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jemenfous5

Problem Centering

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Once I stopped trying to get the clay true to the bat, all of my centering issues went away. I keep my hands off the bats. I came to this realization after watching people on youtube thow beautiful big vessels on bats that were stuck to the wheel head with clay wads. The bats were moving up and down and roughly centered. It has no effect because they were throwing in relation to the center of mass of the clay and not trying to true it to the surface of the bat. Try to open in a 'V' rather than a straight wall. The V from the edge down to the center is self-centering all you need to do is control the lip with a thumb or finger of the top.

 

This guy throws with a wobbly bat:

 

 

This is also a good clip:

 

 

I only have YouTube and this site to learn from, there are no facilities or people in Central North Dakota to teach. Hope it helps or at least gives you somehting to try.

 

-Brian

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wedging gets the clay ready to be used, close your eyes and feel the clay as you center. It's a dance, don't over power your partner. If you start tired you won't be able to center well and over compensate with too much force. Start with softer clay and work up to firmer clay, don't try to turn stiff dryer clay it will exaust you.

Get comfortable,

Wyndham

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Must'av been that pottery infomercial at 3 am with the chop o matic and the spray hair in a can. They just suck the money outta you at that time of morning, no will power at all.

That's my story and I'm sticken to it. :wacko:

Wyndham

OffCenter and Claypple like this

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The only thing worse than a splash pan is a Griffin Grip and the only thing worse than a Griffin Grip is this piece of crap!

 

Jim

 

Why did you buy that Jim????

 

 

I was young (late 50's) and stupid when I bought the Griffin Grip and I didn't know it was worthless until I used it. Unfortunately, most wheels come with the splash pan, meaning real potters who don't use splash pans have to pay for them, anyway. The Soldner (maybe the best wheel on the market) is one of the few that comes without the spash pan.

 

Jim

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The only thing worse than a splash pan is a Griffin Grip and the only thing worse than a Griffin Grip is this piece of crap!

 

Jim

 

Why did you buy that Jim????

 

 

I was young (late 50's) and stupid when I bought the Griffin Grip and I didn't know it was worthless until I used it. Unfortunately, most wheels come with the splash pan, meaning real potters who don't use splash pans have to pay for them, anyway. The Soldner (maybe the best wheel on the market) is one of the few that comes without the spash pan.

 

Jim

 

What did you end up doing with your Giffin Grip Jim?  Sell it, toss it, burn it in effigy?

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Another important thing if you are having trouble centering or opening is to make sure your clay is moist enough so that you don't have to use excess force to move it. The last two batches of Laguna clay that I bought were dry as hell. My "rule of thumb" is that if I can't squeeze, one handed, through a fist-full with out straining then it's too dry. for throwing.

 

Any body else got a way they determine if their clay is plastic enough?

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My 2 cents, I need the clay to be centered. Suggestions: Make sure your wheel head is level! After that I support the "close your eyes" method. Does your wheel head have engraved circles or is it flat? If it's flat you can draw centering lines on your wheel with a pencil. Brace your arms on your knees and draw lines about every inch or so. You can also sort of bump your clay to center with a large rib or your hand.

 

P.S. I hate splash pans, but LOVE my Griffen Grip! ;0P

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Another important thing if you are having trouble centering or opening is to make sure your clay is moist enough so that you don't have to use excess force to move it. The last two batches of Laguna clay that I bought were dry as hell. My "rule of thumb" is that if I can't squeeze, one handed, through a fist-full with out straining then it's too dry. for throwing.

 

Any body else got a way they determine if their clay is plastic enough?

After a couple exhausting throwing sessions, early in my career, for the reason you mentioned, I've learned to always check the moistness of my clay.  I've found that even clay, fully sealed in a bag, can start to dry out.  I press on the bag a bit, and if it indents easily, it's good enough for me.

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The only thing worse than a splash pan is a Griffin Grip and the only thing worse than a Griffin Grip is this piece of crap!

 

Jim

 

Why did you buy that Jim????

 

 

I was young (late 50's) and stupid when I bought the Griffin Grip and I didn't know it was worthless until I used it. Unfortunately, most wheels come with the splash pan, meaning real potters who don't use splash pans have to pay for them, anyway. The Soldner (maybe the best wheel on the market) is one of the few that comes without the spash pan.

 

Jim

 

What did you end up doing with your Giffin Grip Jim?  Sell it, toss it, burn it in effigy?

 

 

The last time I saw it a lizard was sleeping on it in my junk shed.

