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Trouble With Closed Lidded Forms

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I've been experimenting with these forms....the one where you throw a closed cylinder, push a channel in, then cut the top off in the channel creating, in theory, a perfectly fitting lid.  Aside from the fact that I managed to drop 2 of the lids after they were done, I've had real trouble doing these with any speed as it's taking me so long to trim.  I've watched Bill Van Gilders video and another I think it's Mark Peters and I just don't get what they're doing that allows them to trim these things in 2 minutes.  Anyone doing these and have any tips for making the lids fit without spending a huge amount of time trimming?

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We call those Yo-Yo jars. And like you, I've never been able to get them to work quickly enough that they are worth the time. I can make a much better looking and better fitting lid by doing them in two pieces. In helping my students do them, the biggest problem they have is not pushing the wall in far enough during the forming process. The wall has to be pushed in to the full thickness of the wall in order for the lid to fit over the flange. Otherwise you have to trim the wall of the lid fairly thin to get it to fit. But even if you do push it in far enough, you still have to thin the lid wall a little bit. I have seen a handful of these types of jars that were executed very well, but most are not. There's just too much fussing and fudging to make them look as clean as crisp as I want my jars to be. Plus, because I work with porcelain, the unglazed joint between the two halves remains a bright white, which doesn't look good unless I'm using a very light colored glaze. And with my runny glazes there's a darn good chance they will get fused together.

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They may just be throwing drier than you throw, or forty years of experience gives them a leg up on this activity.  In my experience the wettest place on the pot is at the top; particularly when you are collaring in the top as lubrication is required for success.  Try using slip from your throwing to lubricate instead of water.  It is slick, stays on the surface, and doesn't wet the pot as much.

 

Here's what I do after I have closed up the pot. I first clean all the slurry off the outside of the pot, then make the "groove" where i want it.  I keep a heat gun next to my wheel.  When the "groove" is set in how I want it, I turn on the heat gun and direct the air to that location while the pot rotates slowly on the wheel.  It doesn't take too long to firm up that area. I will dry the rest of the pot some too, so it will be firm for my next step. Then, with the wheel turning slowly,  I carefully use my needle tool to cut into the bottom of the groove.  Patience here is important, as you want the wheel to spin several rounds as the needle tool cuts the clay and makes it release the top.  Once it has cut through, I carefully remove the top and set it aside.  I clean up the inside of the pot wall, cutting any clay from the inside without expanding the wall.  I carefully pick up the top and compare its outside diameter to the inside diameter of the pot wall to see if the fit needs to be adjusted.  I firm up the top of the pot wall with the heat gun, then turn the, now lid, upside down and set it on the wall so I can trim it, dry and clean up its interior, and adjust the fit. It takes me five minutes to do all of this, as I have 11 years experience, not 40  ;-)

 

The idea is that the lid will sit inside the bottom pot wall.  I use this technique in making animal figure treat jars (see example in attached picture), as well as other lidded forms.  It takes making a few before it starts to get easier. 

 

 

post-2045-0-52455400-1423238550_thumb.jpg

post-2045-0-52455400-1423238550_thumb.jpg

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Hey,

I have trouble with lidded vessels also.... I trim both vessel and lid so they fit regardless how much time it takes.

The way I make lidded vessels is to throw a cylinder and leave the rim extra thick.  Then using a rib or something

else with a 90 degree corner, push down in the center of that thick rim to make a channel for the lid. 

     In the July/August issue of Pottery Making Illustrated pg 48 there is a chart of lidded vessels which is

named "Top It Off".  It lists the three types: Cap lids, Inset lids, and Overhanging lids.

     Personally, I prefer the overhanging lids.  With the inset lids, which sit inside the rim, any dirt, dust, and

bugs (dead or alive) will fall into the jar once the lid is lifted.

     I'm sure some one whose niche is lids and lidded vessels will add to this post, since this forum is the greatest

place to go for answers and advice. 

Good luck.

Alabama

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When I was playing with yo-yo pots, I just left them on the bat until firm enough to trim. I also cut at the bottom of the flange rather than the top, so the lid had the flange, not the jar. It could be just me, but I thought it was easier to thin the wall of the jar than the wall of the lid.

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I used to sell a ton of these at shows in the 90's. I could throw 20-30 in an afternoon and trim them the next day. I would also make a round one and put it onto a chimney for a potpourri/scented oil heater with a votive in the chimney. 

 

For me the secret was a double ended wooden rib with a blade narrowed to 3/8". This I would slowly move into the cylinder angled away from me on the rt side. I would gradually push it in until it created the channel. This done right after throwing the piece. You had to move the channel in at least the thickness of the pot, and it helped to have it a little deeper on the bottom of the channel than the top. When leather hard, I would use my Griffin Grip to hold in place, use a needle tool to cut the bottom edge of the channel and if additional trimming was needed do it right then. Most pots took 5 minutes or less to trim.  For me it was fun, a challenge of my throwing, and easy to make a bunch of vanity top pieces or small jewelry boxes or even small candy dishes.

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I haven't had any issues trimming. They take about as long as anything else. Gifford grip makes it easy. My problem with these is I can't make them very big. Even if I start out great with enough height, when I close it off I end up pushing the walls down too so my jar gets heavy. I use a paint key for opening paint cans to make the groove. It seems to me the perfect tool.

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I believe David Orser is a master of this form.  I have three of his pieces that I absolutely covet.  I use two for salt and pepper cellars, and one for jewelry.  I went out to a studio sale at his home a few years ago and struggled to choose the few I could afford from the myriad of choices he had in stock at the time.  He was generous with his time and showed us through his studios and explained his work in process.  When this shape is done well it is ah-mazing!

http://www.cedarmountainpotters.com/Dsaltfire.html

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What do you think is the best combo of clay color VS glaze color to keep from having the waxed join be a glaring interruption in the look of the piece?  That has always kept me from being happy with the ones of these I have made.  But I think they are fun to make.

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What do you think is the best combo of clay color VS glaze color to keep from having the waxed join be a glaring interruption in the look of the piece?  That has always kept me from being happy with the ones of these I have made.  But I think they are fun to make.

 

There has to be very little contrast between the color of the clay and glaze, in my opinion. White clay/light glaze or brown clay/dark glaze.

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I don't mind the contrast in the clay.  I use a cone 6 speckled buff clay so it's not as stark a contrast as with white clay.  When I want even less of a contrast, I will paint the join area with a colored engobe like in this piece.

wave Jar

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Thanks everyone!  I am not giving up, but I am determined to stop dumping the lids after I finish trimming them.  I'm going to try pushing the channel in with the piece wetter and angling a bit as Pres said.  I know that as with anything else..practice, practice!

Happy potting!

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