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Member Since 30 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active May 09 2017 11:53 AM

#115744 Ceramic Pincushions-Everything You Need To Know To Make Them

Posted by Surubee on 05 November 2016 - 07:09 PM

Thank you Mark!  Those look like they could be fun to make. I plan to start out by trying out one for myself as a test project and see how it goes from there. 

I also need to make a present for a quilting friend - (she already has enough mugs!) - so this would be perfect!

#110855 Help! I Can't Center Anymore!

Posted by Surubee on 02 August 2016 - 12:28 AM

Hello and welcome JimO.


I had a few thoughts about this. Have you checked to see that your wheel is still level? I used to have a kick wheel but gave it up many years ago and switched to electric. If something was not level or became misaligned, it was difficult to center and keep the pots even. Have you moved the wheel recently or could the wheel shaft have somehow gotten bent? Maybe there is a screw or bolt that has gotten loose or worn out. If so, just the act of kicking the wheel could be enough to cause a little wobble to throw things off center.


I hope that your issues are just some easily fixed mechanical ones with the wheel and not complicated physical problems with your body.

Best of luck to you with this.



#96021 Black Clay

Posted by Surubee on 19 November 2015 - 11:50 AM

Black clay that you find naturally is often black because of organic matter which will burn out when fired. The color could change to something brown or red after firing. One way you can test it is by making little cones and pinch pots which you fire first to bisque temperature, and then higher if it survives. You can also make a clay ruler to test for shrinkage and another piece to test the amount of water it absorbs after firing so you will know if it is vitrified.


To protect your shelves, make sure to fire the test pieces on a piece of scrap shelf or a pad of bisqued clay with raised sides. I have seen tests of these natural clays that have totally melted at high fire temperatures, but are great at lower temperatures. If it has a low melting temperature but a nice color when fired, you may be able to use it as a base for a slip or glaze.

#94878 Hydrobat Complaint

Posted by Surubee on 27 October 2015 - 01:16 PM

If they are not helpful perhaps you can try adding a little bit of clay to the batt pins to fill in the extra space before attaching the batt. I have several hydrobats and have found some of them fit better on the bat pins than others. The extra dab of clay on the pins usually solves the problem for me.

Good luck.

#84670 Newb All Over Again...

Posted by Surubee on 31 May 2015 - 10:48 AM

If you used to be able to throw evenly, you may need only need a little bit of practice to get back to it, and You-tube is great, but it may also help to check to see if your wheel is level. If it is not, you may find it more difficult to keep things centered and even when you throw.


Have fun and good luck with it!



#70905 Lets Do The Happy Dance

Posted by Surubee on 28 November 2014 - 04:08 PM

I also drive a long distance every week (80 miles each way) to get to a pottery studio that I like. It is worth the trip because of the positive atmosphere in the studio and their ^10 gas kiln that is fired on a regular basis. 


I also have a wheel in my basement, along with a very small kiln which I use for bisque firing, but I enjoy the community environment and that makes the 2.5 to  3 hour drive worthwhile - at least for now.