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Member Since 10 Nov 2012
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#120148 Can Tall Teapots Like These Be Handbuilt? These Are Extruded

Posted by JohnnyK on 08 January 2017 - 11:04 AM

Hi again! So I'm up to the spout! I imagine I need to handbuild the spout, as how could such a tall and narrow spout be thrown? And I dont have an extruder die that puts out a narrow and hollow tube. Thanks!

You might try this, Nancy...

Get a dowel stick or other rod the diameter of the inside of your spout and wrap a couple of times with newspaper. DON"T tape the newspaper to the rod, but do tape the outside to itself just to hold it together. You should be able to slide the paper a little on the rod. Roll out a slab to the thickness and length of the spout, then wrap the clay around the dowel, joining it to make the tube that will become the spout. Practice a little so you can get the spout looking like you want. After the clay is a soft leather hard and you can handle it without breaking it, pull the rod through the tube and out. The paper will stay inside the clay tube you have made, but you don't have to worry about that now. When the clay dries, you will be able to pull the paper out. What doesn't come out will burn off in the firing.

I used this method to make stems for some yard-art mushrooms and it worked well.
‚ÄčThe left over spouts, if you have any, you can dry and fire and make wind chimes with them. :) 


An alternative to this method would be to go to an auto supply store and buy an oil funnel which is long and tapered and use it to wrap your slabs around.


#119588 Can Tall Teapots Like These Be Handbuilt? These Are Extruded

Posted by JohnnyK on 01 January 2017 - 11:43 AM

But i don't have an extruder. Am thinking of buying one, but don't know if I'd find enough to make to make it worth it.
BTW, I am not good at throwing and I'm finding handbuilding quite challenging, so extruding may help my pottery life.


You might check into a book on extruding to get an idea of what you can do with the tool. If it is inspiring enough, get an extruder that will enable you to do what you want and have at it. My feeling is that if there is something that will help you achieve what you strive for and you can afford it, go for it!


#118941 Trimming Newbie: Securing The Pot Without Damaging It?

Posted by JohnnyK on 22 December 2016 - 10:33 AM

Kraythe do you have a basic clay book. like Hands in Clay. there is another basic book which is a good tool to have. it works through all the stuff you need to know. dont go for anything fancy. just go for the basic how to book. that will be a good substitute for classes.


while youtube is great, its not great for basics or super advanced. they assume you know basic things.


here is my advice to you. that i found true to my experience. i attend a community college but a lot of times i'm on my own figuring things out. so just coz you go to class doesnt mean you get all the answers either. ultimately i feel if you have a passion for clay - it doesnt matter if you are a production potter or hobby potter. you love making pots. and the key advantage that you have kraythe is you can go to your wheel anytime you are able to. you dont have to wait for a studio to be open. and here is i think one of the biggest reasons why i have settled on clay. you have to figure out through experience. no one can teach you what is wet leather hard or what is dry leather hard or what is just right leather hard. i discovered when i put my pot out to dry in the hot sun that whilst the outside will dry the inside still stays wet making it difficult for trimming.


when you watch videos on youtube look closely. how exactly are they holding their trimming instruement. are you also getting ribbons of clay like they are? if not why not. sometimes people come along whose advice exponentially has an impact on your work. like when my proff pointed out i was holding my trimming tool wrong. 


a lot of things i learnt was just by feel. and just doing it. i recall my very first clay proff telling me i would know if the pot was too heavy. it made me so mad. my first clay class and i am supposed to know how heavy a pot should be? but i learnt a lot from that proff. i really learnt how to trust my instincts after i had followed the rules for a while and i was automatically following the basic rules without thinking. 


for a site like this it really helps to include your location. not just for availability of materials but also seasonal nuances. be as vague or as precise you want to be. 

I had also taken Ceramics 1 & 2 at another local Community college. While it helped a lot in my journey through the mud, it was comparable to a very basic road map without the side roads. While I felt that the instruction on glazing was minimal, when I had queried my prof about additional glazing info, she suggested that I take some seminars outside of the school environment or read some books...

#118939 Help!

Posted by JohnnyK on 22 December 2016 - 10:20 AM

Put a photo of it in a Christmas card and tell them you'll make them a new one after the holidays.


#118826 Trimming Newbie: Securing The Pot Without Damaging It?