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The only thing worse than a splash pan is a Griffin Grip and the only thing worse than a Griffin Grip is this piece of crap!

 

Jim

 

Why did you buy that Jim????

 

 

I was young (late 50's) and stupid when I bought the Griffin Grip and I didn't know it was worthless until I used it. Unfortunately, most wheels come with the splash pan, meaning real potters who don't use splash pans have to pay for them, anyway. The Soldner (maybe the best wheel on the market) is one of the few that comes without the spash pan.

 

Jim

 

What did you end up doing with your Giffin Grip Jim?  Sell it, toss it, burn it in effigy?

 

 

The last time I saw it a lizard was sleeping on it in my junk shed.

 

Ah, lizard bed, one of the possible outcomes, I didn't think of.

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Another important thing if you are having trouble centering or opening is to make sure your clay is moist enough so that you don't have to use excess force to move it. The last two batches of Laguna clay that I bought were dry as hell. My "rule of thumb" is that if I can't squeeze, one handed, through a fist-full with out straining then it's too dry. for throwing.

 

Any body else got a way they determine if their clay is plastic enough?

 

I use a lot of different commercial clays along with clays I dig and mix from scratch but I can't even remember getting any commercial clay that wasn't way too wet for me. I never use it straight from the bag. I have to let it dry out on plaster before it is useable. If I could squeeze through a fist-full I would consider it slip instead of clay.

 

Jim

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I'm with you Jim. The Soldner is the best wheel I've ever thrown on by a huge margin. And, the Griffon Grip is a skill killer. I however have yet to see any value to hard clay beyond early retirement, lol.

 

Joel.

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Here's a way.....

 

http://www.dickblick...kcenter-system/

 

......Waits for OffCenter.....

 

 

The only thing worse than a splash pan is a Griffin Grip and the only thing worse than a Griffin Grip is this piece of crap!

 

Jim

 

 

Well, at least you loath this worse than the Giffin Grip. I can understand why you think the quick center system is absurd, and even why you don't like the Grip, but splash pans? I know quite a few potters don't use them, because they throw, relatively dry, but to say they are almost as bad as the aforementioned items? I can understand, if you didn't like a certain type of pan, like those that are built in, but all of them.

 

 

For me splash pans are just something in the way and something hard to clean. A sponge between the wheelhead and water bowl keeps you almost as clean as a splash pan and doesn't get in the way when you're throwing a big bowl and trying to get up under the bowl and can be moved out of the way and cleans up with a squeeze. Plus, unlike Griffin Grips and that silly centering thing, most wheels come with them, meaning you have to pay for them even if you toss the splash pan as soon as you get the wheel.

 

Jim

 

 

To each their own. I like using my splash pans. I will agree, they do get in the way, for larger forms, but that's not something I do regularly, at this point.

 

The best wheel available, Soldner, doesn't come with a splash pan.

 

Jim

No worries there, I can't afford the best type of wheel..........or the second best, or probably even the third....

 

 

 

 

My ancient, wooden box Brent wheel, bought in 1971 and still going strong, came with a splash pan.  It does help me keep myself and the shop floor cleaner than without one.  Of course removing it when necessary is an easy process........  I reuse all my scrap clay and don't want it to hit the floor and pick up dog hair from my Sheltie helpers whether I'm throwing or trimming!  And for me, the Giffin Grip is a timesaver. 

Ann Sciba

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Once I stopped trying to get the clay true to the bat, all of my centering issues went away. I keep my hands off the bats. I came to this realization after watching people on youtube thow beautiful big vessels on bats that were stuck to the wheel head with clay wads. The bats were moving up and down and roughly centered. It has no effect because they were throwing in relation to the center of mass of the clay and not trying to true it to the surface of the bat. Try to open in a 'V' rather than a straight wall. The V from the edge down to the center is self-centering all you need to do is control the lip with a thumb or finger of the top.

 

This guy throws with a wobbly bat:

 

This is also a good clip:

 

 

I only have YouTube and this site to learn from, there are no facilities or people in Central North Dakota to teach. Hope it helps or at least gives you somehting to try.

 

-Brian

Try doing that with a 25" cylinder-it doesn't work!

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I let my clay freeze in the winter. When thawed it obviously has to be rewedged. Freezing brings water to the surface, and if I cut off the sides, my clay is pretty stiff. Most of the time though a couple times of cut and slam and spiral wedging bring it to very workable condition. The only time I like the wetter clay is when throwing plates, wetter clay makes the job so much easier.

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