raised to control a pedal.

best,

..............john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#3 pent19

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 09:26 PM

thanks for the advice. I have been watching my time on the wheel for fear of a neck injury or carpel kicking in. I have been doing back and arm exercises but this nerve thing is a whole new thing. I will reasearch those chairs (which sound amazing!) while i take a few days off to recover. thanks!

#4 hansen

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 04:52 AM

so if its not my back being injured (i overextended a muscle from too much wheel, computer time a few years back) its my scaitica nerve. The chair i have been using has pinched my sciatica nerve-caused from sitting on the edge of the wooden chair. so sitting is painful.

So basically i am wondering what others sit at at their wheel and any specific recommendations for a chair/stool and injury prevention. I forunately have insurance (am a teacher currently on the my off season) and should be able to remedy the pain, but would like to look into some prevention. Hindsight is 20/20 right?
thanks

core strength is very important. I do ab crunches, leg lifts, and cobra/locust/boat asanas as well as pirformis, quad and hamstring stretches. i would see how much hamstring stretches help, they help me a lot.
h a n s e n



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Stone House Studio, Alexandria, Virginia

americanpotter.blogspot.com
thesuddenschool.blogspot.com

#5 bciskepottery

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 09:32 PM

I would recommend one that allows for pneumatic adjustment of the chair height. I use a different stool height for different activities -- centering large balls of clay, trimming, etc. I also get up and stretch my legs and back at least every hour.

#6 Cindy in SD

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 12:54 AM

Try standing up. I placed my wheel on a plywood & 2 x 4 table so the splash pan is at the level of my belt and mounted the foot pedal at thigh height just above my knee. If I throw a really big pot I'll stand on a wooden box, but otherwise this has proven to be the perfect height for me. It did take some experimenting. I screwed wooden blocks behind the legs of the wheel to keep it from shifting on the table. This is so much easier and comfortable than sitting all slouched over, and there's the added bonus that I don't have to get up to move my ware boards, so it saves time as well.

The other thing, especially as you call yourself "newbie," is to remember to keep your body relaxed, and breath. It's easy to get into the habit of stiffening up and holding your breath. Hope this helps!

#7 hansen

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 05:32 AM

it feels like the sciatic nerve but probably the pinched nerve is in the 3rd, 4th and 5th lumbar vert. Classic symptoms.


so if its not my back being injured (i overextended a muscle from too much wheel, computer time a few years back) its my scaitica nerve. The chair i have been using has pinched my sciatica nerve-caused from sitting on the edge of the wooden chair. so sitting is painful.

So basically i am wondering what others sit at at their wheel and any specific recommendations for a chair/stool and injury prevention. I forunately have insurance (am a teacher currently on the my off season) and should be able to remedy the pain, but would like to look into some prevention. Hindsight is 20/20 right?
thanks

core strength is very important. I do ab crunches, leg lifts, and cobra/locust/boat asanas as well as pirformis, quad and hamstring stretches. i would see how much hamstring stretches help, they help me a lot.
h a n s e n






h a n s e n
Stone House Studio, Alexandria, Virginia

americanpotter.blogspot.com
thesuddenschool.blogspot.com

#8 JBaymore

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 09:50 AM

I would recommend one that allows for pneumatic adjustment of the chair height.


The Creative Industries potters saddle stool has that feature also....sort of like an office chair.

best,

...................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#9 SShirley

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 12:46 PM

At a Tom Coleman workshop, he recommended getting a drummer's stool to use for throwing. He said they are very comfortable. I haven't tried it, but they sure look nice.

Sylvia


so if its not my back being injured (i overextended a muscle from too much wheel, computer time a few years back) its my scaitica nerve. The chair i have been using has pinched my sciatica nerve-caused from sitting on the edge of the wooden chair. so sitting is painful.

