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Please Help...made A Hole In My Pot While Trimming


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#1 latomate

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 05:26 AM

I made a small hole in my pot when trimming. The pot is bone dry now. Can I wet the surroundings of the hole and mend it with clay of similar dampness. What is the correct process? Is it possible to revive it?

It's a rather tall vessel joined together by several pots and I've spent lots of time on it. I really hope to save the pot if possible.  Clay is terra cotta

 

Many thanks in advance!!

 



#2 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 09:29 AM

from my limited experience - if you use clay of similar dampness and try to mend it with slip and vinegar it is the only chance you have.  If you need to dampen the pot you trimmed too much, Chris Campbell (i hope I am spelling it right) suggested to put your item under a plastic bag along with a damp paper towel.  I did this with some mugs that were too dry to attach handles, and it softened them up within a few hours. The more you work clay and practice, the easier it becomes to trash it and just make another… unless of course it is a tedious artistic piece.  Good luck! 


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#3 RuthB

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 09:36 AM

Your best bet is to mix up some paper clay from your body. Add some paper pulp (cheap toilet paper works great) to some of your clay. 

Tear the paper into small pieces and add to water. You can mix it in a blender for even consistency. It should not be dripping when

you add it to your clay, nor should it be too dry. You can knead some damp pulp (up to 30% by volume)  into your clay or mix it into a slurry.

Paper clay attaches to bone dry or bisque without cracking because it doesn't shrink as the original clay does. 

 

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#4 Stephen Robison

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 10:01 AM

paper clay or Bray Patch may work


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#5 docweathers

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:07 PM

Putting your pot in a damp box for a week will probably make any of the above discussed strategies work much better


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#6 Pres

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 05:21 PM

Trimming too thin, isn't that a @#^%$#^%! I did it just day before yesterday. Tried to fix a plate that was still leather hard by throwing in a new center and compressing. Took about 20 minutes all together. Let it dry slowly covered in plastic. Today not yet bone dry, but plate was cracked. Now I have to hit myself in the head for learning that lesson so many times before, and wasting the time to fix what I could have thrown in the same time.  Lesson learned for the 2000th time!


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#7 Benzine

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 06:24 PM

Trimming too thin, isn't that a @#^%$#^%! I did it just day before yesterday. Tried to fix a plate that was still leather hard by throwing in a new center and compressing. Took about 20 minutes all together. Let it dry slowly covered in plastic. Today not yet bone dry, but plate was cracked. Now I have to hit myself in the head for learning that lesson so many times before, and wasting the time to fix what I could have thrown in the same time.  Lesson learned for the 2000th time!


Sometimes it's hard to just toss something Pres. You put the time into creating it, and have that little bit of connection, because of it. So it almost seems like a waste to throw it. I wonder if artists, who work with a variety of media, are worse at this than those who focus on ceramics. Those who work with other media, are used to being able to fix an issue, without starting over; erase, repaint, etc. I think that mentality crosses over, despite the fact, it would indeed be faster to make ware, instead if fixing a damaged one. I would wager, production potters, would toss the damaged one in a heartbeat.

Art teachers might be even worse, as they are so used to fixing student projects, that their first instinct is to try and repair something.
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#8 Chris Campbell

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:14 PM

You made me smile Pres ... if I had a dollar for every time I got sucked into trying to fix a crack or mend a hole or whatever .... I know in my heart it is NOT GOING TO WORK .... but there I go down the rabbit hole again. As though there is gonna be a time when all turns out well ... one of us born every minute.

That hole in the bottom means you made yourself a planter or some reclaim.

 

I used to paint before I pottered ... and my issue there was falling in love with one segment of the painting that was absolutely great and trying to bring the rest of the canvas up to that standard ... exactly like chasing a crack in pottery. Better off painting over the canvas and starting again.


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#9 latomate

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:29 PM

Thank you all for your suggestions!! I now see a shimmer of hope. I'll give it a try and report back whether my pot survives....

 

I always tossed away pots that are damaged from trimming, but poured too much love and effort into this one....don't want to give it up yet



#10 Pres

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 10:56 PM

Of course, the other alternative for me is to trim the hole nice and round, get a cork from Lowes that fits it make a little cap for the cork, and put 3 half inch holes in the side and call it a . . . . . birdbath!


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#11 docweathers

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 05:36 PM

this video may help you not trim through the bottom of another pot

http://ceramicartsda...s-of-your-pots/


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#12 Benzine

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 08:12 PM

That's a good video Doc.  I watched it one time before, and didn't quite "get it".  What he's saying makes sense now.  It still takes a bit of practice, and a familiarity with the clay. 


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#13 Pres

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:24 AM

I watched the video for the first time after seeing the post here. As I have posted in another thread, I do some things differently, however the vid reminded me to use smaller tools in the beginning, and not to be in such a hurry. Last set of plates yesterday 10 for 10 no trimming through. Thanks for the reminders.


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