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Great Project Gone Bad...


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#1 sculption_chat

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 07:26 PM

My students have done a great job creating hand built cylindrical vases. We took the precautions and wrapped the cylinders in wet newspaper before shaping the clay around the forms. We carefully wrapped the vases with thin garbage bags. The very next day, as a good teacher does, I checked on them and intended to carefully remove the cylinders but found the newspaper lining almost completely dry and the cylinders won't budge! Help!! The cylinders are about a quarter of an inch thick cardboard and at least 18 inches tall.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

#2 Stephen Robison

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 07:47 PM

Don't wet the paper! Tape it on to itself with a small piece of masking tape. Make sure the paper slides easy off the tube and then your ready to wrap clay, fix seam and get it off the tube before it starts shrinking to much. If you leave it to long it may constrict on the tube. Gently get it off the tube when you can and then let it set up a little if you desire to really hold the integrity of the cylinder, and then add a bottom or top or.... If you want to manipulate it by darting or other altering techniques you may actually do it right away. Have fun
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#3 annbclay

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:17 AM

If you don't want to loose the work already done my suggestion would be to take box cutter blade and slice the inside of your cardboard tube then try to collapse it or remove it in sections, or maybe just let it burn out in the kiln if the shrinkage hasn't caused cracks in the project.

#4 anthonyfoo

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:24 AM

My students have done a great job creating hand built cylindrical vases. We took the precautions and wrapped the cylinders in wet newspaper before shaping the clay around the forms. We carefully wrapped the vases with thin garbage bags. The very next day, as a good teacher does, I checked on them and intended to carefully remove the cylinders but found the newspaper lining almost completely dry and the cylinders won't budge! Help!! The cylinders are about a quarter of an inch thick cardboard and at least 18 inches tall.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!




Hi,

You may not have a choice but to start over since the clay has shrunk against the cardboard tubes. Those cardboard tubes are almost impossible to cut. They are made really tough. The clay will continue shrinking against the cardboard tube and eventually crack.

This is my technique for hand building clay tubes:

1. wrap scrap newspaper around the cardboard tube TIGHT.
2. Secure with masking tape.
3. Wrap another layer of newspaper around the tube again, over the first layer of newspaper, but this time don't wrap it so tight. Secure with masking tape.
4. This way the outer newspaper tube sleeve can slide out and your cardboard tube will remain dry and the clay will not stick to it.

After I have formed my tubes, I usually remove the clay once the clay has firmed up enough. If I need more tubes, I repeat step 3.
I don't let my clay dry (even to leather hard) on the tube.

Hope this helps.
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#5 AndyL

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 01:15 PM

A hard call since it's not clear the age of your students. Elementry age I'd try to save the cylinders by quickly dunking them in water and wraping them individually in plastic bags to soften the clay. Wait at least a day to release them. Older children or adults I'd say it was the learning process for them to figure a way to save them or learn by experience that sometimes you need to cut line and redo. Especially if they were taught about drying and shrinkage This is a good time to introduce them to keeping a work journal if you haven't already.

#6 Carl

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 01:28 PM

I roll my slabs directly on the cardboard tubes (without the newspaper), and yes, that makes them stick to the tube. But by putting my arm inside the tube and the gently bouncing the tube while it is held sideways, it stretches the clay enough that I can then slide the tube out of the cylinder of clay after standing it on end. This process has to be done before the clay sets up too much to stretch, of course. I never leave the clay on the tubes for long as it will shrink and then become too difficult to remove. It sounds like your student's project may be beyond help unless you can rehydrate the clay enough to allow it to stretch and be removed from the tubes. Best wishes!!!

#7 Plattypus

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 04:34 PM

My students have done a great job creating hand built cylindrical vases. We took the precautions and wrapped the cylinders in wet newspaper before shaping the clay around the forms. We carefully wrapped the vases with thin garbage bags. The very next day, as a good teacher does, I checked on them and intended to carefully remove the cylinders but found the newspaper lining almost completely dry and the cylinders won't budge! Help!! The cylinders are about a quarter of an inch thick cardboard and at least 18 inches tall.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!



