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Rebekah Krieger

Potters Hands

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I figured since there is a "sub topic" happening in the open up thread, I should just start one here.  

 

 

We were discussing shellac (gel) nail color and how it can protect your nails from drying out from the clay. 

 

Hand care tips, lotion suggestions, all welcome here.

 

 

Here is a picture of my nails 2 1/2 weeks after getting shellac gel put on my nails. They are chipped a bit and my hands are obviously dry, but you can see what kind of protection the shellac offers my hands. I do not throw a lot.  I make about 2-5 pieces a day. (1 hr per day on the weekdays, and 3 hrs each saturday and sunday)  Obviously the men would prefer a clear coat.  

post-19612-0-08562400-1386124145_thumb.jpg

post-19612-0-08562400-1386124145_thumb.jpg

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Our air is so dry here our pottery will be too dry to trim within hours. So that combined with the clay drying out our hands we keep bottles of lotions right at our sinks. I'm going to look for the Burt's bees lotion.

I find throwing with long nails is just something you adapt to. I probably use my mud sponge to throw more then others but it works for me. Right now they are deep purple color :). ( I know you guys are shaking your heads,,,,lol )

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Bag Balm cow udder ointment.

 

best,

 

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

Good stuff indeed. Normally, I just use it on my lips, never tried it on my hands. It helps seal in moisture and is antiseptic, which is why the farmers use it on the cow udders.

 

I've seen people post here about using a mixture of olive oil (to help withbthe dryness) and vinegar (to neutralize the alkalinity of the clay). I tried it one time. It worked well, but mybhands smelled a bit.

 

I believe it was Marcia, who suggested it. She uses vinegar with everything; in her throwing water, in her paper clay. I wouldn't be surprised if she took a shot of vinegar to get her going in the morning.

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I use vinegar on my hands when I clean up, wash your hands first, dry and then rub vinegar on your hands and let them air dry.  I found this tip in a 1960's Ceramics Monthly, the vinegar replaces nutrients the clay pulls out.  If my hands are extremely dry I rub vasoline in them.  Denice

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I am definitely trying the vinegar.  That is a new one for me.   I live in cold, dry, high altitude, Colorado.  so in the winter despite lotions and balms, I get cracks on the joints of my fingers, and by the nails, I have started using brush on super glue in those cracks and it worked great to give them time to heal!

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Not to get off topic but what does vinegar in the throwing water do,,,,,

(And I drink a bit of apple cider vinegar ( with the mother) and a little water in the morning ,,, )

I'm not one hundred percent sure, but I would say it is a combination of acids, having a "slick" quality to them, combined with the fact that the acidic vinegar, slightly counteracts the alkaline clay making the water/ slurry on the clay more neutral.

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When I had some real problems throwing raku clay, I used Corn Huskers lotion. 

 

Later in HS classroom, one of my colleagues that taught Ceramics also was really having problems with large cracks in his hands. I had been watching his habits for a while and noticed that he would wash his hands 3-4 time during a class period always using the liquid industrial soap and drying completely.  I told him when he asked what to do to stop using so much soap. I told him if he needed to wash, just rinse and dry lightely. I said of course if in restroom or going to lunch use soap and water, but otherwise just rinse. Myself, I had a tendency of just using a terry towel I kept around to dry my hands on.

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By the time I got to cleaning up and putting lotion on my hands it was too late and the painful cracks already started. So now I buy a box of 100 tight plastic blue gloves from the pharmacy. I can feel through them and they are very snug for throwing etc.. If I have to take a break, I just wash my gloved hands and remove gloves. If they rip, no problem. I just use another.

I have no cracking of cuticles when I use these. The box is about $11. 

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Bag Balm cow udder ointment.

 

best,

 

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

Good stuff indeed. Normally, I just use it on my lips, never tried it on my hands. It helps seal in moisture and is antiseptic, which is why the farmers use it on the cow udders.

 

I've seen people post here about using a mixture of olive oil (to help withbthe dryness) and vinegar (to neutralize the alkalinity of the clay). I tried it one time. It worked well, but mybhands smelled a bit.

 

I believe it was Marcia, who suggested it. She uses vinegar with everything; in her throwing water, in her paper clay. I wouldn't be surprised if she took a shot of vinegar to get her going in the morning.

 

 

I have a can on Udderly Smooth in my studio. I think it works well. Have you used it and can you compare it to product you use?

I have psoriasis on my hands (knuckles mostly) so I am not sure how long I can keep working with clay and plaster (making moulds etc).

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She uses vinegar with everything; in her throwing water, in her paper clay. I wouldn't be surprised if she took a shot of vinegar to get her going in the morning.

I am often drinking two tablespoons of vinegar with my water duriing the day. Vinegar is proven to aid in control of type 2 diabetes. It also does not take much acidity to kill off bacteria and other organisms.

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