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docweathers

Is Wet Clay Really The Universal Adhesive?

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I'm in the process of building some new throwing tools. It would really be nice if I could coat them with something that wet clay does not stick to. I've tried both Teflon and paraffin. When wet, clay sticks fine to both. I know there are many surfaces, that when dry, that wet clay does not stick to. But I need something that it will not stick to when wet.

 

I know I may be asking the impossible question but I would appreciate any suggestions

 

Larry

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I'm unclear to why this may be important or why this tool cannot have clay stick to it?

Other than sponge and a cut off stick or wire I do not use many tools much anymore for throwing.

How about making the tool from some of the newer plastics like HPDE or other types?

My tools sit on my wheel for months without ever getting washed-so clay not sticking is hard for me to wrap around?

The fine particles always rub onto any material-rubber or plastic or wood ribs-coatings will wear off in a nano second with rotating clay.

I need to know more of the basic need to give this thought?

Mark

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Hi Mark

 

I have developed a water free way of throwing . It is based on a   set of tools that use rollers to shape the clay rather than hands or tools that slide over wet clay. It all works quite well, but  sometimes I squeezing some of the wet slip out of the clay body so the surface becomes wet and clay starts to stick to the tools. I can stop and dry this off but it would be more convenient if I could coat the surface of the tools with something that when the slip squishes out it doesn't cause the clay to stick to the tools, which of course begins to stick to the pot and you have a lumpy mess.

 

attached are pictures of some of them.  And, I have no interest in marketing them.

 

Larry

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post-6406-0-03921000-1389498125_thumb.jpg

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Ok I get it

some ideas are 

for starters large grained clay without the fine particles to start-grogy stoneware comes to mind.

 

As for your rollers most look to be wood ( I see you are a steel guy and the metal  handles show that) you can make them from 

Lignum  wood which is naturally oily-like block and tackle from olden ships days-They sell it at this place  bout 3 miles from me (Almquist lumber a hardwood specialty lumber store) ( you buy it in small pieces as its costly) you can also get it at Port Townsend Wa. at Edensaw as well.

Also you could soak your wood  rollers in mineral oil ( I use it on wood ladles for food use) or vegetable oils for a spell till they saturate-this may help rebel those pesky clay molecules 

There are some super slick plastics as well try Tap plastics online store-I would talk to them as well on the most slippery types.

 

I could be off base but it seem throwing with roller may be harder than fingers?I guess if you learn this way its all the same.

Mark

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I'm using g mix 6 w/grog

The first step would seem to be try soaking my wooden rollers in mineral or vegetable oil.

I will also try the WD-40.

If that doesn't work then I'll escalate to more expensive and complicated suggestions.

 

The idea of the rollers is to be able to throw completely dry. Since I started this, I've been able to throw much thinner and taller. The clay does not become soggy after a few pulls. Yes, the manipulation of the rollers is more difficult than pulling with fingers but one soon gets the hang of it. You can also put a lot more power into the rollers without twisting or tearing the clay when the wall starts getting very thin. The extra pressure on the clay is probably the reason I'm actually squishing slip out of fairly dry clay.

 

I see very advanced potters on YouTube throwing handfuls of water on their pot. They seem to get away with this by throwing very fast, before the water soaks in very much. I guess you can do that when you're a production potter and have thrown hundreds of the same thing.  Since I'm just a hobbyist, I try very hard never to make two the same thing.

 

Thanks for the suggestions.

 

Larry

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I don't have a video but here is are some picture that might help.  I have the smallest roller tool in my left hand pressing on the clay from the inside just a little above the tool on the outside. As you can see, I don't have the rollers well-positioned in this early picture. I was still experimenting with different approaches.

 

It will be a while before I can make a video since I'm five days out of my third surgery in the last four months. I am non-weight-bearing on my left foot for 10 weeks. :(  .

 

I have also used the general model to create a centering tool. The roller is a Teflon rolling pin. I move it with a paddle that goes behind my left calf.  Unlike the strong-arm, this leaves both of your hands free to shape  the clay. you have so much power with this thing that you have to be careful that you don't shove the clay right off the bat. I can easily center 25 pounds of clay and probably much more but I haven't had the need. if you're throwing dry and thin you really don't need as much clay.

 

the picture is an older revision of the centering tool. The newest one has another small metal plate on top that allows me to anchor a long bar with a roller to the centering tool. the rolling pin is turning on the outside while the same time I have the ruler on the long bar pinching and lifting clay against it. This allows me to open the clay make a smooth bottom and then lift the clay up to the top edge of the roller. at that point I remove the centering tool from the wheel and proceed with the handlers as you can see in the first picture

 

You can see by the difference in the look of the hand roller in the first picture and the look of the rolling pin on the centering tool how well what clay sticks to Teflon.  The clay build up here is an extreme case from when I first began to fiddle with this thing and was still expecting the clay not to stick to the wet Teflon.

 

It is quite handy also being a welder. Some times when I am pushing clay I think, gee wouldn't it be helpful to have a little gizmo likes so and such. I walk over to the welding some side of my studio, light up and 15 minutes later I come back with a new toy. I have stacks of these things. Sometimes I think I have more fun making these toys than actually using them.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

 

Larry

Gizmo guy

 

 

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post-6406-0-47418100-1389549564_thumb.jpg

post-6406-0-56334300-1389551757_thumb.jpg

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I use a large drinking straw as a pipette when I need to add a small quantity of slip to a mould, and the slip comes clean off the straw as soon as it is out of the pot.  I'm guessing the straw is made of silicon, so agree with above posters about trying silicon based materials.

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Mark

 

After rereading this, "My tools sit on my wheel for months without ever getting washed-so clay not sticking is hard for me to wrap around?" , I was wondering if your mother ever complained about how messy your room was when you were an adolescent? :unsure:

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Mark

 

After rereading this, "My tools sit on my wheel for months without ever getting washed-so clay not sticking is hard for me to wrap around?" , I was wondering if your mother ever complained about how messy your room was when you were an adolescent? :unsure:

 

My throwing tools sit in my wheel for months too. Most somehow turn up in the recycling bucket as they slip past me when emptying the clay out once a month.  :blink:

 

Throwing tools get put away in a nice little pot.

 

Really good idea doc, looks similar to some guys I saw making plant pots just without the tools. They would extrude a pipe of clay and then shape it into the pot shape, I was not strong enough to be able to enjoy the process.

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