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Do You Teach To Throw Off The Hump?


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#1 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:39 AM

I had never really thrown off a big lump that much before, tried it once or twice but never sat down for a long time.

 

The past few weeks I have been really getting into it and I have found that it has greatly improved my throwing.

 

My posture is much better for not having to bend to the wheel head, I feel much more stable in myself from having to find my own balance instead of use my legs or the sides of the wheel to stable myself and I have found a calmness and softer touch that I never discovered using single balls of clay.

 

Why do most western teachers use the single ball technique as a starting place?



#2 TwinRocks

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:51 AM

I would speculate that teachers start there based on budget, student attention span and limited classroom time are all factors. Throwing off the hump implies throwing more than 1-2 pieces in a session, and at least when I was in school that was generally all the time there was.


I wish I had more experience with it!

#3 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 11:24 AM

I have taught throwing off the hump. I start though with a single lump of clay. Throwing off the hump is more of a production technique. Advanced students learned it for producing repetitive small forms like mugs or bowls.

 

Marcia



#4 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 12:18 PM

Yea I do understand that it is more of a production technique and probably not worth it in short lessons but I have found after trying it and going back to making medium sized bowls off the wheel head that I have improved vastly from maybe 5 hours of throwing off the hump in total.

 

Cutting them off is another thing all together. Some are flat but most of the time I think I pull the thread at an angle. That does need more work.



#5 TwinRocks

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 12:26 PM

That is my trouble as well, I tend to cut off the hump poorly. Heavy bottoms with rough cuts make trimming a chore, and because I generally don't mind trimming I opt to throw single pieces in favor of keeping the process enjoyable for now. I

#6 Pres

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 12:32 PM

Often when throwing off the hump you get uneven cut offs in the beginning. One of the reasons I use a large saw hack saw blade to level first. As you get used to cutoff, you will get more even. I use an old style flat butter knife to cut off and remove most smaller pieces in one step. A stiff palette knife or putty knife would work the same.


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#7 Joy pots

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 12:35 PM

One problem I've found in teaching students to throw off the hump is a lack of the student compressing the bottoms properly & as a result the bottoms crack in drying &/or firing.

#8 Benzine

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 12:47 PM

I do not teach, to throw off the hump.

I have one class, that focuses on clay work, and the wheel is only part of it. I also have to get through, slab and coil construction methods, as well as a basic intro to additive/ subtractive sculpture , with a relief project. They work on the wheel, when they have some downtime, as things dry. They have to throw and trim three wares, and I generally require some type of handle on one of them.

This is about as much as I can get to. My department used to offer a focused Pottery class, from what I'm told. But it hasn't been offered since long before I joined the district. There really isn't time for it in the schedule anymore.
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#9 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 01:00 PM

I have tried using a knife but had less luck there than with some strong sewing thread. With the knife I tend to cut down and end up with a pointy bottom or mess it up and lose the pot.

 

That does sound like far too much to get through Benzine.

 

Maybe teach was the wrong word, just in two years of classes it was never mentioned to me once as a different technique.



#10 JBaymore

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 01:21 PM

Yes. Intermediate and up classes... college level.

 

Very useful for throwing certain types of lids and spouts and such, along with cups, bowls, small plates, kyusu bodies, and so on.

 

Like everything,...... good technique is what makes it work well. Getting lots of S cracks and uneven cutoffs can be fixed.

 

best,

 

.......................john


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#11 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 02:32 PM

for cutting off the hump, have you ever tried the winding string with a handle a one end?  Make an indent with a modeling tool and let the string wind into it and the hold it. the string winds through the clay evenly...if done right.

 

Marcia



#12 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 02:44 PM

I bought some extra strong polyester thread and tied it onto a small bolt. A nicer handle could work better.

 

Don't know about s cracks yet as I haven't fired any but I do compress the base and turn so hopefully the stoneware will be fine.

 

Maybe everybody won't benefit but I found it a great learning experience.



#13 Pres

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 03:29 PM

I conquered my s crack problems by centering a pancake on the top of the hump, then pulling it out and up. Clay structure follows rounding up, unlike traditional where the base and wall meet in asharp corner in the clay structure. I learned to do thi in an old video of a Japanese master. Took practice, but small steps. ? ? ? I was never taught about throwing off the hump, just saw it done in books and decided to do it. As to teaching it to kids, I did teach it. Their final project was a teapot. When I demo'ed it, I showed them to throw the spout, the lid, and the body in tha order. All at this time could throw and center 3# of clay, and size was not a requirement.

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#14 Babs

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 07:43 PM

I cut off the hump with a Knife, very thin bladed. Just do it it's when we think we hesitate and you know what follows.



#15 Pres

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:36 PM

It also helps to dip the knife in water just before cutting.


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#16 JBaymore

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:18 PM

Pointed stick and string....... wind it up.... cuts straight every time.

 

best,

 

....................john


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#17 clay lover

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:58 AM

Can someone explain how one can compress the bottom od what seems to be a bottomless piece of clay?  When I try, the pot just gets deeper in the hump.  I don't get it.  I keep moving the cut off line lower. 



#18 TJR

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:42 AM

I use dental floss attached to the side of a pencil to cut pots off the hump. Used to use coarse thread, but the floss works great. And its minty.

TJR.



#19 JBaymore

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:01 AM

Can someone explain how one can compress the bottom od what seems to be a bottomless piece of clay? When I try, the pot just gets deeper in the hump. I don't get it. I keep moving the cut off line lower.

You can't......... one of the ceramic myths. And we can never really "compress" anything.... what we are doing is aligning the clay particles so that the flat surfaces are parallel to each other. Another ceramic myth.

 

However there are techniques that can minimize the S cracking... that are used in throwing off the hump from Japan. I can't verbally describe them well... and at the moment I have no time to write a complex thing. Maybe more later. (Not much more her for a week now....busy).

 

best,

 

........................john


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Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#20 Stellaria

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:12 PM

I think Hsin Chuen Lin has a video that addresses avoiding S-cracks in pieces thrown off the hump.




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