I've searched online, but can't seem to get a straight answer on how to fettle. Specifically, I'm trying to take off some of the glaze that may be too thick in areas. I've been using my fingers to smooth out the drips. Also, do you need to smooth out every little pinhole of dry glaze before I glaze fire? I typically dip in one color, then dip in a different color. Sometime little "pinholes" pop up... probably where it's too thick. Thanks everyone... I love the help!!
What Is Fettling?
Posted 30 November 2013 - 07:26 PM
I associated the term fettling with the removal of small seam marks from casting which is done by holding a fettling knife at right angles to the surface. I would imagine you could do the same for glaze drips or too thick glaze spots. Regardless, practice safe fettling by wearing your respirator -- not a good idea to inhale clay dust or glaze dust.
Posted 30 November 2013 - 07:50 PM
I was always under the impression, that "fettling" is the trimming or cutting off, of excess clay.
Posted 30 November 2013 - 10:59 PM
I use the term fettling to smooth out any glaze flaws prior to firing. I focus on this more on a majolica glaze I use in order to get an even surface for decoration. I also fettle using my fingers on heavily textured clay surface where the glaze does not penetrate sufficiently, possibly dust lurking there.. I would recommend covering up the pinholes in pre fired glazed ware. Possibly using a rib to finish pots on wheel may relieve my pots of some flaws, I like the marks of my throwing on the pots so....
John has given reasons for these pinholes in previous posts.
Dictionary meaning is exactly what Benzine writes, usually on cast items
Hope this finds you "in fine fettle'.
Posted 01 December 2013 - 07:33 AM
To smooth pinholes, wait until the glaze is dry,and burnish with a dry finger.
For smoothing majolica drips, fingernails work, but a fine sandpaper works too. Make sure it doest shed sand.
Professor Emerita Montana State University-Billings
Posted 03 December 2013 - 05:20 PM
Good information Norm.
If I'm not mistaken, one theory is that the word "throw" came from an Old English word, meaning "To turn", that looks/ sounds a lot like "throw".
Well Benzine, I think we can blame the Irish for "tis"! Have you noticed that the Irish pronounce "th" as T and then they find it difficult not to add a vowel or six at every opportunity, so far we have "TUR" and its just a little dyslexic twirp to turn the ow into an "n". I can write this with an Irish relative or two, so it's not at all racist. Now I'm off to throw, turn, throw, now what is it I want to do??
Posted 03 December 2013 - 05:32 PM
i heard that the term throw is because very experinced potters throw the next ball of clay onto the center of the wheelhead right after taking off the one they just finished and removed, not even slowing down the wheel.
Posted 04 December 2013 - 10:57 AM
That last one is my understanding of the derivation of the term.
PS: But who knows?
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
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