#8 Plattypus

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 04:44 PM


My students have done a great job creating hand built cylindrical vases. We took the precautions and wrapped the cylinders in wet newspaper before shaping the clay around the forms. We carefully wrapped the vases with thin garbage bags. The very next day, as a good teacher does, I checked on them and intended to carefully remove the cylinders but found the newspaper lining almost completely dry and the cylinders won't budge! Help!! The cylinders are about a quarter of an inch thick cardboard and at least 18 inches tall.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Hi there, this may be a bit late but I too am wondering about the age of your students. In my Middle School classroom I normally use a loosely rolled paper towel on the cylinders before adding the slab. However, if you are still in a bind and depending on the level of clay dryness I would suggest the following... 1) borrowing from Mitch Lyons's broom stick technique, would you be able to insert a heavy dowel into the tube and gently roll against the table. This may stretch (and thin) the clay and allow it to relax it's grip on the tube. My other suggestion (once again depends on moisture content) you might use an exacto blade, slice down the wall, and gently separate the wound until you can remove the tube (much like remove a cast from a broken arm) then score, slip and heal... just my 2 cents. Please let us know how you made out :-)

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:25 AM

We do the clay cylindar thing at the beginning of the year. We use PVC pipes, with newspaper wrapped and taped in a couple of spots so the paper can "spin" on the pipe. After forming the slab on the pipe, we can reach our hand down into the pipe, and twist it out of the clay slab. It is important not to let the clay dry on the pipe, so remove the clay ASAP.

#10 azjoe

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 02:08 PM

Next time, instead of newspaper try using freezer paper (shiny side out). It's not free like newspaper, but it has some advantages... for example, they clay dries slower so you have more time to decorate before removing the tube and, after you remove the tube, it has more strength to help support the clay as it dries... far fewer leaning towers of Pisa, LOL. When the clay has firmed up to your liking, simply grasp the paper liner and twist/collapse it inside the clay cylinder as you gently pull it out.

If you are making a vase, try cutting styrafoam plugs and glue them in the bottom of the cardboard tubes, flush with the end. (Make sure you pierce/drill a small hole through the center of the plug so you don't create a vacuum when it comes time to remove the tube.) Cut a circle of freezer paper to cover the bottom of the tube it and tape it well to the paper covering the tube... you'll find the bottoms of your vases are much easier to seal to the cylinder walls and no more bottoms cut or deeply grooved by the by the tube.

#11 sad duck

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:08 PM

My students have done a great job creating hand built cylindrical vases. We took the precautions and wrapped the cylinders in wet newspaper before shaping the clay around the forms. We carefully wrapped the vases with thin garbage bags. The very next day, as a good teacher does, I checked on them and intended to carefully remove the cylinders but found the newspaper lining almost completely dry and the cylinders won't budge! Help!! The cylinders are about a quarter of an inch thick cardboard and at least 18 inches tall.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


I have made some of these try wetting the clay then lay them on there side and roll them back and forth with the edge of the card board the clay will get bigger and you can slide them off gently Hope this is a help Sad Duck
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#12 sculption_chat

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 09:56 AM

Wow, Lots of amazing suggestions - thank you all for taking time to respond! I had to do a number of things to save the cylindrical vases: First I threw a damp cloth inside the cylinder to moisten the cardboard (which was too thick to cut out dry) Then I wrapped them and left them for about a day. This moistened the cardboard enough to be able to rip pieces out and eventually collapse the cardboard. One of the vases cracked down the entire side as it shrunk so it had to be "healed" through scoring and slipping. Thankfully, they survived after quite a bit of work! The students are happy and all is well!

