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CMCook52

Clay Rolled On A Slab Roller

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I just purchased a new Shimpo slab roller and the book From A Slab of Clay. I am concerned about whether or not to rotate or flip the slab after each press. Mr. Baird says that some people say it doesn't make a difference whether you flip or rotate the clay. I have read the section on how to use the slab roller and know what he says and I have no reason or experience to say otherwise. The people here are all very smart so I was wondering what comments you guys have regarding flipping or not. Thank you in advance for your thoughts and comments. One comment, I have been throwing for about one year so I am not the brightest light bulb in the pack ----------- yet, but am anxious to learn all I can.

 

Mike Cook

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Whether making slabs by hand or with a slab roller, I always flip and rotate the slab. It can help prevent warping. I prefer making slabs by hand, but even those tend to warp in things like wide bowls. Sometimes I want it to warp, but not generally. If you are making slabs, that is more discussion.

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I rotate my rolled slabs, but don't flip them. After rolling, I move them to a ware board or sheetrock board and drop them from knee high or so to the floor -- that helps to compress the slab and prevent warping. In any case, you want to minimize handling of the slabs especially if you want flat surfaces. My slab roller is a Northstar . . . it rolls the clay between two rollers.

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My Bailey has dual rollers, but I rotate the slabs, don't flip, dry them slowly on sheetrock and wax the edges as they dry to prevent warping, and drop them on a concrete floor to compress as Bciske mentioned. Chris Campbell posted that she learned this from Elizabeth Priddy.

 

Here is a good view of straight flat slabs.

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/gallery/image/3543-demonstrating-at-raku-masters-at-dan-finch-pottery-along-with-steve-branfman-linda-and-charlie-riggs/

 

Marcia

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I knew that you guys would impart valuable information. I really appreciate all the replies - it always helps to talk to someone who has has the experience. Norm thank you very much for the link - it has so much info that I will be reading and trying to understand. I learn so much every time I visit the forum----------------THANKS!!!!

 

Mike

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When I'm making a slab, I reduce the clay thickness gradually, turning the slab each pass through the rollers. I then use a rib to smooth off the canvas print, going in different directions with it. Then I put a piece of sheet rock on it and turn it onto that, using the excess canvas folded around the edges of the sheet rock, so as to not put finger marks or stretch a side. I peel away the canvas and again smooth that side with the rib. Then I drop it, like others, and cover it with a sheet rock or plastic, depending on whether it is too wet to work with or not. If wet, I leave it maybe overnight to firm up. From then on , I am very careful to handle it with out pulling or poking at it. Use a spatula to lift the edges gradually for moving. When I have it where it is going to stay to dry, I use a board cut to fit the center of whatever, if flat to remind it that it needs to stay flat. If slumped, I use a large sponge to press it into the form. Dropping, if it won't break the form, is good also.

Clay remembers where it WAS better that it remembers where you want it!

Mudlark and CMCook52 like this

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If I am concerned about clay memory and warping in a particular slab construction, I send the

slab through the roller on top of a sheet of drywall, between 2 pieces of non woven interfacing (available at a fabric store). 

I peel the interfacing off the top of the slab and reapply before flipping and turning the slab end to end. I sandwich the slab with a top layer of drywall to flip.

I also reset the bottom layer of interfacing before sending it through the slab roller again. On the last roll I also rotate the slab 90 degrees. I use a Bailey 

Slab Roller. 

 

Ruth

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Looks like I'm the odd man out on this. I use a bailey power slab roller-for my retangle baking dishs I just drop the once rolled slab into the press mold-Being doing this for many years no issues also make curved fish over a drape form. 

That said I'm not making flat tiles and the like as my forms have curves and or shoulders.

I also have found a clay body that works well (the key point) doing this this way.

Mark

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I first drop the clay on concrete floor a few times and then use the slab roller. On the slab roller I rotate but never flip. I have a Rohde slab roller. Had never problems with warping.

 

Mike: the book "From a slab of clay" is great! Would you care telling us a bit more about yourself, where you coming from, if clay is hobby or profession or career, filling out the member section, putting up some pics of your work... Thank you and welcome to the forum.

 

Evelyne

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I used to have some images that illustrated the difference between the pull on top of the slab and on the bottom.

I put identical pieces of colored clay on each surface then ran it through. The top pulled the colored clay much further than the bottom.

When I flipped the slab and rolled again it did not catch up. Stretched a bit but did not get close to even.

I own a big Bailey with two rollers and turn it with a large wheel.

post-1585-0-69714100-1389920745_thumb.jpg

post-1585-0-69714100-1389920745_thumb.jpg

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I don't flip when rolling through the slab roller. I use newsprint paper on top of the sheet rock to keep the clay from sticking. I smooth the surface, cover with the paper, lay a sheetrock board on top and flip . Drop to floor, and then add nubs for hanging. Wax the edges and slide into my drying rack wrapped with plastic.

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Again, I would like to thank everyone for all your wisdom on this subject. This is a very informative site and all of you are so willing to share with an inexperience person. I always check this site nearly every day - THANKS!!!!

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Slightly,off topic but I pounded a large (ish) tile, The rolled , then pounded How does pounding, rate.

 

There was pervious discussion and consensus came down to slow, even drying way mor important than slabbing technique

 

Do you also turn, and flip. For tiles which is basically a slab

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Thanks Evelyne ... My grandchildren are allowed to draw on my studio walls ... they absolutely love it so there are not many blank spots left.

 

Also I don't think it's true that the drying method counts for more than the forming method.

We are always commenting on the fact that clay has a memory and what could be more memorable than getting mashed down and rolled flat? So, I think getting that part right matters more. Whether you flip it or roll it by hand across the grain you have to do something to even out the 'one way' memory of the slab rolling process.

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Slightly,off topic but I pounded a large (ish) tile, The rolled , then pounded How does pounding, rate.

Pounding helps with compression. I would rate compression -- either through pounding or dropping the slab on the floor -- as a big plus.

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The method I posted is what I do for tiles, smooth stoneware and porcelain. I once had a helper who flipped the slab by

picking it up from one end. I kept an eye on these tiles and found that they curled on that end. I dry the tiles for about a

week between drywall, weighted on the top with bags of clay. Then they go on wire shelves to finish drying. However,

next time I make tiles, I'm adding grog and/or molochite to combat the warping. 

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Yes, the pink studio .... Long ago in a galaxy far far away someone thought pink would be 'fun' 'cheerful' .... that person also built shelves into it ... mounted brackets ... Installed an extruder .... not to mention drying racks in place and cupboards .... It would take a week just to get the room ready for a new coat of paint.

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Chris: I like the paintings on the wall behind the slab roller.... and the view from your studio!

First think I noticed was the drawing of this black dude, with sunglasses and beret. Cool. Is this in public domain now and can be used freely in other artwork?

 

Right, there is a painting too...

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But her studio is Pink!

Marcia

I'm more concerned about your battleship grey!

 

Yes, the pink studio .... Long ago in a galaxy far far away someone thought pink would be 'fun' 'cheerful' .... that person also built shelves into it ... mounted brackets ... Installed an extruder .... not to mention drying racks in place and cupboards .... It would take a week just to get the room ready for a new coat of paint.

Do you get some spinoff$$ from the strategically placed book?

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