Posted by JohnnyK on 21 December 2016 - 10:27 AM

That container is called a "Damp Box". What I've done is take the large plastic sealable container, mix a batch of potter's plaster that will fill the bottom of the container to about 1 1/2" and let it set up or harden. Once it hardens (which is a chemical reaction, not a "drying" time), it is ready to use. As long as you keep the lid secure the box will keep your pots damp for as long as you want. I am currently running an experiment in my damp box with a pot I made more than 3 years ago. I add about a cup of water every 3 to 6 months to keep the moisture level up. The pot is still in the leather hard stage.

With this set-up, you should be able to time the drying to suit your schedule. Best of luck.


#118603 Beginner Clay Questions

Posted by JohnnyK on 17 December 2016 - 02:17 PM


I had plenty of problems centering until I tried centering blind. Once I got the clay onto the wheel and tapped it close to center, I closed my eyes and concentrated on the feel of the clay in my hands. It didn't take too long to get the wobble out and feel the smooth rotation of the clay in my hands. Night  before last I went out to my studio and threw 3 pots and each one I centered almost immediately with open eyes. Give the "blind centering" a shot the next time you throw.


#118260 Taken All Your Advice...6 Months On

Posted by JohnnyK on 11 December 2016 - 12:01 PM

Interesting subject matter...nice execution!


#117673 Silicone Caulking Cure Time?

Posted by JohnnyK on 02 December 2016 - 10:44 AM

When you talk about bearings, Min, do you mean "lazy susan" types or individual ball bearings? Lazy susan types can probably adhered with "Liquid Nails" for construction. Individual balls can be done with 5 second Lazer Bond. You have to be able to see the Lazer Bond adhesive to cure it properly with the UV light.

Do NOT use Loctite construction adhesive...it does not set up as quickly and strongly as they claim. When you say the application won't be open to the air, how is it being installed? Can you post some pix of the layout?


  • Min likes this

#117292 The Price Of Art

Posted by JohnnyK on 27 November 2016 - 11:57 AM

The value of art is in the eye of the purchaser...

Your comment is reminiscent of an email I had gotten regarding a world famous violinist playing a world famous tune on a world famous $2M Stradivarius on a subway platform in NYC and the majority of people in the station ignored him to the horror of some pointy head critics who thought their (the passers-by) reaction was blasphemous when just a few folks put a few dollars in his collection plate.

#116969 Qotw: Do You Need A "symbol"?

Posted by JohnnyK on 23 November 2016 - 10:14 AM

My studio has a porch light and whenever I enter the studio, I turn on the light to let anyone interested know that I am in the studio. (kinda like the "On The Air" signs above recording studio doors...maybe I'll make one that says "In the MUD" :D 


#116474 Centering Kiln On Stand

Posted by JohnnyK on 16 November 2016 - 11:51 AM

1/2"....Seriously, Stephen, I thing you should get out your laser level and centering tool to make sure that sucker is dead on and if you live in earthquake country, you should bolt the stand to the floor and to the bottom of the kiln because we wouldn't want the kiln to walk off the stand in a 7.0 temblor, and the same would apply if you live near the coast in the event of a tsunami, and if you live in tornado country....well...you get the idea....live with the 1/2 inch <_< 

#115644 Feeding Your Gallery-Keep The Bowl Full For Best Results

Posted by JohnnyK on 04 November 2016 - 09:05 AM

Cute cat. I get to live with this guy every day...

Attached Files

#115642 Best Approach To Obtain Solid Blocks

Posted by JohnnyK on 04 November 2016 - 08:58 AM

What is your planned use for the blocks? Are you looking for the weight or shape?

#115277 Help With A Glazing Process?

Posted by JohnnyK on 28 October 2016 - 09:34 AM

How about bisque firing the carved tile and then glazing with the matte and then firing to maturity?


#113115 A Little Gift

Posted by JohnnyK on 14 September 2016 - 09:39 AM

Good score, Lee!

For those of you who don't have such a generous dentist or live with a hygienist. you can go to Harbor Freight and get a 5 piece set for $3.49. Go to: http://www.harborfre...?q=dental tools.  I've had my set for about 15 years and used them for all kinds of things in my remodeling business. Now they reside in my clay tool box and come out every now and then. :)