So basically i am wondering what others sit at at their wheel and any specific recommendations for a chair/stool and injury prevention. I forunately have insurance (am a teacher currently on the my off season) and should be able to remedy the pain, but would like to look into some prevention. Hindsight is 20/20 right?
thanks



#10 JBaymore

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 02:42 PM

At a Tom Coleman workshop, he recommended getting a drummer's stool to use for throwing. He said they are very comfortable. I haven't tried it, but they sure look nice.


A long time ago in a galaxy , far , far FAR away.......... I was a professional musician. Back in the 60's. (Still have my kit.)

Good suggestion.... but I'd still take the Creative Industries stool over the drummer's stool. Because of the fact that it is a saddlle not a stool, and the pelvic tilt configuration on the CI stool is key to helping solve/prevent back issues.

best,

........................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#11 Potterstu

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 04:42 PM

so if its not my back being injured (i overextended a muscle from too much wheel, computer time a few years back) its my scaitica nerve. The chair i have been using has pinched my sciatica nerve-caused from sitting on the edge of the wooden chair. so sitting is painful.

So basically i am wondering what others sit at at their wheel and any specific recommendations for a chair/stool and injury prevention. I forunately have insurance (am a teacher currently on the my off season) and should be able to remedy the pain, but would like to look into some prevention. Hindsight is 20/20 right?
thanks



#12 Potterstu

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 04:47 PM

so if its not my back being injured (i overextended a muscle from too much wheel, computer time a few years back) its my scaitica nerve. The chair i have been using has pinched my sciatica nerve-caused from sitting on the edge of the wooden chair. so sitting is painful.

So basically i am wondering what others sit at at their wheel and any specific recommendations for a chair/stool and injury prevention. I forunately have insurance (am a teacher currently on the my off season) and should be able to remedy the pain, but would like to look into some prevention. Hindsight is 20/20 right?
thanks



#13 Potterstu

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 05:17 PM


so if its not my back being injured (i overextended a muscle from too much wheel, computer time a few years back) its my scaitica nerve. The chair i have been using has pinched my sciatica nerve-caused from sitting on the edge of the wooden chair. so sitting is painful.

So basically i am wondering what others sit at at their wheel and any specific recommendations for a chair/stool and injury prevention. I forunately have insurance (am a teacher currently on the my off season) and should be able to remedy the pain, but would like to look into some prevention. Hindsight is 20/20 right?
thanks



Back in my appreniceship days, early 1960's / I'm old, we never heard of "bend at the knees". There was no OSHA, everything came in 100 pound bags and we young naive appretices would race to unload the five to ten tons of bagged dry clays that arrived every three months. AND yes, we all now suffer with L3, L4 and L5 issues. I get to the wheel at least three sessions a week and take many mini breaks to stetch or just walk.

I teach students to do a series of stretches (miming throwing in a mirror) at least every half hour at the wheel. I have two wheels and have one I stand at and the other for sitting. The problem with standing is, you are on one foot and the other is raised on the pedal. Daily stretching is a MUST! . My master's wife danced all her life and taught me some basic stretches many years ago that I have incorporated into my daily routine. Develope a routine and don't skip a day! [hansen has a good list of moves below.]

And keep potting!

#14 pent19

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 05:55 PM

thanks for the help everyone! like i said i am a teacher and i worked 2-3 hours a day on my wheel once summer vacation began. I have had issues before and have changed things for (wrists, neck and upper back) but was completely ignorant on my seating. I even have a block of wood for my left foot to sit on to keep my body symmetrical while i throw. I am an avid runner, but am going to hit up the gym to get some more strength training.

Its not my sciatica (which according to my chiro is much harder to fix) its my lumbar reticulis, a pinched nerve in my lower back which i can attribute to my chair in my studio. I am going to leave my wheel on the floor for now and make some adjustments in my seating and look into the seat that john mentioned.

While a 'newbie' i have been working on and off with ceramics for 10 years. I recently completed my own ceramic studio by purchasing a kiln and am excited to create without limitations (finding a kiln to fire, etc) and have a few stores that have requested my work as well so i think that is also a contributing factor!
I will let you know how things go!
thanks

#15 CarlCravens

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 10:51 PM

Good suggestion.... but I'd still take the Creative Industries stool over the drummer's stool. Because of the fact that it is a saddlle not a stool, and the pelvic tilt configuration on the CI stool is key to helping solve/prevent back issues.


