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Removing Excess Clay Before Cutting Pot Loose From Wheel.

Angled wooden thingie

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#1 hershey8


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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:01 PM

In all the videos I've watched on throwing pot on a wheel, there seems to be an absence of instruction  on using the angled wooden thingie tool (official technical name) to clean off excess clay around the base of a pot, before cutting it loose with a wire. Most of the folks who create wonderful lessons/videos seem to include this step in the videos, but do it so quickly or  inadvertently hide the maneuver from the camera. Is anyone aware of a video that focuses on this detail? I occasionally (ok, constantly) get blobs of clay on my bowls while trying to clean off the excess clay. HELP! And what is the other name for the angled wooden thingie tool?

                                              thanks,   john autry


#2 Mark C.

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:14 PM

Use the angled wood tool to cut the excess off and then a needle tool to cut under and remove it-then wire it(I use palster bats so I do not wire them)


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#3 John Hertzfeld

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:18 PM

I know it as a wooden knife or potter's knife. I bring the knife down slowly on the bit of clay at the base that is not needed, until the knife meets the wheel head. Then I, very slowly, bring the knife (still riding the wheel head) away from the pot just a bit. Next, slow down the wheel and cut the little strip of trimmed clay with the blade down and tip, pointing against the wheel direction, fills the space between the pot and the trim. The trim should come right out without globbing up the side of your pot.

#4 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:48 PM

I find it is one of those things that needs to be quick and confident. I hold my tool so the angle of the edge lines up with the shape of clay I want to remove. Slide the tool parallel to the wheel and i find a little rotate helps on the way out to get the clay at the very bottom.

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#5 Min


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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:02 PM

I never got the hang on using a bamboo knife. From early on I started using the teardrop shaped Dolan turning tool instead. Works for undercutting too. 



#6 Biglou13


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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:11 PM

I use the 11b. Followed a triangle tool with lesser angle..

I'll even throw In a preliminary trim to bottom, ocassionally.

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#7 hershey8


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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:41 AM

Thanks all. Tear drop tool, yeah I saw someone use that once. Maybe I'll pick one up. I have been using wooden tool incorrectly, i think. I may have been spinning the wheel too fast. j

#8 TwinRocks


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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:51 AM

If your clay is too wet it can be more difficult to get a clean trim. If you are using bats, you can always take the bat off the wheel and work another piece before under cutting, that way it could dry a tad. Mostly it just takes practice like anything else.

#9 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:37 AM

I use the pointed end of a modeling stick for trimming the excess clay off. First along the bottom side to the bat, then lift under it along the batt surface and remove it. Then cut off with a wire tool.


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#10 Benzine


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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:16 AM

Like many others, I use the pointed end of the wood knife/ wood tool.


I first face the angled "blade" side up, to remove the excess clay from the bottom.  I put some type of bevel on there, depending on the form.  Even if I have a relatively straight-sided ware, I'll do a small bevel.  I find this acts a good guide for my cutting wire, when I go to cut off.  I then point the blade side down, and scrape any remaining clay off the wheel.  


In a pinch, I'll use a wood rib to do the same thing, but those that I have, don't tend to be as pointed, as wood knife.


I don't use metal tools, on anything that would require that they come in contact with the wheel head, and I tell my students the same.  You would think that it would be difficult to actually make them listen to this instruction, but I assure them, that if they don't like the nails on a chalkboard sound, they won't like the sound of a metal tool dragging along a metal wheel head.

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#11 Pres


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Posted 26 July 2014 - 11:45 PM

I use a wooden rib with the sharpened bevel on one end. I hold the back side of the tool against the edge of the pot following the curve to the wheel head. Then I turn the edge slowly til the flat pushes the clay away from the pot and gathers it on the tool, thus removing it.

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