Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Min

Tips & Tricks

Recommended Posts

Min    783

It's been a while since we have had a tips and tricks posting and it's seems to be a bit quiet on the forums so anybody have anything new to share?

 

I've got this one: for pots that have gotten to dry to cut the rims of or attach handles to, wet cheesecloth works really well. I dip the cheesecloth in water then squeeze out the excess and drape 2 or 3 pieces on the area of the pot that needs to be softer. For fairly thin pieces it takes about 15 minutes and the clay is soft enough to work again. For thicker pieces I re-wet the cheesecloth and reapply. This works much better for me than misting or dipping the pot in water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Babs    386

Stolen from a ceramics vintage mag, tip from Ivan Englund, for an interesting variation, pull your pot as normal and then on the last pull, and shaping of the pot instead of water or slurry, use  a glaze, he stated a raw glaze but any glaze with 20 - 30 % clay would do the job or poss any glaze. Haven't tried this but I have a few glazes from years ago lurking in a bucket or two so I will give it a go soon. Depending on the effect after bisquing, glazed interior only?/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pres    896

On throwing larger, try pulling normal, then after beginning cylinder pull top third, then middle third then bottom third of pot. This allows me to often get taller and thinner forms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Denice    243

This is a tip for disabled or older potters, since developing MS unloading or loading the kiln wears me out.  On bisque firings I start filling the kiln as the work gets dry, it also protect your work at that fragile state if you work in tight spaces.  Unloading I just take my time or get help from visitors who are glad to get in on the fun. Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chantay    101

Denice, good tip.  I started doing this as too many things were getting bumped and damaged while waiting for enough to fill the kiln.  Also, I know right away when the kiln is full. 

 

I recently started using soy wax.  The kind made for candle making.  I really like it.  Easy to get a very smooth, straight line when applied with a foam brush.  I have to credit Mea, Good Elephant, for this tip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clay lover    133

Sham-WOW works really well for all sorts of damp clean up from work surfaces to wiping extra glaze off pots.  Hold water without dripping, very absorbent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Karen B    26

If you have to flip a large thin slab that is rolled out on canvas, slide the canvas onto a large piece of insulating foam "PolarGuard" and put another over the slab. The foam adds no weight and is strong, then you can flip and peel the canvas off without disturbing the slab.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Denice    243

Karen great tip the slab plus the weight of the sheet rock I flip it on is getting to be to heavy for me.  How thick of Tyvek foam do you use?    Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Karen B    26

Hi Denice, I have some that is 1" thick. So plenty sturdy, and practically weightless. It came as packing in something I ordered. I am lucky that I have 2 big pieces that are the same size. It actually is polystyrene insulation and comes in sheets that are 2' x 8'.

 

I edited this post and my previous post for accuracy. So sorry I relied on faulty memory initially.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
synj00    17

Instead of chamoi cloth for rims I use a cheap cloth for cleaning reading glasses. One cloth should last like a year as I only use strips.

 

Another trick I used the other day to apply a stone-like texture to some pinch pots was to use a wash cloth over a foam ball and push the clay with the outer layer to form. Then unwrap the clay carefully not to rip and out comes this beautifully textured vessel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Babs    386

Had to giiggle, as potters are often regarded as not quite on the planet, or missing a sausage on the barbie, but the tip i read about is that if you cannot affford to lay a plaster slab for drying slops and wet clay, just, yes the jeans again, knot the bottom of your jeans, fill up the legs to teh crotch with you r wet clay, you are of course not in the said garment, and sling it over the branch of a tree! I presume a leg each side of the branch! Warning this could take practise and be more spectacular than the recent icebucketing!

I suppose i could get away with it here, my washing has been known to be on the line a long tiem, and it is a rural are a and scarecrows have been known to have been used in teh past. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oldlady    1,323

if you use your slab roller table as a work surface, attatch a small container to the side or end of your slab roller for those tiny bits of stuff that would wind up sticking to  the work if they are left on the tabletop.  the  tiny bits of clay that are left when you cut a line a little too big, the bits left over and all the rest of the junk that appears as if by bad magic.  do not just set a box nearby, drive a screw through it to make sure it doesn't all fall over and make a mess on the floor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mossyrock    29

I am basically a hand builder, therefore I have seams to seal and coils to seal joints.  I purchased various sizes of the little wooden eggs from Hobby Lobby and drilled a hole in each one in different places, i.e. the pointed end of one, the fat end of another, the side of another, etc. and glued a dowel (different lengths) into each one.  They're great for smoothing seams and getting those coils into the joints smoothly.  Sometimes I need a long reach, thus the longer dowels; sometimes the shorter ones work well if I only need something to hold onto when using the egg to smooth.

 

 

post-2552-0-76966400-1409924193_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pres    896

I like wooden and metal spoons to smooth my coils in. I use the bottom side to begin smoothing, then the top side with the sharp edge to scrape off excess, then turn it over to the bottom of the spoon to smooth the coil in completely.

 

I have made nice steps to organizing my tools for throwing by using a piece of pipe insulation on the bucket for needle tools, and a bobber for my chamois. I also have a two sided bucket where I keep trimming tools on one side and ribs on the other. These have helped an old disorganized guy get a better handle on . . . . where did I put that dang tool!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark C.    1,807

When clay is in bag just before use slam it hard on all 4 sides ( I drop it a foot onto wedging table). Then cut and throw. This softens it (especially porcelain)

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mossyrock    29

My tools were always 'hiding' from me when I was on the wheel, disappearing behind the splash pan.  So I cut a 4" thick piece of foam to fit the front of the wheel and now everything is eye-level.  I cut out a hole for my water bucket.  I especially like that I can stick my needle tool and fettling knife upright in the foam to keep them really handy.  Occasionally I'll take the foam outside and hose it off to clean it up, but that doesn't have to be done often.  The little table next to the wheel has a magnetic bar for tools and a couple of "L" hooks for trimming tools, etc.  Batts fit on the shelf under the table.

post-2552-0-98235000-1409938311_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mossyrock    29

As a handbuilder, I enjoy using a lot of different textures.  What I did not enjoy was searching through a box for my texture mats and sometimes finding them wrinkled or folded over.  I was hanging up some things in my closet one day and thought "why don't I use these pants hangers to hang my texture mats.  So I gathered up extra hangers and headed to the studio.  Hummmm, where to hang them?  The back of my ware cart worked great….and the sides.  Now, when a store clerk asks if I want the hangers, I always say yes to the pants hangers!  

post-2552-0-77221800-1410215064_thumb.jpg

post-2552-0-77221800-1410215064_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×