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How Do You Start Your Trimming?

Trimming plates jars

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#1 Pres

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:21 PM

When I first learned to throw, trimming was one of the next things I had to master. My prof demonstrated using the trimming tools and working the outside edge of the piece and then working the foot ring in, then if needed leveling off the foot ring with a needle tool.  I had very little problem with this technique, as we were using Randall wheels with plaster bats. Everything dried off the bat, and so there was not cutting off from the wheel head.  Crank up 3 years when I started at Penn State and using metal wheel heads and having to cut everything off with cutting wire. Sloppy uneven bottoms that would grab my tools and cause uneven pots that had difficult times getting even-plus I was still a newbie. Someone, either a prof or student showed me to use a flat blade held perpendicular across the whole piece directly over the center. By pressing down with this blade the entire bottom would be leveled out. I started to use it constantly and found that there was never any need for the needle tool leveling of the foot ring. It also made it easier to get very even areas on casseroles, plates and other wider forms. I use the technique on nearly everything unless I decide to use a wiggle wire with an untrimmed base.


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#2 neilestrick

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:45 PM

Always trim the outer wall of the pot first, as that determines the diameter of the foot. Then mark where the foot ring will be with the corner of your trimming tool, and trim from the center outward till you meet the mark. The center should even out as you trim it out- using a small, rounded too will cut through the unevenness and level it out. If the foot ring is uneven, it will even out as you round it over- round from the inside edge to the center, then from the outside edge to the center. Because you're not trimming straight down onto the uneven part, the unevenness never comes into play.


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#3 Babs

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:30 PM

I make a mark where the outside of the foot will stand. I then trim form the outer wall to that mark. I then mark where the inside of the foot will be, and trim from the centre to that mark.Then I refine the foot inside and out. Occasionally I get a pot which spins as I have taken a bit much off the foot on final fiddle and so the pot sit s on the centre bottom instead of footrim! Or does the clay play with me and hump up as it dries?

Like to know that one.



#4 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 09:13 PM

Pres,
I use the needle tool trim first too. Saves lots of time.I trim the base, especially for the orb shapes.
The finish with a foot.

Marcia

#5 mregecko

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 09:40 PM

Depending on the form and how well / evenly I cut it off the wheel, I will often clean it up with a sureform tool. It levels out the bottom and gets rid of any "heaviness" I may have missed in throwing. Especially helpful on platters to keep the bottom level.

I'll then mark where I want my foot ring, and come in from the side to that point with normally trimming tools. Then I'll trim the interior of the footring. And finally use a rubber rib to clean up everything.

#6 Pres

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 10:07 PM

Point being, by using the hacksaw blade perpendicular to the surface of the base, the bottom becomes level in seconds. Then to trim as normal is quite easy.


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


#7 jrgpots

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:33 AM

A youtube video by Hsinchen Lin shows him thumping the bottom of the pot as he trims the bottom. Does anyone here use this technique. If so what are you listening for?

#8 S. Dean

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:37 AM

Point being, by using the hacksaw blade perpendicular to the surface of the base, the bottom becomes level in seconds. Then to trim as normal is quite easy.

 

Pres, do you trim with the tooth side or smooth side of the blade?  Thanks - SD



#9 Pres

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:19 AM

If I want to remove quicker the tooth side, then finish with smooth side. Other wise I just start and finish with smooth side.


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#10 atanzey

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:52 AM

Pres - have you seen a video of this anywhere?  I'd love to see, rather than trying to picture how you're doing this.

 

Alice



#11 Benzine

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:56 AM

A youtube video by Hsinchen Lin shows him thumping the bottom of the pot as he trims the bottom. Does anyone here use this technique. If so what are you listening for?


I absolutely do this, and teach my students the same. I am listening for the pitch(?) of the sound. Think of the bottom of the vessel like the membrane on a drum. The higher the pitch, the thinner the bottom. The lower, the pitch the thicker. Of course, like much else in ceramics, you have to practice and get a feel for this process, to become good at analyzing the sound. This is especially true considering that the clay is too dry or too wet for trimming the sound will be a bit different. Still a useful technique.

Also, I teach students to start with the bottom profile as well, for the reasons others have mentioned.
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#12 Benzine

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:59 AM

If I want to remove quicker the tooth side, then finish with smooth side. Other wise I just start and finish with smooth side.


Also, if you want to remove things really fast, use a saws-all blade, attached to a reciprocating saw, and you'll trim off the excess in split seconds.....As tone doesn't translate well to text, I am joking folks, though I son't doubt someone has tried it.
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#13 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:59 AM

A youtube video by Hsinchen Lin shows him thumping the bottom of the pot as he trims the bottom. Does anyone here use this technique. If so what are you listening for?

I do this. You are listening to the thickness of the clay.This is especially helpful on closed forms.
Marcia

#14 Pres

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:04 AM

Pres - have you seen a video of this anywhere?  I'd love to see, rather than trying to picture how you're doing this.

 

Alice

I have never seen this technique used in a video.  Once I have some time, and warmer climes I will try to do a few videos of things I have mentioned here: Opening with an elbow for bowls, trimming with a hacksaw blade, heck I might even try the 12 inch challenge. I would post these on my blog site as the videos take up space. As of now I am heading into 3 weeks at least where I won't be allowed near the clay as I am having some minor surgery for a cyst on my rt thumb. This has been causing problems with my bowling and is now pretty raw from blistering.


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#15 Martha Marks

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:30 AM

Good luck with your surgery, Pres!



#16 Pres

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:44 AM

 

A youtube video by Hsinchen Lin shows him thumping the bottom of the pot as he trims the bottom. Does anyone here use this technique. If so what are you listening for?


I absolutely do this, and teach my students the same. I am listening for the pitch(?) of the sound. Think of the bottom of the vessel like the membrane on a drum. The higher the pitch, the thinner the bottom. The lower, the pitch the thicker. Of course, like much else in ceramics, you have to practice and get a feel for this process, to become good at analyzing the sound. This is especially true considering that the clay is too dry or too wet for trimming the sound will be a bit different. Still a useful technique.

Also, I teach students to start with the bottom profile as well, for the reasons others have mentioned.

 

Crazy art teacher again here, thump my pots a lot when trimming. Talk to large jars a lot when throwing. Same thing is apparent, if the form is thinner, and more even the timbre(right word?) is different from a pot that is too thick or lacking in volume. When at Penn State the students thought I was nuts, but by the end of the Summer lots of them were doing the same!


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


#17 neilestrick

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:47 AM

Good luck with the surgery, Pres. Having been through two hand surgeries in the past year, I can empathize. Let it heal, don't push it.


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#18 Joy pots

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:37 PM

I trim like Neil except for volume work I first start with the Giffin grip & also tap the bottoms.
Good luck Pres.
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#19 TJR

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:39 PM

Good luck, Pres. Go to Hawaii to heal.

TJR.



#20 Babs

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:53 PM

 

Pres - have you seen a video of this anywhere?  I'd love to see, rather than trying to picture how you're doing this.

 

Alice

I have never seen this technique used in a video.  Once I have some time, and warmer climes I will try to do a few videos of things I have mentioned here: Opening with an elbow for bowls, trimming with a hacksaw blade, heck I might even try the 12 inch challenge. I would post these on my blog site as the videos take up space. As of now I am heading into 3 weeks at least where I won't be allowed near the clay as I am having some minor surgery for a cyst on my rt thumb. This has been causing problems with my bowling and is now pretty raw from blistering.

 

Good luck, a potter who bowls hey?? What is doing the most damage to your thumbs?







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