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Does A Really Nice Large Bowl Need A Foot Ring To Be Really Nice?

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When you are working larger, say the 15"-18" wide bowl, will you always leave enough clay at the bottom to do a nice foot ring?  What is the least depth that you think is appropriate for a piece that will be priced in the $75-$125  range? Is a deeper foot ring considered a better treatment for a pricier piece, or is a well done, shallow foot just deep enough to keep the bottom off the kiln shelf but not deep enough to be glazed in the center bottom good enough?

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I have a personal preference for glazed bottoms (except the footring of course).  To me, this gives a much nicer finished look and makes it a more valuable piece and a piece for which I am willing to pay more ..  I also find that over time and much use a flat unglazed foot will accumulate stains and makes the foot look dirty. This is especially apparent with a white or pale clay body. 

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Clay Lover,

 

      This might be a chance to find out by making both kinds and see which sells.  I'd probably charge $10. - $15.

more for the footring, since there is the risk of distorting the rim or even causing rim cracks on a large vessel.

Make several identical vessels and half with a foot ring, and test the market, and listen for remarks at craftshows.

 

Alabama

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I make just such a bowl as you describe. I always leave enough clay for a really good foot and trim away the bottom for a good glazed bottom with a nice solid foot ring.

Every form will dictate what looks best  foot wise but I like my bottoms glazed on most forms.

Just add a few pounds to the ball and then you will have enough to leave for a good foot.

Mark

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On wide bowls, I leave a foot ring amount of clay. I have found that my feet gather water in the dishwasher, so I have come to put small drain holes in the foot ring so they drain. A bowl may be done without the ring, but the bottom should be  wide and flat with defined edge so that it does not tip easily. If you have a tendency to make spinners, a bowl will be difficult to use without tipping over.

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OK, another Q.  How much clay do you leave in the bottom center when opening the ball?  I have a bowl I am trimming today that has a full inch of clay at the center and , of course, more at the sides of the rounded bottom.  To have enough clearance to glaze the center bottom, how much clay do you leave when opening?  How tall do you leave the center to have that clearance?   

Terra, to glaze the entire center, where do you sign the bowl?  My glazes cover up ,obliterate the signature. 

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I trim a center nubben which is just below foot ring height where I sign my name. I wax this small solid circle so glaze does not get on it. You can view this on a dinnerplate bottom  in right hand photo as its the same as a bowl -I have done this since the 70's.

here is the link

http://themarksproject.org/marks/cortright

 

one last note-most folks do not leave enough clay on bottoms to trim a nice foot-that is a very common mistake and one that is an easy fix.You can always trim off excess but not having enought is next to impossible to fix.

Mark

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clay lover-I do not measure  or poke needle tools in bottoms to guage-after a few years you just learn what feels right.

When trimming you can feel how thick it is before you flip it-I make a mark with my finger nail where I want to trim more if I'm distracted while trimming-like aphone call or talking story.

Its another skill set that comes with lots of wheel time.

Mark

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Mark - Once again a brilliant idea! I like the shallow nubbin for your signature I have been struggling with just such an issue on some pieces that I glaze the bottom of making it impossible for the signature stamp to be seen.

 

Thanks a million for sharing all you do on this forum.

 

T

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Robin Teas showed me the secret once to making a deep enough footring for a bowl.  start not with a lumpy hill centered on your bat, start with a doorknob shape instead.  that way you are pulling up clay above the bat surface every time you make a pull.  the stuff left  makes the footring.  

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Thanks, Ray, I think it is, also, but was wondering how popular that thought was. :)

I'm not having any trouble doing the very carefully, detailed foot ring, but I don't always want to put that much work into every piece.  I, too, leave the center burnished, signed and waxed and the space between that and the actual foot gets glazed.  

Mark, I also mark the section to be trimmed away with a fingernail, deep enough that when the nail impression is trimmed away, it 's close to finished.  Then I tap to sound and trim until the sound is the same at the base as it is out near the rim.  Thanks for all your thoughts on this.  I feel the bottom of a pot is as important as the top . 

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