Do you have the ST4 (single piece black saddle) or the ST1 (separate back piece). The ST4 is much cheaper, but doesn't list tilt as a feature.

Many modern drum thrones are saddle-type, but they still don't have the proper tilt.
Carl (Wichita, KS)

#16 JBaymore

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 07:44 AM


Good suggestion.... but I'd still take the Creative Industries stool over the drummer's stool. Because of the fact that it is a saddlle not a stool, and the pelvic tilt configuration on the CI stool is key to helping solve/prevent back issues.


Do you have the ST4 (single piece black saddle) or the ST1 (separate back piece). The ST4 is much cheaper, but doesn't list tilt as a feature.

Many modern drum thrones are saddle-type, but they still don't have the proper tilt.


I've got the ST1 with the tilt seat and the back rest. A very early one... been using it for YEARS. And as I said I modified the back rest for more active support. They aren't cheap... but worth every penny.

For drumming the tilt would be awkward and counterproductive. Because I've been out of the music biz for SO long..... haven't looked at new drum gear at all.

best,

.................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#17 CarlCravens

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 09:27 AM

For drumming the tilt would be awkward and counterproductive. Because I've been out of the music biz for SO long..... haven't looked at new drum gear at all.


What does a drummer do when he's tired of being a starving artist? He opens a pottery studio. :)

I figure the CI (now Speedball) ST1 would be a great seat, but it *is* rather expensive at over $200. If I threw for a living, I'd buy one in a heartbeat though... I already have to deal with back and neck problems. (I'm going to spend $350 on an office chair, as I work from home half the time and the cheaper ones just aren't cutting it.)

Aside from the tilt, a drum throne hits all the other points... low, wide, stable base, well-padded saddle seats, adjustable height. Even a basic one could beat the typical steel "bench stool". I have one of those from National Public Seating, with the optional back and adjustable legs... I'm going to try jacking the rear legs up a notch to give it some tilt and see if that helps my throwing posture.
Carl (Wichita, KS)

#18 JBaymore

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 11:19 AM


For drumming the tilt would be awkward and counterproductive. Because I've been out of the music biz for SO long..... haven't looked at new drum gear at all.

What does a drummer do when he's tired of being a starving artist? He opens a pottery studio. Posted Image


Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Carl.... I actually was rather sucessful as a musician. Started playing professionally in clubs at the age of 13. By the late 60's had a lot of mileage under my belt. Never had more money in my pockets than back in the late 60's early 70's. Spent a bunch of time in recording studios, etc. But decided if I didn't get out of the biz... I might end up dead Posted Image . The music biz as you "move up the ranks" is no picnic, and the "lifestyle" can be deadly. It was the correct decision.


Sorry.... Back on tiopic.......

Maybe instead of blocking up the back leg, try adding a wedge shaped pad / wood base to the seat part to get the tilt?


best,

.......................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#19 CarlCravens

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 05:03 PM

Maybe instead of blocking up the back leg, try adding a wedge shaped pad / wood base to the seat part to get the tilt?


Possible. My stool has four legs, each with independent height adjustment... so making the rear legs an inch longer than the front legs is simple. So long as the tilt doesn't put the back support at the wrong angle, I expect that should work.

("independent height adjustment"... I make it sound so high-tech. A bolt holds the telescoping leg in place :))
Carl (Wichita, KS)

#20 clay lover

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 07:30 AM


Maybe instead of blocking up the back leg, try adding a wedge shaped pad / wood base to the seat part to get the tilt?


Possible. My stool has four legs, each with independent height adjustment... so making the rear legs an inch longer than the front legs is simple. So long as the tilt doesn't put the back support at the wrong angle, I expect that should work.

("independent height adjustment"... I make it sound so high-tech. A bolt holds the telescoping leg in place Posted Image)






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