Jump to content


Photo

Does Temperature Of Clay Matter When Throwing?

cold clay clay temperature

  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 hershey8

hershey8

    John Autry

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 83 posts
  • LocationMineral Bluff, Ga

Posted 15 December 2013 - 09:29 PM

Does it matter what temperature clay is when throwing. I'm not talking about frozen clay, here.

But does clay tend to stiffen when it is cold? Is there a good temperature range to stay in . My basement shop gets down in to the high 40's at night, and some of my clay (right out of the bag) seems a little hard. OK, another dumb question:  If I DO need to warm it a bit, can I nuke it? I don't mean on high for  an hour, but just for real short intervals? Should I wear a helmet?

 



#2 TJR

TJR

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,199 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 15 December 2013 - 10:36 PM

Does it matter what temperature clay is when throwing. I'm not talking about frozen clay, here.

But does clay tend to stiffen when it is cold? Is there a good temperature range to stay in . My basement shop gets down in to the high 40's at night, and some of my clay (right out of the bag) seems a little hard. OK, another dumb question:  If I DO need to warm it a bit, can I nuke it? I don't mean on high for  an hour, but just for real short intervals? Should I wear a helmet?

Yes, I think you should wear a helmet, rubber gloves, and flippers.Just kidding. It's more comfortable to throw clay that is room temperature, but if the room is freezing, and the clay is cold, it can be pretty miserable. Never heard of putting it in a microwave or oven. This seems like a lot of work.

TJR.



#3 clay lover

clay lover

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 842 posts
  • LocationSoutheast

Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:19 PM

It matters to my hands, I fill my throwing bucket with Hot water! And yes, you can nuke your balls, but don't tell your Mother I said so.

#4 Marcia Selsor

Marcia Selsor

    Professor Emerita, Montana State University-Billings

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,831 posts
  • Locationwhere Texas, Matamoros, Rio Grande and Gulf of Mexico come together.

Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:32 PM

I agree the clay seems stiffer when cold. drop it on the floor a few times and use warmer water .
Marcia



#5 jrgpots

jrgpots

    The hands can express the soul

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 472 posts
  • LocationHurricane, Utah

Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:19 AM

I keep my clay in 5 gallon buckets. I have placed a 40 watt light bulb in the bucket I plan on using the next day. It warms the clay without melting the bucket. I hate cold clay! I guess I should clarify that the light bulb is in a socket and turned on....

Jed

#6 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,739 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:20 AM

 

Does it matter what temperature clay is when throwing. I'm not talking about frozen clay, here.

But does clay tend to stiffen when it is cold? Is there a good temperature range to stay in . My basement shop gets down in to the high 40's at night, and some of my clay (right out of the bag) seems a little hard. OK, another dumb question:  If I DO need to warm it a bit, can I nuke it? I don't mean on high for  an hour, but just for real short intervals? Should I wear a helmet?

Yes, I think you should wear a helmet, rubber gloves, and flippers.Just kidding. It's more comfortable to throw clay that is room temperature, but if the room is freezing, and the clay is cold, it can be pretty miserable. Never heard of putting it in a microwave or oven. This seems like a lot of work.

TJR.

 

Ok I get the helmet is for safety  when the roof falls and the rubber gloves for sanitary reasons, but the flippers? maybe you are thinking the basement will flood and you can swim out faster??

Mark


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#7 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 1,990 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:46 AM

I have mostly frozen clay, as it is stored outside. When working in the shop I usually bring a few boxes inside the night before or two nights before working it. I throw with hot water, I find that cold water and cold clay make my fingers too stiff. The studio is a brick garage-unattached to the house. Electric heat, and even then if I turn the heat off to save electric once the bricks chill it takes forever to get in back up to temp.

The older I get, the more I want to stay warm, or look to the South for a future venue. I used to not be so, but after losing 25# I find I get cold easier.


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#8 hershey8

hershey8

    John Autry

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 83 posts
  • LocationMineral Bluff, Ga

Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:08 AM

Very helpful info. Some of you are toooooo funny! Light bulbs and flippers. Stop, yer killin' me. Nuke your balls, but don't tell your mother I said so....she'd like that one. Thanks Ya'll!



#9 TJR

TJR

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,199 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:07 PM

 

 

Does it matter what temperature clay is when throwing. I'm not talking about frozen clay, here.

But does clay tend to stiffen when it is cold? Is there a good temperature range to stay in . My basement shop gets down in to the high 40's at night, and some of my clay (right out of the bag) seems a little hard. OK, another dumb question:  If I DO need to warm it a bit, can I nuke it? I don't mean on high for  an hour, but just for real short intervals? Should I wear a helmet?

