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#1 bciskepottery

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:30 AM

This was just posted on John Britt's NC Clay Club blog; can't get much simpler.



#2 Celia UK

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:51 AM

Love it! Why is there a little voice in my head saying - "Is it cheating?" Is it because I know I can't yet open up consistently and somewhere feel I can't say I'm a potter until I can?

#3 neilestrick

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:53 AM

Brilliant, but unnecessary. With experience you don't need to check the bottom thickness with a needle tool. You should able to eyeball it.


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#4 clay lover

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:57 AM

TOO COOL !!
I have seen pictures of ball openers in OLD books, but this is the 'best how to make one' I've ever seen. I will be doing this tomorrow when I got to Lowe's. Anything that saves these sore fingers is on my list. I also check the bottom thickness of each pots, and open larger pieces with a large wooden ball on the end of a section of broom stick, long enough to brace against my chest if needed . This is the next best idea for me. A real time saver.

#5 clay lover

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:59 AM

I make different things all the time, so I always feel like I need to check bottoms. Also, the compression hurts my fingers. so I'm in.

I "can' open fine, but things are wearing out, so this is good for me.

Celia, I agree, learn how to and then use this as needed . I don't think the opening process will go as smoothly as shown in the video, without having the skill to open well without the tool.

#6 neilestrick

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:23 AM

I make different things all the time, so I always feel like I need to check bottoms. Also, the compression hurts my fingers. so I'm in.
 

 

You would still need to compress the bottom. This tool does not compress, it just pulls it open like fingers would.


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#7 bciskepottery

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:37 AM

I should have added a disclaimer:  The content of this video is not suitable or intended for "just beginning" potters. 

 

I would agree you need to be able to open before trying something like this.  I really doubt you could make the thingamagiggee work correctly if you did not know how to properly center and open.  But I can think of some days where the arthritis/cramps in my hands would say, go to the PVC.  Might be useful in a production setting.  Might be helpful on large amounts of clay.  Sort of silly to think of using it for a mug or small/medium bowl or cylinder.  

 

One of my first thoughts would be to put an end-cap to prevent clay from moving up the pipe and to aid compression and allow for a smoother pull across the bat.



#8 Mart

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 03:51 PM

I make different things all the time, so I always feel like I need to check bottoms. Also, the compression hurts my fingers. so I'm in.

I "can' open fine, but things are wearing out, so this is good for me.

Celia, I agree, learn how to and then use this as needed . I don't think the opening process will go as smoothly as shown in the video, without having the skill to open well without the tool.


What you need is a bamboo gyubera. Awesome tool for all sorts of work.

#9 Babs

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:04 PM

I don't like this, I guess I feel I get the sense  of the clay and the pot to be in the centring and opening of the clay.Would make that process stilted for me. Like someone was to place my body in an asana and then my senses are turned on , I just wouldn't get it! 

ANd my partner may try to get me to do the plumbing.



#10 Natania

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:33 PM

Seems to me that by the time one got good at using this tool you might just as well have spent that time getting good at opening the traditional way.



#11 Biglou13

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:55 PM

I've seen one I'd never own .........



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#12 Pres

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:30 PM

Looks like to me that these devices are only a few steps away from Jiggering. I got into throwing on the wheel because it was something I couldn't do, and wanted to do. Somewhere along the way I really learned respect for the clay, for myself in workiing and controlling the clay. I found that some way the mud, the feel, smell, and the power the clay had as it pushed against me, and the power I had as I pushed back and won, well it was. . . . just so fantastic. I sound so goofy here, but every time I sit at the wheel, something clicks.  Working with one of these devices would take that click away. Now if it meant that because I had become infirm that I could not work with the clay the way I am used to, I would probably try one of these or both. Until that day I hope to keep on potting naturally until the day I fade away.


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#13 bciskepottery

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:33 PM

I've seen one I'd never own .........



I thought that, too, until I saw this from June Perry . . . she's using one to help overcome some body issues. Best leave some wiggle room for future considerations.

http://shambhalapott...-arm-works.html

#14 Babs

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:46 PM

 

I've seen one I'd never own .........



I thought that, too, until I saw this from June Perry . . . she's using one to help overcome some body issues. Best leave some wiggle room for future considerations.

http://shambhalapott...-arm-works.html

 

Yes, I told a friend about the opening tool and she was excited as she works with some patients in rehab. situation and could see success stories.

Individual needs met.



#15 neilestrick

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 01:45 PM

The problem (one of many) with the strong arm tool is that it doesn't center the clay well at all. It may well get it spinning in the middle of the wheel without wobbles, but that is not centering. Centering is a state of being for the clay, not just a position on the wheel. For clay to be truly centered, it must be well mixed and uniform, which is accomplished through coning the clay up and down. Without the coning process, the clay will go out of center when you open it, because the clay is uneven inside, which you can see happening when he opens the 'centered' ball. It will just get worse as you try to pull up the walls. While these types of tools may work for people who have certain physical limitations with traditional methods, they are poor substitute for practice and will limit the growth of your throwing skills.


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#16 flowerdry

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 03:20 PM

Clay Lover, there are alternatives to compressing with your fingers.  Probably a variety of tools that would work.

 

As to the strong arm, I hope it will be many years before I have to consider it, although there are already a couple of motions that hurt so I have had to adapt.


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