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Crusty

Input On These Cups/handles

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Well its been 5 weeks going into our 6th.. We know were not where we want to be but we have done several cups with "pulled" handles .. were looking for a eye pleasing combo that fits the had very well.. so many cups and mugs look awesome but do not always feel the way they look...

 

Im sure there are some rookie things I missed like the cup with the untrimmed handle that runs down to Belize , seen that when I uploaded..

 

pic C- the handle looks funky but it feels better in the hand than most cups/mugs I have picked up.. thumb lays on top really nice while my index and middle finger lay in the low area ad my ring finger fits under the bottom.. nothing feels off or odd but it does look funky..i would like ideas on how to make them all better in some way..

 

Thanks and you can blast me now... :P

 

a on left b in middle c on right..

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Those flow nicely. The first looks a little big for the form, in my opinion. The second, looks like it goes above the rim, which can create issues. The third kind of "droops" and seems like it would be awkward to hold.

 

Still better than my early handles. They were clunky as all get out.

 

Just keep 'a' pullin' and it will become second nature.

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I would say on the first handle you need to blend the top join in to the cup more. These areas pressure fingers when lifting the mug. The same goes somewhat for the 2nd and third handle. However, I would have ditched the third handle and gone again. You are doing well for first attempts keep practicing, pull handles and attache to cans, or anything that will hold the clay to get a feel for the curves you want. I used to do it to the old sink and splashboard edge in the HS studio I taught in. Practice even at a later date before actually attaching can be like a warm up exercise.

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Crusty, I am a novice also. I have made the same big looping handles. 

 

Close your hand as if grasping the mug. Look at the shape of the inside curve of your hand. It does not have room for the big loop handle. Personally, I like the third handle - a sort of an upside down "D" handle.

 

Robin Hopper says to draw a vertical line thru the center of the pot. Now draw a line from the top of the handle about where your thumb or index finger would rest, about where the curve begins, down to about 1/2 inch from the bottom on the opposite side. Where the 2 lines intersect is now the center of gravity for the mug. The closer the handle is to the mug the better the center of gravity. Robin Hopper also suggests a 1/4 inch gap between your hand and the mug at greenware stage.

 

My 2 cents worth.

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As with every aspect of clay, we all have our preferences and favored methods for achieving them.  I would advise making as sure as possible that your handles are attached well, no matter what their shape. 

 

I seldom make two handles alike on mugs.  Every human's hands are different sizes and shapes and people hold their cups and mugs differently from each other.  The holding is often dictated by the handle, but I've found that it's a fun conversation, especially at craft shows, to ask people what they like in a handle.  Are you a two-finger holder, a three-finger holder, do you put your fingers through the handle, but hold the mug?  Do you put your thumb on the top of the handle or do you grip the entire handle in your fist?  I put thumb rests (buttons of clay) on the tops of some and customers comment that they like them.  When I attach the buttons, I usually make an thumb-shaped indention in them or maybe run the top edge out a little bit as a kind of stop point for the end of the thumb.  I just got one out of the kiln yesterday that I'll be taking to a show this weekend that is very whimsical.  I put a thumb on top of the handle and I call it "Two Thumbs Up!"  When I hold the mug, it looks as though there are two thumbs on it. The nail on the mug is forward of my own.  I did that just as a little attention-getter and will place it around about the rest of the mugs to see if it gets any comments.  It's a good thing I'm not a "set" person at this stage of my life, because I've never been able to make exact duplicates well and in my part of the world, customers at shows either get a single mug.  They enjoy trying out all the different handle shapes and configurations and deciding which one feels the best. 

 

Pulling handles is very professional and a great way to learn to make duplicates.  If that's priority with you, then disregard all my ramblings.  Watch a YouTube video by Simon Leach on pulling handles.  If personalization pleases you, roll a sort of fat coil of clay and give it a little squeeze in the middle.  Curve it to suit the shape of the mug it will go on and cut it with enough space to allow for shrinkage.  I think you'll be surprised at how comfortable it is to use when fingers naturally lay into those places.

 

I was looking at a pottery display in a craft mall once when a very tall, very large man stopped to look, also.  I asked him what kind of mugs did he like and how did he hold one.  He'd never given it much thought, he said, because restaurant mugs are much the same and he held them however he could.  He said he only used what was available at home, too.  That started a brief handle conversation and I made several mugs after that, that I called "Man Handlers"; large mugs with longer handle openings for larger fingers and a little bit bigger diameter so big guys can feel the handle.

 

Enjoy what you do.  Practice and practice some more and as long as your ware is well made, don't be afraid to try different shapes and forms.  When they behave the way they're supposed to after they come out of the kiln, you'll have fun with your art/craft and customers will be pleased that you're thinking of them.   By making multiples of the same shapes and sizes, you'll gain product recognition and the multiples draw those for whom having like things are important. 

 

Robin Hopper is the ultimate in contemporary pottery mastery, and these folks on the forum give us great advice and ideas.  Welcome to the world of clay!

