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Member Since 21 Oct 2011
Offline Last Active Apr 18 2014 07:34 AM

Topics I've Started

Bat shopping for a Speedball...

24 March 2012 - 09:25 AM

Good morning!

As of late, I find myself anxiously awaiting little bowls from the two bats I have in
order to make more. Though I am new to pottery, I prefer to leave projects on the plastic
bats until they are dry enough to move elsewhere to finish drying.

Last night I was shopping online for additional bats for my Speedball wheel, and
came across several sites with various types. I haven't forgotten Ebay and Amazon,
but the prices seem a tad high.

I don't have enough experience to try out new things just yet, so I'm sticking to
the plastic bats. Could anyone suggest a good site for purchase of additional bats?

It seems the great prices are tarnished by high shipping charges. Several sites offer
savings for purchase of six, which would be fine, though at this point I don't need
too many.

*Update* Found some interesting reading!

BAT WHEEL TIPS - From BigCeramicStore.com

Many thanks for any suggestions.

Karen :)

Wiring off the wheel...

04 March 2012 - 08:58 AM

As a complete newbie to the wheel, I've been practicing wiring off the wheel once
a sample project is finished. I noticed the bottoms of the items were rough and rugged,
so I assumed this would later be cleaned up during trimming.

However, last night I moved the wheel into my husband's room, made a small bowl, and
simply left it on the wheel. This morning, I gently touched it, and it just lifted
right off the wheel with the most beautiful flat bottom, not sticking at all.

Necessary to mention is the fact that there is a wood burning stove in the room. I moved
the pot to the living room, which is quite large, and not heated, where the other items
I've made are slowly drying.

My question pertains to wiring off. Is this always necessary? I would imagine the size of
the project would come into play. Perhaps since my items are so small, they would indeed
not require wiring off. Or in other words, does one wire off to take back possession of
the bat? Unless one was short of bats, why would you not simply allow the item to dry on
the bat without wiring off? I realize I've asked the same question in different manners. ;)

Please know that I'm new, and simply trying to understand the exact purpose of wiring off.

Many thanks for any replies.

First time on a wheel...

29 February 2012 - 09:15 PM

Tonight, I took the pottery wheel for a spin. The very first one! :)

The first thing I noticed was that the wheel spins counter-clockwise. Is this standard?
For some reason, my brain was having difficulty with this. I am right handed. I just found
it odd.

Well, it took a few tries to get the clay anywhere near what I would call the middle, as
I could see it had a slight wobble. Slowly and carefully, I made a very small, shallow bowl.
Just as hubby came by to see it, I looked up at him, and in the process, stuck my finger
in the side of it. It was pretty good, if I do say so myself. :P

So, I wadded the clay up, made something else and while pressing on it, POP! An air bubble.
Not good. I made a few other things, but since this was a practice session (as they will be for
some time) I did not save anything. I think I'm getting the clay too wet. When this happens, should
I just allow the wheel to spin for a bit to give the clay some air?

Though I started out with a good size chunk of clay, before it was all said and done, I had nothing but
a giant worm left afterward.

What I've learned thus far -
  • Trim your nails. Ha ha!
  • Don't leave the bat pins on if you aren't using a wheel bat. They are in the way.
  • More clean water.
Silly questions thus far -
  • Let's say I made something I decided to keep. Must I wire it off the wheel and onto a drying bat immediately,
or should it be allowed to sit a bit so as not to cave in while trying to remove it?

Many thanks!

Take a deep breath, Fed Ex is here!

27 February 2012 - 08:42 PM

Though I have longed to make pottery for years, I never dreamed I would own a wheel.
After a few disappointing views of wheels on internet sale boards, hubby and I agreed it
would be a good thing to order a new one.

Okay, maybe next year. Maybe the next one. Maybe at tax time. Maybe after I save up
enough points on our spending card. So what finally did it? A really bad day at work.

Last week, the straw and the camel came into play. I bit my tongue, took my lunch break
and came back with a new attitude. It was either give my two weeks' notice, or find a
reason to keep my job. Obviously a great idea, as I no sooner ordered the wheel, and was
diagnosed as on the verge of pneumonia. Health benefits - the bright side of one's job.

Unfortunately, it arrived this morning, my third day of practically living sick in bed. I found
my way to the kitchen in time to watch the delivery man carefully place it on the porch, then
knock on the door and hurry out the gate before our three ankle-biters reached the pet door.
He didn't throw it over the fence like the recent flat-screen television news story. Phew!

Too tired to move it indoors, I had to wait until hubby arrived home to get it in the house and
set up. My heart hasn't stopped pounding, I am on a cloud! I've watched the video that came
with the wheel, and am so excited to start my first project, which may have to wait until this
weekend if I feel half human enough to go to work tomorrow.

Not to go too small or too large, I chose the 1/2 HP Speedball Clay Boss. This has inspired hubby
to get his wood lathe out of the shop and get busy with me. It won't take long, and our friends
and families will soon know what every gift from here on out will be. "Oh, look, a clay bowl." and
"Oh, look, a wooden bowl."

Here I go...

Whooo hooooo!

Posted Image

Empty Bowls Project...

01 November 2011 - 07:13 PM

Ever since I learned about the Empty Bowls Project for charity, I have
been so excited at the thought of working with clay enough to develop
the ability to make a few bowls for the event in our area next year.

Have any of you participated in this wonderful event? Please share your
experiences, and perhaps a photo of the bowls you shared, or intend to

I hope I'm not cross-posting, I couldn't find anything in the search section.

Be sure to check the calendar for upcoming events, perhaps in your area.