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Member Since 02 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 02:55 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Used Pottery Wheels: The Good And The Bad?

Today, 08:15 AM

Over the years, I have thrown on several different wheels, including Randall motorized kicks, Amaco motorized kicks, Brent B, C, CX, CXC, CI HP, CI MP, Bailey ST and STX. All of these have been great wheels even though the throwing experience on each of them was different.

The Randalls were with the bat cups and plaster bats. Great for casseroles and other things up to 15# for me. However, I often would watch the professor throw 25+# for his large pieces. The motors on these were pretty good, with a puck that hit the side of the wheel, unlike the Amacos I threw on later that had the puck hit the bottom of the wheel. The Amacos were great, even though they took up a lot of floor real estate.

All of the other wheels either used belts, or were direct drive as the CX by Brent. The CX was really quite nice for throwing all sizes of pieces even though at times it might balk at start and stop. It may have just been a quirk of the wheel. I had a problem with the B and the MP as both of them seemed to be underpowered when it came to centering 25# or more of clay. I would throw on the MP when in the HS studio, to check out the wheels, and found that it would stop with larger amounts and my centering style. All of the other belt wheels were fine with me, as I could control quite a bit of clay, throw slow when needed, and not get any shudder when dropping down to way slow.


Buying a wheel when a beginner is tough because you really don't know what you need. Later you know what you need, but really need to try out different wheels to see what you like and what you want. Just because someone says a Stuart, or a Brent, or a Speedball, or other is what they like, we all throw differently. Best to get to a place that has wheels that you can try out a bit, either Ceramics shop, local pot shop, conference or such. If you are just starting out, and find a used deal. Look carefully to see if it is smooth running, that the wheel head has no play in it, that the controller moves freely, and that there are no frayed/damaged cords or plugs on it. If this wheel is a kick wheel check to see that the wheel turns freely without any noises-noise could mean bad bearings which usually take an arm and a leg to replace.

In Topic: Why Decorate Pots?

Yesterday, 09:22 AM

That was a long time ago Ben, I know it was over 25#, but not much more. It was thrown on a Brent C, as that is what they used at PSU at the time. It  was thrown on a 24" plywood bat. I let it sit for 3 days under plastic before trimming. It was a little heavy, but the prof(Gallas) said that it needed the weight for the curve and the size. Walls were 12" high. I haven't thrown anything that diameter since, as I don't have anywhere to fire it.


I was an oldie at PSU, a teacher of 3 years, and later starting my career.  Many of my grad classes at PSU at the time were assisted by other grad students in the MFA program. I personally was insulted that these students were trying to show me how to work. They were good at paper work, but poor at teaching. I often would give hints, or tips to other students struggling with throwing or assembling. I was often there all day, and in to the night working when most of the authorities were not around. I would always stress that there were no right or wrongs in throwing as long as certain major concepts were attained. However, I found that they asked why I would use certain finger positions when throwing, or certain techniques for opening large, and I would explain. It actually helped me prepare for more classes in the Fall, as my throwing had to continue on with the barrage of questions that these varied skills students would ask. HS kids are much less pushy with their questions, more awed.

In Topic: Used Pottery Wheels: The Good And The Bad?

30 July 2014 - 06:31 AM

Check out the strands under the FAQs here to help you with more opinions on potters wheels.




In Topic: Where Does Clay Stand In Fine Art

29 July 2014 - 01:44 PM

If a piece of pottery as mundane as a mug, bowl or plate functions very well, is comfortable to use, begs to be held or used, and is beautiful to look at, is it not art?

In Topic: Help Me Decide What To Do About A Cracked Kiln Lid

29 July 2014 - 08:19 AM

I go with Ben & Schism here. If you have a written promise to replace the lid, get it replaced. Is the crack major, repaired or unrepaired? I don't think so. However, as Ben says you never know what stresses are being put on the lid in firing and movement. The last thing you need is to have bits and pieces of lid coming down in glaze firings. The lid gets stressed from heating and cooling, movement up and down, and even the environment in the kiln room. A hairline crack might last for years, but a sudden cooling, or fast firing, or another type of accident could compromise the lid integrity whether cracked or not. However, a cracked lid will be damaged easier than not.