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Wayne H.

Adding handle to cup

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I would like to know what the procedure is for adding a handle to bone dry stoneware. I hope someone can help me out if it can be done.

                                              Thank you, Wayne H.


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Hi Wayne,

I'd call it a tumbler, then throw another mug!


That said, have had limited success rewetting greenware - mist by spraybottle, repeat, repeat, repeat + store in dampbox next to saturated sponge, etc. ...until reverted to cheesehard w/o turning any edges to mush, aye, that's the rub. 

I'm curious what the regular forum-ites hav't' say.

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I have had success attaching two bone dry pieces together with moist paper clay paste made by adding vinegar to paper pulp and the same clay body as the parts being joined.  

The steps I follow are: 
"spot wet" the joining area (I use a brush to apply the water)
when the shine of the added moisture is about to disappear, add the paper clay paste to both pieces and  compress  and clean up the joint.  
position the pieces so that gravity is works in your favor, not against you.  
My success rate has been about 4 out of 5

so there must also be the unknown factor related to  what I had for breakfast three weeks prior to the joining attempt :)

If I were to try to add a handle,  I would make the handle,  let it dry to the point where the handle no longer shrinks and then attach the handle. 

the success will depend on the design of the cup and handle plus the shrinkage stresses that develop after the joint has been made.  I have never had success attaching a wet handle to a piece of bone dry clay -- with the exception of all the parts being paper clay. 


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16 hours ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

If it's any consolation, I botched it and let 5 teacups get too dry last week. They will now be called dessert bowls! There's no need to let anyone know it wasn't on purpose.

That's called "Bob Rossing it".  No mistakes, just happy accidents...

In regards to attaching the handle, why not just wet the entire piece back down?  Wrap the ware in some damp paper towels, and cover with a bag.  Continue to rewet and recover the piece, until it is leatherhard.  It takes a day or two, but it's effective. 

I tell students, to never attach things at bone dry.  Some try, and think they got away with something for a while.  Until the dry clay sucks all the moisture out of the slip, the attached piece cracks, and falls off.

With that said, I have done repairs, at bone dry, right before loading things into the kiln.  I use a combination of magic water, and a deflocculated slip, that's be saturated with clay, so it shrinks way less than a normal slip.  I only do this to items, that generally won't ever have to carry any weight.  I have done a couple knobs, on slab boxes, and they turned out OK.  But for a handle that will potentially hold up a vessel filled with liquid, NOPE!

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