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Seat For Potters Wheel


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#21 clay lover

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 07:37 AM

I, too had body pain from sitting at the wheel, and being on a tight budget, found a cheap secretary's chair at the 2nd hand store, it had height adjustment, then I made a wooden wedge from a 2x4 screwed to a square of plywood like a ramp. Put that in the chair seat. Covered it with a cushion and it made a huge difference.

The tilted seat prevents having all your weight on the back of your thighs, pinching nerves and muscles in the hamstrings. Raising the height some , which the tilt allowed, also opens the fold at your hips and that helps.
I also get massage every 2 weeks.

Without these things, I doubt I would be throwing.

#22 Fletch

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 05:01 PM

Has anyone ever tried one of those 'Yoga / Exercise Balls' instead of a stool at all? One of the ladies at work uses one all the time and says it is great for balance, back strength and posture and she says she has never been bothered with back or hip pain since she started using one 15 Years ago.

I can imagine myself winding up on my head or other end more than once just trying to learn to sit on it but that's just part of my rather long learning curve ;).

#23 pent19

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 06:47 PM

i have one and have been using (not at my wheel-don't have that type of coordination) I use it for seat work. My ball is could be larger, but these balls are great for your posture because they force it (if not you will end up on your head!) I also use the ball for stretches while i work on my wheel.
I have also heard of offices using them. If you can get one that is still ergonomically correct (correct size for you height of your tables).

#24 CKA

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 07:01 PM

Try sitting on an exercise ball. They help you maintain a good posture and improve core muscle tone.

#25 Pres

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 08:51 AM

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



That chair is one of the best I have ever found. When I got a few in to test in my studio people were fighting to get them. I replace all of the throwing chairs with them. The only problems I had with them was when some one was a little more generously proportioned in the derriere.

Good ergonomics, and work habits are extremely important in the studio. I too taught students about using their bodies instead of a part to get jobs done. Bending knees when lifting, motion of back and body when wedging, hand angles for wedging and centering, position of hands when using the extruder and slab rollers. Saves a lot of trouble in the studio for the equipment and the students when complete demonstrations cover the topics of safety and ergonomics.
Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . . http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/

#26 JBaymore

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:58 AM

That chair is one of the best I have ever found. When I got a few in to test in my studio people were fighting to get them. I replace all of the throwing chairs with them. The only problems I had with them was when some one was a little more generously proportioned in the derriere.


"a little more generously proportioned".... nice turn of phrase. Posted Image

Unfortunately, people who fall too far into that category are likely to have more of an issue with the stresses of studio work also.

Yeah .... a $200 chair can save $20,000 in doctors bills.

best,

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

John Baymore
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

Guest Professor, Wuxi Institute of Arts and Science, Yixing, China

Former President and Past President; Potters Council
 

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

http://www.nhia.edu/...ty/john-baymore


#27 Pres

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:20 PM


That chair is one of the best I have ever found. When I got a few in to test in my studio people were fighting to get them. I replace all of the throwing chairs with them. The only problems I had with them was when some one was a little more generously proportioned in the derriere.


"a little more generously proportioned".... nice turn of phrase. Posted Image

Unfortunately, people who fall too far into that category are likely to have more of an issue with the stresses of studio work also.

Yeah .... a $200 chair can save $20,000 in doctors bills.

best,

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


Teaching groups of adults in the HS on Saturdays gave me a population that included many teachers, some ministers, people in industry, and a few housewives. I found that I could modify much to fit their particular physiques, but as you say they could not do the studio work for longer than a 3 hr period once a week. I did find that the experience improved the image of the ceramics classes with many of my piers, and with administrators that took the class. Often it made the purchase of special chairs, new studio equipment, downdraft tables, and filter systems a matter of asking. Donation of my own time also was recognized by all involved.
Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . . http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/

#28 Deb Evans

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 10:19 AM

As an EMT, I'd suggust that you follow some of the advice already given, like stratching and warm up exercises. You need to reduce the pressure on your spine and the best way really is to throw standing up.
You'll love it! It was the standard in industrial ceramics (see english treadel wheels)- if you're going to throw for long hours- stand up. If you really want to sit - adjust hight of stool and wheelto get the your best spine and shoulder allignmens.
Creative industries makes a great wheel (noiseless) and ajustable stool.
I use a great office chair ( w/wheels) I found in my dumpster diving days. Love it!




#29 Wayne Cardinalli

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 10:20 PM

I've been potting, full time, for 50 years.  I'm happy to say that I have no back problems. 

I agree that you should get up frequently.  I get off my wheel to wedge a new piece of clay for every pot.  I know, that sounds crazy.  When I was a student I got into this habit.  I would look at the pot I just made and think about how the piece of clay I was wedging would be better than that last pot. 

I throw on a motorized kick wheel, I know, I know, I'm a dinosaur.  I made and adaptation by tilting my seat forward, just a bit. I padded it with a foam pillow and covered it with leather.  Nothing is too good for my tush.

However, what no one has talked about is the relationship between the height of the seat and the height of the wheel head.  I see so many people throwing with the head elevated 4 to 6 inches.  This might be OK for very small pieces of clay, but for anything over 4 pounds, I think it is best to be over the clay so you can use your body weight and not your arms to center.

I'd love to hear someone with medical experience confirm or correct my opinion.  What do you potters think? 



#30 Mark C.

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 02:00 AM

Wayne you will be amazed how many more pots can be made in same amount of time on a true power wheel vs a motorized kick wheel.

The time spent starting and stopping that fly wheel is time wasted

as to a chair height I like one that goes up and down on a cylinder (like the one I mentioned on my post) that way you get the right height for whatever amount of clay you are working with.


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#31 drmyrtle

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 04:45 PM

Skip the drummers stool: you'll be sitting way too far back, and most of them don't go low enough. Also VERY hard to get clay out of the fabric ;<.

 

Shimpo makes a cheaper version of a tilted stool. That plus raising up the wheel on the (brent) posts made all the difference.



#32 Bioman

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 09:42 AM

I have had back-pain issues for decades, so I needed to do something as well.  I purchased the ST-1 Potters stool a month ago; expensive but I don't regret it.  It takes some getting used to as it is not a normal seat; but it does force you to keep better posture and alleviates sitting related leg pain if you have that issue.  Your essentially sitting on your coccyx (no pun intended)  :) : so it puts pressure elsewhere that I am able to better tolerate.  Your mileage may vary.  It's a shame there is no way to test fly something of this sort prior to committing.



#33 JBaymore

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 12:30 PM

Just did a demo last night in a class that dealt a lot with various aspects of ergonomics and biomechanics in throwing.  Spending some time on this thought allows you to use your body effectively (hence throwing better) and minimize potential repetitive stress injuries.

 

LOVE my throwing "saddle" at home.  When demoing... I am always "adjusting" the standard straight stools to a better height / angle position.

 

best,

 

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


John Baymore
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

Guest Professor, Wuxi Institute of Arts and Science, Yixing, China

Former President and Past President; Potters Council
 

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

http://www.nhia.edu/...ty/john-baymore





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