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Do You Throw Straight Out Of The Pugger?


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#21 Stellaria

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 02:08 PM

I throw straight out of a supplier bag, usually, so that would definitely be aged, not fresh from the pugger.
Very little problems with cracking - I just compress the snot out of my bases and dry slow!

#22 WillowTreePottery

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 07:22 PM

I have recently purchased one of the new model Shimpo deairing pugmill and I throw clay straight out of the pug mill .  I wedge the clay on the wheel by coning it up and down a few times  to make sure I have it conditioned properly.  If I am lazy or forget to cone up smaller pieces like 4 or 5 pounds  I have had the odd s-crack but by and large none.    I had previously used a Walker non deairing pugmill and always had to pre wedge as well as cone but this new one has saved me and my poor old wrists a ton of time and stress.    I do fairly heavy production of up to 200 pounds a day many days and really appreciate the ability to have the clay come out of the pugger so well conditioned.



#23 schmism

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 11:15 PM

I have recently purchased one of the new model Shimpo deairing pugmill and I throw clay straight out of the pug mill . 

Does it mix and pug or pug only?

If it mixes, do you mix, de-air, pug and straight to the wheel head?  Or do you let it age for plasticity?

 

its my understanding that some will still let pugged clay age for plasticity reasons but still don't hand wedge much.  (perhaps cone up and down on the wheel head a couple of times but nothing prior to the clay hitting the wheel)



#24 oldlady

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 11:09 PM

have used my bailey A400 for years, throwing soup cans of clay right out of the pugger and not experienced much cracking.  maybe that is just luck or something.  and pugging the new scrap clay over and over on the same day because the clay supplier is 65 miles away and not open after 5 pm.

 

most of my work comes out of the bag, is sliced, thrown on the floor three times to wake it up and put into the slab roller.  whatever is left over after making the flat stuff gets put into a bucket and is eventually put into the pugger.  I pugged a bunch of these scraps with the slurry from throwing last year and the pugs came out funny looking, not the usual smooth sided stuff but ragged looking.

 

when I left for 5 months, I unbolted and opened up the bottom of the pugger and cleaned out what I could, leaving the rest to dry inside the chute.

 

last week I cleaned out the thoroughly dry stuff and found that I had accidentally tossed in a sponge, a large washer and a chamois strip. 

 

from now on, the slurry gets screened!


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#25 clay lover

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 05:39 AM

I get those ugly ragged edges sometimes with my PP. I asked the rep about it, the pugger was new at that time, and was told that happens when clay sits in the barrel a long time. the outer edges dry a bit in the nozzle at the outer edges and then it hangs up.  if it is a full 24 lb. load, the first 10" is ragged, then evens out.  ????



#26 Pres

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:39 AM

"Dog ears" as they are called occur often when the clay/slurry/water consistency in a pugger that gets clay stored in it overnight or for a few days between runs. I usually just reran it until things smoothed out.


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#27 oldlady

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 01:43 PM

yes, that kind of thing is what I have experienced before, I just run stuff through several times softening it up as I do with slurry or water.  but last year was different!

 

I do not want to confess that I have previously left clay in it all winter, counting on the wet sponges and rubber covers to keep it stiff but still able to be run through.

 

(Jim Bailey would have a fit if he knew!)  until the sponge, washer and chamois gummed up the works, I never had any trouble at all.


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#28 neilestrick

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 04:14 PM

My students always throw straight out of the bag, but I have them cone everything at least 3 times. Plus, out of a 25 pound bag you're almost never going to be cutting off and using a chunk the full width of the block, therefore the pugger spiral is a non-issue. You cut off a thick slab, cut that into smaller chunks, pat them into balls and throw them.


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#29 Min

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 04:43 PM

My students always throw straight out of the bag, but I have them cone everything at least 3 times. Plus, out of a 25 pound bag you're almost never going to be cutting off and using a chunk the full width of the block, therefore the pugger spiral is a non-issue. You cut off a thick slab, cut that into smaller chunks, pat them into balls and throw them.

