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elaine clapper

What Kind Of Sponge Do You Use When You Are Throwing?

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Just watched an excellent Adam Field video on throwing a tall cylinder.  It is always good to go back and be reminded of the basics. I used to do the same demo when i was teaching (but he does a much better job). I really like the sponge he used when throwing. It was thin and long enough to cover four fingers. I still use the little round sponge that comes with Kemper's beginner's tools.  His sponge is much more effective.  I am curious to know what other people use and where they were purchased.

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You know, the sponge Adam uses is packaging foam from a box of cones.

 

I use 2 different sponges. A hard medium sized, 3-4 inches, elephant ear sponge for coning up and centering. Then a softer medium sized elephant ear sponge for pulling up walls. I don't use the sponge between clay and fingers. just sort of hold in the palm. I think they both came from Archie Bray Foundation.

Edited by dhPotter

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I love the natural sponges for throwing.  I can spend an inordinate amount of time at the pottery supply store picking out exactly the right shape.  My favorite one is starting to disintegrate and I think I will suffer withdrawal when it is gone.  I have also used the sponges from the cone box.  For smoothing I like the ultra soft makeup sponges.  I have also brought the fine dishwashing sponges, cut the scrubby off and cut the sponge into the size and shape I want.

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I mainly use the cheapy, round, yellow, cellulose sponge.  I did by a Mudtools white finishing sponge, that I use for just that.  I use it to smooth the surface, when finishing up, and rounding rims, and foot rings.

 

I have a hand me down elephant ear sponge, that my Dad gave me from his ceramic days, which was in the '70s.  It's starting to wear through in a couple spots, so it doesn't get used much.

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When I use a sponge, it is a plain old small round one usually found in 3 packs at places like Michaels. I have been using these for years and have not changed. I usually do not use a sponge when throwing tall, as the extra drag of it on tall thin walls causes a corkscrew for me. My main pulling mech for this is the tips of the pointer finger inside and out.

 

 

best,

Pres

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if anyone really likes those small yellow ones, they can be bought for about $8 for a bag of 12 at the stores selling horse tack, like Southern States.

 

mine is, are, cut from a fine grained tile grout sponge from a tile installer.  i use an electric knife and cut several about 5x2 and half an inch thick, then a couple of thicker ones for cleaning up the tables, etc.  last two years or so.

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Guest JBaymore

I rarely use a sponge at all.  I throw pretty dry. mainly use slurry when throwing.  (I also take the splash pans off the wheels I use....better access to the bottom of the form for me and better for demos when students are watching.)  Occasionally pick up a sponge to get "junk" cleaned up on the occasion that needs it. 

 

Because it is only "occasional" use....... I really have no significant preference... whatever is handy.

 

I want the contact between my hands and the clay to be unaffected by anything between me and the clay whenever possible.  Sensory feedback as the work is happening. 

 

Keeping the clay dry keeps it from softening.

 

best,

 

....................john

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I use hydra sponges from e-nasco-its wholesale school supply-they have a $ minimum if I recall may be 50 or 100$

they have many teacher supplies at low cost

sponges are here.

http://www.enasco.com/action/solr/select?q=Hydra+Sponges+-+Bag+of+12

 

I cut them into chunks for waxing as well.

 

mark

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I try to avoid throwing with a sponge because it takes the slip off of the pot. I inadvertently set the sponge down and try to pull...Never ends well.

 

My favorite is a real sponge, real sponges seem to last. For my sponge on a stick, a real spongs soaks up the most water, usually getting all of the water out in one pass.

 

The synthetic O-cel-o sponges are good for smoothing a pot with a nice light texture, but they don't hold alot of water and disintegrate easily as they get older

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I like the big sponges from Home Depot or Lowe's that are used for clean up in tile work. I cut them to my desired shape and dimensions. Cheap and hold up pretty good. I hadn't even thought of using the padding from a box of cones. Thanks for the tip! I'm going to give those a try! ^_^

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I have the cheapo round yellow sponges and I got a couple of the bigger ones as well. They have been used up and are deteriorating so badly I need to replace them already. I also have the beautiful MudTools finishing sponges, but I usually only use those when trimming. 

I throw with just my hands, using the sponge only to clean out  the surface of the clay and bat before I'm done. I use lots and lots of water, I think that's why I had so much trouble the time I threw with porcelain. I'm starting to use less water when I use certain clay, though. Better results. 

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i was in downtown Capitola shopping with friends a couple of months ago and in the little nature store where they sell all kinds of sea shells and rock specimen type stuff, in between the dried star fish and sea urchin shell was a big basket of little natural sponges and they were really cheap. i don't remember how much they were charging for each one, but it was not very much, so i bought a few and they work just fine.

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I use the small round pottery sponges. I pull the pail about 1/2 inch from the

tray and stick the spong along there. It does not stay in the bucket.

Once the vessel is thrown and shaped, the bat is wiped clean, the base of the

vessel is scored ever so slightly, just enough for the wire tool to enter.

With a clean bat, you can tell at a glance from the wire tool residue

if the pot was cut off the bat. So don't use the wire tool, then clean

the bat, cause you'll miss one. And that "one" is the special gift you

were making!!! Happens every time. :)

 

See ya,

Alabama

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