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nancylee

Trying To Figure Out How To Measure Hand-Built Top Before Curving

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Morning,

So say I have a pot I want a lid for and I want to cut out and hand build that lid. A simple lid, nothing fancy. And I want to put a round, normal curve in that lid.  Once I cut out the lid, I can simply put the slab over an object like a bowl to get the curve, but how do I know how large to cut that lid before curving it?  Am I making any sense? Cutting to size when flat wouldn't work, cause it will be more narrow when it has a curve in it. Yes?

 

This is probably ridiculously simple and I'll be really embarrassed that I couldn't figure this out, but I've been trying to figure this out for a few days and I'm stumped.

 

Signed,

Stumped Nancy

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Off the top of my head, (for a first attempt) - I'd make a flat template of the correct size, make the lid oversize and cut the lid to the template size when it's dried a little. Use the template under the lid.

 

.......or (probably better) make a template with a hole at the centre of the correct dimension for the finished lid, make the lid oversize and slip the template over the top to trim when dry enough.

 

 

3rd idea. make a hump mould the right size for the lid.

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Thanks, ayjay! So I could do it with cardboard, right? And just give it the approximate bend I will have? 

 

I'm not sure that that's how I'm seeing it.

 

I'd make the lid too large and then trim it down.

 

Roll out clay, put over bowl.

 

Make a flat cardboard template, cut a hole at the centre which is the finished size of the lid, put over bowl (and clay) and trim lid to size.

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Don't forget that the lid will shrink, so if it's not the same moisture content as the pot, it could end up too small.  I had to make a new lid for a butter dish, and the third one finally fit reasonable OK.

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There is an easier way to do this. Roll out a slab a bit larger than the mouth of the pot. Place a strip of very thin dry cleaners plastic over the rim of the pot. If the pot has a gallery skip that step and just dust with cornstarch/cornflour. Now take your slab and place in on the pot. Gently press down the slab in the middle and working outwards to make an upside down dome, sponge works well. Roughly cut the excess clay off the outside of the slab so the weight of it doesn't pull up the slab. Leave the slab on the pot until it stiffens up then remove it and finish the edge. There will be a mark on the lid from where the top of the pot or gallery was, use that as your line to work from. Also, make registration marks as the pot likely isn't symmetrical. I used to make oval pots / lids like this, it works.

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There is an easier way to do this. Roll out a slab a bit larger than the mouth of the pot. Place a strip of very thin dry cleaners plastic over the rim of the pot. If the pot has a gallery skip that step and just dust with cornstarch/cornflour. Now take your slab and place in on the pot. Gently press down the slab in the middle and working outwards to make an upside down dome, sponge works well. Roughly cut the excess clay off the outside of the slab so the weight of it doesn't pull up the slab. Leave the slab on the pot until it stiffens up then remove it and finish the edge. There will be a mark on the lid from where the top of the pot or gallery was, use that as your line to work from. Also, make registration marks as the pot likely isn't symmetrical. I used to make oval pots / lids like this, it works.

Awesome!! So really make the pot lid upside down?? Very ingenuous!! Thank you,

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Awesome!! So really make the pot lid upside down?? Very ingenuous!! Thank you,

 

 

Yes, make the lid upside down. I don't get the credit for being ingenious though, I learned this from someone else and am just passing it on. Like all things ceramics, it has been done before  :)

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I don't see why you couldn't use Mark Peters' "drop lid" technique on a hand built lid.  Check it out on utube.  You make the lid the correct size, lay it over a hump mold and drop the mold, creating the curve to the lid.  I think it's so cool that the lid doesn't get smaller, but remains the correct size.

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I generally just lurk, but Min, you just changed my life. 

 

nancylee, the ridiculously simple is often the most elusive solution IMHE. Pottery is often about unearthing the should-be-obvious from the deep shadows in which it lurks, for me, anyway. Always grateful to this forum.

 

Thanks!

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