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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.

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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?/

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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

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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.

Mermoose likes this

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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.

crafter27406 and Denice like this

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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.

clay lover likes this

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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.

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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

Mermoose likes this

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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.

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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.

 

 

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Davidpotter and pattial like this

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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!

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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.

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clay lover, Babs and Juli Long like this

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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!  

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

Babs and clay lover like this

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