#13 Kabe

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 10:22 PM

I just joined today (10/5/11) so I am a bit late to be of any use on your cyilinders. But if you like making hand built cylinders you might try making a cylinder out of cloth like a pillow, with a draw string. Make it to whatever diameter and heighth you want . Pack the cloth bag with virmiculit. (SP) You can get it at a nursery to mix with soil. Wrap your slab around the packed bag and when it is strong enough to stand on it's own you vacuum out the vermiculit with a clean shop vac. Pull out the bag refill it and go again. If you leave a long enough string as a draw string you can hang the bag up to take some of the pressure of of the bottom of the pot so it does not slup as bad. slumping looks sort of cool too. I expect there are safety considerations with the vermiculite so you would be good to look at them. I 've had fun with this method of hand building and no stuck cardboard. have fun Kabe

#14 Lucille Oka

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 03:49 AM

Sorry I was too late to help, but next time clean off a table surface completely. Lay the cylinder on its side, and gently but firmly roll the form on the clean table just a few full rolls all the way around until it releases from the cardboard form. If necessary apply a very small amount of pressure evenly as you roll the form. Think in terms of using a rolling pin but more gently. You will see the clay release from the form. Now upright the form and the clay cylinder will fall straight down on to the table.

Any age can handle this process and kids especially like doing this. Make the clay a little thicker than usual.

I just read some of the posts and this is a bit redundant. But I hope this helps just the same.

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#15 Pres

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:19 AM

My students have done a great job creating hand built cylindrical vases. We took the precautions and wrapped the cylinders in wet newspaper before shaping the clay around the forms. We carefully wrapped the vases with thin garbage bags. The very next day, as a good teacher does, I checked on them and intended to carefully remove the cylinders but found the newspaper lining almost completely dry and the cylinders won't budge! Help!! The cylinders are about a quarter of an inch thick cardboard and at least 18 inches tall.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Also too late to help, but I have had that problem in the past. Few things that worked for me:1) As a few people said try rolling the tube and clay to loosen it-I usually put a broom stick inside to help with this. 2) Cut through the clay at an 45 angle to remove the slab carefully-then rejoin. 3) When it is really pretty leather hard, I would lay it on its side and saw the paper tube with a hack saw, two cuts will let you remove a strip to loosen the slab.

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#16 bciskepottery

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:26 PM

As an alternative to wrapping the tube in paper, I put the tube in a knee-high nylon stocking. You can make multiple cylinders without having to re-wrap in paper each time. Plus, the knee-high is tied off at the top, providing a nice handle for pulling the tube out of the form once it is soft leather hard. The knee-highs will collect some clay dust, but all you need to do is untie them, wash in a bucket of water, dry and reuse. The knee-high does not absorb water like paper.

#17 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 06:30 AM

I use dry paper on tubes first.
You could try rewetting the cylinders with damp wash clothes. Let them dampen overnight.
When they are a little softer, roll them on a hard surface to stretch the clay.
In the future, IMO, remove the tube immediately after the clay is formed around it.

Marcia

#18 Devany

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 12:49 PM

Shrinkage is the enemy.
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#19 Devany

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 12:50 PM

I am too late too, but I use nylons (legs from panty hose) on my tubes (cardboard or PVC) but the real clue is to remove them once the clay is leather hard, depending on the climate and if you have a wet room, that could be in several hours or days. Lots of good advice here... the one about the vermiculite filled pillows is really interesting! Posted Image
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#20 BeckyH

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 02:57 PM

Wow, Lots of amazing suggestions - thank you all for taking time to respond! I had to do a number of things to save the cylindrical vases: First I threw a damp cloth inside the cylinder to moisten the cardboard (which was too thick to cut out dry) Then I wrapped them and left them for about a day. This moistened the cardboard enough to be able to rip pieces out and eventually collapse the cardboard. One of the vases cracked down the entire side as it shrunk so it had to be "healed" through scoring and slipping. Thankfully, they survived after quite a bit of work! The students are happy and all is well!

It was very educational for your students to see that problems occur and how they can be solved. Far more useful than an easy project with no need to think about the process, what caused the problem, how to fix it and that fixing is possible. For too few people think about fixing stuff these days, they are all too ready to trash it and start over (sometimes the right answer, I admit).




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