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Benzine-

 

The third one that looks droopy is actually the one I think feels the best in hand.. I want to explore that one more, very good fitting.. next time you make a few cups, make one for a doopy handle and try it out and tell me how you think it feels... I need to work on the look of it some more but I don't want to lose that feel..

 

Thanks for your thoughts...

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@Crusty,

 

I'm pretty sure anyone who has made more than a few mugs hasn't (or isn't) asked/asking the same questions you have offered.  The advice posted here is solid, IMHO. Here is my two cents worth: As one of those everything-has-to-be-perfect-the-first-time people, I agonized over my handle pulling.  My first pulled handles were handled so much that they looked as if I had intentionally added finger prints, fingernail accents, a hammered texture, and mushed-up connections. I'll confess that I still catch myself over-tweeking handle attachments and handle forms...but with practice, confidence, experience, and a lot of experimentation it goes faster, smoother, and is less over-worked.  And that is where you are headed.  Keep at it!

 

Shrinkage in bisque/glaze firing still bites me in the rear every once in a while.  That nice form that feels great, fits nicely, and looks cool as green ware can turn into a mug suitable only for a small child or an adult who wants a one-finger handle :huh: .  Add shrinkage to your mental checklist of advice that others have already offered.

 

-Paul

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Of those three handles I like the look of the second one the best. It just needs a couple of tweaks - you could trim off more on both ends of the handle, which would bring it in a bit closer to the pot and also get rid of some of the clay pressed flat against the pot on both ends of the handle. It could also be positioned lower down so that the top of the handle is lower than the rim of the pot. I like the shape of it though, it's a nice curve that should be a good three- or four-finger handle, which is what I prefer on a mug.

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Maybe time for the practice ie lots of 8 handle mugs, lots of just handle making for its own sake.

One or two handles, no imprinting happening.

Lots of crushing of handles back to the bucket, lots of sketching of handles....

Pottery and Form,  Daniel Rhodes, a good bible.

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Paul,Chesari,Mark,Babs- Thanks for your thoughts..  I probably wont make  anymore of style #3 ill keep it for myself lol.. I will keep a eye out for extra clay where my joints are.. its kind of funny how you start to notice what others are but when you made the cup/whatever you didn't notice it as much..

 Shrinkage , that's a tricky one..  this clay body says 12% at ^10 but im only going to ^7 with it...

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IMHO, I agree with Bob: #1 is the best looking for the form. I think the size of the handle is going to fire in perfectly (with shrinkage), so do us a favor and fire it all the way with glaze just to see the match. #2: I've done these, and although there is the sense of balanced form, the weight of a full cup is going to be very heavy (as mentioned by dhPotter), and something always hits the handle and breaks it in my house. If you want to play with #3 (which does angle the lip of the cup comfortably without torking your wrist), try attaching the handle at the bottom.. reversing #1 if you will. Your hand may enjoy the experience--creating a unique style for you.

 

Keep going. Your #1 cup form is lovely, too.

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Thank you drmyrtle , I really enjoyed your response...  you said Reverse and the first word that came to my mind was Invert ...

:D lightbulb :D  ill give it a try later tonight, make 5 or so cups and get all muddy.. Pottery is sooooo addicting...

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Thanks for your bravery. I commend you! 
 

mughandleexample

 

In this photo I highlighted the areas I wanted to tell you about. I'm a visual learner, so hopefully this helps.

 

Green Line: I try to apply handles to mugs where there are obvious visual cues. This mug was easy to see where to apply it. 

 

Red line: I pull my handles so they look like the shape of an almond on a crosscut. This means that the edges of the handle are skinnier than the middle. This is beneficial in many ways, including-- more elegance, slimming effect, provides the eye with a visual line to follow, more comfortable, sometimes beautiful glaze effects. 

 

Although this doesn't apply universally, I think you can take away things that you like or can learn from. The elegance of your mug shape doesn't fit the lumpiness of handle c. It may be more comfortable but it needs a bit of sleekness or savvy to it. Mug A is a better example. Keep working on your attachments--with mug A it seems like the attachment is a bit angular and doesn't flow like the remainder of the handle. I hope this helps! Great job and keep making!

 

Also, for practice, I second what Pres said. Practice on anything you have around. I practice on already-fired mugs. This way you can make the handle to fit the pot. Even practicing 10-15 handles will improve your handles greatly. Imagine 100 practices before your next batch of mugs! Good luck!

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I have no problem with the third handles overall shape. It doesn't seem to flow that well and is a little 'plumpy' in places but with more refinement and a better shaped cup to fit it could be good. Nobody seems to agree  <_<  :D

 

I think that bottom heavy curve would fit well in my hand. Going to try out that shape sometime soon.

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keep and refine handle and invert cup - make it a little bigger at the bottom or  make the round swell at the bottom but it cant be made really heavy.. that will give the handle a better look and join area , take the droopy look away as well, better flow... "I hope" - off to the wheel , again

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