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bciskepottery

Pulling Handles On Mugs

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thank you for another link to a wonderful group of potters.  some of the best things i find online come from your original suggestions.  www.valleyartisans.com has some of the most inspiring pots i have seen in a long time.   the photography is also stellar.

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I really like the idea of using a ToGo cup inside to help stabilize, however, "I think that handles are one of the main skills that separate the real potters from the wannabes, especially on mugs."

is a pretty big statement that assumes it's the only good way, and I've seen there are plenty of ways to make great handles that do not involve any form of pulling...

 

While I agree that learning how to do this is probably a good thing, the assumptions on what make it good are bogus and don't actually have any real reason other then  "they flow off the pot" which is fine, but that doesn't mean all other forms of handle making are inferior. it's just one way of doing it to get an effect or solve a problem.

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Since I wrote this blog post I feel I should clarify my statement  "I think that handles are one of the main skills that separate the real potters from the wannabes, especially on mugs." . A handle is one of the most difficult things to get right - both in terms of function and esthetics - and not just a pulled handle - just any type of handle. And yes I have to agree there are many great handles out there that are not pulled - I just feel that personally a handle "flowing off the pot" is very important to the form - often there is that negative space above the top attachment if the handle is not pulled off the pot.

Newfoundout Potter

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This is a really cool post. I'm eager to try doing this myself in my new studio.

 

Does anyone have any other links to other tutorial-esque blogs and other sources of great ceramic inspiration?

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That is how learned as well from classmate, Bruce Singer, an apprentice to Byron Temple. Byron Temple method...pull a long handle, cut into equal parts, and attach segments, pull into final shape. When the segments are the same size, the handles match very well.

 

 

marcia

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I have made thousands of mugs in the last 40 odd years and nary a one pulled on the mug. Never seemed as elegant to me. Same for pitchers, jugs, jars, teapots, casseroles, etc. 

The buying public never seemed to have a problem with them being unattractive. I never felt my forms were diminished by my handles. I own several mugs made by other potters with the handle pulled on them and enjoy using them as well as other kinds of handle. Everyone makes their own way. Even wannabes

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I prefer the look of a pulled handle to hand built, coiled, extruded, etc. handles. There's just something about a pulled handle that I think looks better. I make my students learn to pull a good handle before I let them use other methods because it is part of a potter's skill set, and they usually only want to use other methods as a way to get out of learning to pull, which is difficult at first. Avoidance is not an acceptable reason to use another method. I'm also a big fan of pulling the handle while it is attached to the mug. I think it looks more natural and less rigid. Just my opinion.

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I practiced pulling handles under a running tap. It was so easy but the clay went down the drain so after that I used a bucket of water, never liked pulling off the pot as the top always seemed too thick for my liking. I recently bought a handle dye for the pug mill, not my style but useful for a visually impaired friend that comes to my studio. I can use the 1st puged handles for glaze testing.

Joy

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I have done both,or in fact lots, but the ones which are pulled on the mug even in this post often look like an afterthought with no "growing" from the pot just stuck on like commercially made ones. Nothing to do with a university degree I don't think!

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I'm with you Pres, I always pull, then attach.  And like you, I've never really tried it the other way.

 

Joy, I also prefer pulling using a running tap.  A bucket of clean water will suffice, but I prefer the former.

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After this was first demonstrated we had a 4th of July weekend. The studio was locked up, but I went in through the second floor window from the top of my car.  I pulled handles all day and attached them to every vertical surface I could find. At the end of the day I cleaned all of them up except for 4 that I left over top of the sink on the metal splash board. On Tuesday they were still there! Prof had a hissy fit over who did not clean his room. But I had learned how to at least pull a handle. It took me many years to get to where I was comfortable demonstrating and pleased with my efforts.

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After this was first demonstrated we had a 4th of July weekend. The studio was locked up, but I went in through the second floor window from the top of my car.  I pulled handles all day and attached them to every vertical surface I could find. At the end of the day I cleaned all of them up except for 4 that I left over top of the sink on the metal splash board. On Tuesday they were still there! Prof had a hissy fit over who did not clean his room. But I had learned how to at least pull a handle. It took me many years to get to where I was comfortable demonstrating and pleased with my efforts.

Pres, that reminds me of the time, in college, where we had a project due after Thanksgiving break.  I knew I wouldn't have time to finish it, when I got back.  So using some information I acquired from some of the upper level Ceramic students, I snuck into the studio during the weekend.  I would say I broke in, but I didn't have to break anything.  There was a way to get through certain locked doors, incredibly easily. 

So I was working on my project, I heard one of the doors opening.  As I wasn't supposed to be in there, I stepped out into the hall.  It was the department head, checking on some of the kilns.  She soon left, apparently not giving much thought, as to why the studio lights were on.  I went back in, finished my project, and left. 

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Ben, that sort of thing happened more often than not. . .years ago at Penn State I would be in the studio all night long firing kilns or such. There would be students in and out constantly. In the Summer heat with kilns firing folks often opted to throw in swim suits, gotta remember it was the early 70's!

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Ben, that sort of thing happened more often than not. . .years ago at Penn State I would be in the studio all night long firing kilns or such. There would be students in and out constantly. In the Summer heat with kilns firing folks often opted to throw in swim suits, gotta remember it was the early 70's!

 

I can't really think of too many other majors, where the students put in that much overtime in the classroom.  Students always seem to be in the university studios til' the wee hours.

 

I was taking my Ceramics course with an adjunct, so I didn't know the department head very well.  I don't know if she would have kicked me out or not.

Not a whole lot of bathing suit wearing going on, in my Ceramics class, especially since some of it was during the winter.  But there were those, who seemed to wear flip flops all year long. 

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Nice post Norm, and after watching numerous home improvement shows, I'm inclined to agree.

 

Though when it comes to displaying symptoms of mental illness, I don't think too many artists can throw stones. When it comes to materials, I'm a boarderline hoarder, and Pres talks to his pots. That's just the tip of the iceburg too.

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Nice post Norm, and after watching numerous home improvement shows, I'm inclined to agree.

 

Though when it comes to displaying symptoms of mental illness, I don't think too many artists can throw stones. When it comes to materials, I'm a boarderline hoarder, and Pres talks to his pots. That's just the tip of the iceburg too.

 

Wait. "Preston talks to his pots.."  Ummm, doesn't everybody? B)

Chilly likes this

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Nice post Norm, and after watching numerous home improvement shows, I'm inclined to agree.

Though when it comes to displaying symptoms of mental illness, I don't think too many artists can throw stones. When it comes to materials, I'm a boarderline hoarder, and Pres talks to his pots. That's just the tip of the iceburg too.

 

 

Wait. "Preston talks to his pots.."  Ummm, doesn't everybody? B)

No, but I may start.

 

Of, course, if cursing at them counts as talking, then I guess I already do.

ChenowethArts likes this

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I would say something like "Hello in there, anybody home". The studio would bust up! Truth is there is a different sound from differently thrown pots. When mine did not sound right, it was time for more volume. Of course at times you can hear the pot talk back to you from the vibrations of the drive, and the bearing sounds can be magnified. Then again too, maybe it is just the imagination of a guy who over the years became hard of hearing and had to get hearing aids to hear the wind, or the talking of pots.

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