True enough but when you throw from a non industrial sized pugger and are keeping the soup can orientation you do have the full width of the spiral. From what Mea and others have posted it doesn't seem to be an issue with the clays they use and or their techniques. I do know that with my clay, my pugger and the way I work I will get the odd S crack if I don't put the pug on its side. Pug on the side or slap a couple together and no cracks whatsoever. 

 

Simple experiment for those of us that use non industrial puggers, cut 10 slices off the end of a pug, about the same thickness as you would make a pot base, put them on a shelf to dry. I'm betting you will see some cracks in the middle of the slices when they dry.



#30 GEP

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 05:00 PM

Regarding my pugged clay .... and I think this is a highly underrated aspect of using a pugmill .... I pug my clay very soft. Almost sticky soft. Lots of water in the equation, everything fully hydrated. In this state, I think the clay is more likely to be rearranged by the act of throwing, rather than holding on to the layers and spirals made by a pugmill.

 

To anyone whose pugged clay is too short, or more crack-prone, the answer might be as simple as adding more water.


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#31 Biglou13

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:47 PM

I use slurry method when making clay. So it more than saturated. And still most feel short until a week or two rest "cellaring". I going to try aging my slurry before drying.
But I'm in agreement with mea, often people think a clay is short when it is more so just dry.
Pug mill or not.
All clay bodies are not created equal. Not all clays may be usable out of pug mill. Depending on body ingredients an degree of moisture, may, or may not need aging.
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#32 Min

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 07:06 PM

Regarding my pugged clay .... and I think this is a highly underrated aspect of using a pugmill .... I pug my clay very soft. Almost sticky soft. Lots of water in the equation, everything fully hydrated. In this state, I think the clay is more likely to be rearranged by the act of throwing, rather than holding on to the layers and spirals made by a pugmill.

 

To anyone whose pugged clay is too short, or more crack-prone, the answer might be as simple as adding more water.

 

That is a really good point. When Claylover said her pugs caught her finger while throwing it sounded like the clay was way to dry. I totally agree with pugging and throwing the clay as soft as possible.



#33 Babs

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 07:20 PM

I throw straight from the pugmill, I agree that the clay which has been stored seems to be less short.

I am a bit diligent about compressing bottoms of any form as the S crack can occur in wedged or pugged clay. Any water/slurry left lurking at the bottom and placing hte pot on a non absorbent surface would add to this.



#34 oldlady

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 02:28 PM

agree with all above.  throw with soft clay, do not use more than minimal water, a damp sponge for the outside and a run up and down inside with a damp sponge when needed is all I need, throw thin and evenly, trim while making and set aside to dry without covering in plastic.  that works here in high humidityland, I do not know about working in desert conditions. 

 

I throw on a Masonite bat and never cut it off with a wire.  since I usually decorate the pot with banding and carving, it is securely held on that bat for all the decorative work.   outside trimming is done as it dries and it eventually pops off the bat with no problem, the inner footring is then trimmed.  

 

you can see that the investment in that drying pot is considerable so I am careful to make the bottom and walls sufficiently thin and even that there are no unwelcome surprises when it finally pops off the bat.


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#35 Pres

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 06:59 PM

Throwing wet clay is fine for me if I am staying lower than 12". However, once I start getting larger than that I like to use stiffer clay that I have let age a while after a first wedging. I can throw these fingertips to armpit, but It has to be stiffer, and I use no water on some of the final pulls. Wet clay just won't cut it for me.


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#36 clay lover

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:05 PM

Why can't I make a pull without water?  it just grabs and then tourques and is then of center.  What is the essential skill to doing this?



#37 oldlady

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:38 PM

some kind of moisture is necessary.  if your hand is dry and the clay is dry it will stick just as if you describe.  put a damp sponge on your outside finger and try that.  you need some kind of lubricant between the clay and your finger, a small amount of water will suffice on the inside. 

 

 you do not need to slop gallons of water into the pot.  all that excess water has to be cleaned up so why put it there in the first place. 


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