Yes, I think you should wear a helmet, rubber gloves, and flippers.Just kidding. It's more comfortable to throw clay that is room temperature, but if the room is freezing, and the clay is cold, it can be pretty miserable. Never heard of putting it in a microwave or oven. This seems like a lot of work.

TJR.

 

Ok I get the helmet is for safety  when the roof falls and the rubber gloves for sanitary reasons, but the flippers? maybe you are thinking the basement will flood and you can swim out faster??

Mark

 

Mark;

You can never be too careful! No, the entire statement was a leg puller. Sorry about that.

TJR.



#10 Bill T.

Bill T.

    member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 74 posts
  • LocationGilmer, Texas

Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:21 PM

I keep my clay in 5 gallon buckets. I have placed a 40 watt light bulb in the bucket I plan on using the next day. It warms the clay without melting the bucket. I hate cold clay! I guess I should clarify that the light bulb is in a socket and turned on....

Jed

I tried your idea today.  IT WORKS !!  We have been in the 20's this past week , and I only heat my shop when I am in it.  Will post some pics of what I built later. 



#11 Biglou13

Biglou13

    Advanced beginner pottery, Advanced in other art

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 951 posts
  • LocationNorth Florida

Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:19 PM

40's is shorts and flip flop weather for of the snow birds here
I can hear some saying 40. That's down right warm

Keep a bag or two of clay upstairs where it's warmer, why fight the cold clay.. Easy solution
Even if it doesn't affect the clay it sure will affect your hands

I can't vouch for nuking it. But putting a bunch of dirt where your food goes doesn't appeal to me.
Caution big brother is watching.
The beige is blinding!!!!!!
The middle of the road is boring

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
-Albert Einstein

#12 jrgpots

jrgpots

    The hands can express the soul

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 472 posts
  • LocationHurricane, Utah

Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:37 PM

I keep my clay in 5 gallon buckets. I have placed a 40 watt light bulb in the bucket I plan on using the next day. It warms the clay without melting the bucket. I hate cold clay! I guess I should clarify that the light bulb is in a socket and turned on....
Jed

I tried your idea today.  IT WORKS !!  We have been in the 20's this past week , and I only heat my shop when I am in it.  Will post some pics of what I built later.

Glad to hear it.

Jed

#13 Babs

Babs

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 904 posts

Posted 17 December 2013 - 01:46 AM

Clay of high iron content may make the nuking process interesting!  In Australia, we have only, unless one goes digging, globes that are energy efficient and produce , I think, haven't felt them for a while, no heat. so melting honey, warming kids doing homework, warming clay, bread dough and dogs kennels cannot be done by the simple globe any more! How efficient is that.The kids homework trick was to place the light under the desk at the feet of the supposed student, then of course, can't read cos not enough light..... 



#14 Davidpotter

Davidpotter

    Determined Young Buck

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 68 posts
  • LocationCambridge, Wisconsin

Posted 18 December 2013 - 01:16 AM

the colder something is the more dense it is (to a point.... water arranges in a weird way around 39 degrees and lower) i agree that warm to hot water helps a lot though. if my mom caught me putting clay in the microwave i wouldn't be throwing pottery for a while :P


Practice, practice, practice. Then when you think you've practiced enough, the real practice begins.

#15 Rebekah Krieger

Rebekah Krieger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 509 posts
  • LocationWisconsin

Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:16 AM

I use warm throwing water if my basement is cold. 


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#16 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 1,990 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:45 AM

I nuke cone packs on occasion to dry them out. Very carefully, as they can blow quickly.  As to the stiffness of cold clay, it can be deceiving. In the beginning it will seem to have plenty of stiffnes, but as you use it, and it warms, it will become its true nature.  Don't throw bowls with wide openings or overhangs as they will have a tendency to collapse.


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#17 hershey8

hershey8

    John Autry

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 83 posts
  • LocationMineral Bluff, Ga

Posted 19 December 2013 - 01:34 PM

Great info. Thanks to you all! ja



#18 Pass Thru Fire

Pass Thru Fire

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:44 AM

I've seen some previously frozen clay that had fractured. If I wedge it does it go back to normal?



#19 TJR

TJR

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,199 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:19 PM

O.K. I am reading this post in June. I know that it is a re-post of an older blog. I am still not getting why you would wear a helmet.

Any ideas?

Don't say for motorcycling.

TJR.



#20 bciskepottery

bciskepottery

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,419 posts
  • LocationNorthern Virginia

Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:31 PM

O.K. I am reading this post in June. I know that it is a re-post of an older blog. I am still not getting why you would wear a helmet.
Any ideas?
Don't say for motorcycling.
TJR.


Errr . . . you were the one who suggested wearing a helmet. We're hoping you can tell the rest of us. But, it was a long, cold winter.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users