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Clay Coming Off Center

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#1 CecRR



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Posted 23 March 2014 - 06:13 PM

So I got an artista wheel, and have been using it outside on top buckets, or a table. My whole yard is dirt, so nothing is level. I've been having problems centering, but my husband has seem to have gotten it down. Either way, once either of us tries to pull they clay up, it seems to come off center and starts to wobble. I was just wondering if anyone knew weather or not this could be caused by the wheel not being level?  I know we're both new to getting back into throwing, so Im not sure if its just technique, and we both need more practice (which im sure it part of it) or how much the way the wheel is set up is effecting it.  Thanks for the input :)

#2 Tyler Miller

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 06:58 PM

Set a level on the centre of the wheelhead and rotate very very slowly.  It will show if it is not level in any direction.   Set shims under the wheel accordingly.

#3 Colby Charpentier

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 06:59 PM

The quick solution is to drop a level on it. Being off-level won't hurt until you push the clay into a situation where gravity is going to do some real work on the form. The clay won't come off center by itself so anything that moves it off center is done by the operator.


On the note of table-top wheels, I could see them being difficult to learn on. With a full size wheel, it's pretty easy to ensure you have decent bio-mechanics, whereas the table-tops can get a little tricky in terms of positioning... Just keep practicing and give a shot at re-positioning to optimize the moves you make...

#4 mregecko



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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:41 PM

I know, personally, when I'm pulling up a wall any little wobble can throw a kink into my centering. So if a bat shifts, or a wheel shifts, it can be a problem.

I guess my concern with a table-top wheel would be this kind of stability less than it being level. I can adjust my body to being off-level, but if vibrations or a jostle mess me up in those first critical pulls, it's done.

#5 CecRR



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Posted 23 March 2014 - 09:27 PM

I'll have to get out the little level next time. It worked much better when we moved it to the table, even tho it was a cheap plastic one. Im stil struggling with getting it centered well, but after its centered it does fine until you try to pull it up past 4-5 inches. We were able to pull a few little bowls tho. I'll have to play with it more and see what happens.

#6 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 10:49 PM

Level the wheel with a Bullseye level. I have a little artist a for hauling around to demos.They are. Great wheel. All wheels need to be level for the best results. Slow down as you get more into the pot. Centering is done at a faster speed. pulling up and refining should be done slower and slower.
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#7 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 02:41 PM

Be sure that the position/height of the wheel head is in a place where you don't lose stability.  Your core should be solid and your arms should always be anchored against your body to avoid wobbling.  Could you have lost good throwing form with trying to adjust to the position of the wheel? 

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#8 Pres


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Posted 24 March 2014 - 03:09 PM

I use a phone app on my phone to level the wheel. It is called Swiss Army knife. Has 4-6 apps one of which is a bubble Bulls eye with two other bar bubbles. this thing is amazing for leveling the wheel.

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#9 Biglou13


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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:07 PM

Level is good. Very good idea

But you can work on wonky wheel

Center the clay to the clay

Not in reference to wheel head

There is a video of japanese potter throwing in off center wobbly wheel

sometimes when you watch people throw off the hump it's only the top most portion of clay that is centered

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#10 Benzine


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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:03 PM

This usually gets posted, when talking about the wheel needing to be level:



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