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Tall Things


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Sorry, I should have warned you guys that I ask lots of questions while learning something new. And BTW, I threw today, with all the advice from my other question, and I have to say, starting again with a focus on centering, really seemed to help. The end result was less lumpy at the rim (although still a trace, but as with any new person, I blame that on myself), and more sound, and solid.

 

 

My question this time though, is about height/length. Up to now most of my stuff has been at highest 6-8". I've tried for higher, but it flopped, because the walls got too thin, or it pulled apart, because while pulling it just tore off. I guess my question is..how much clay should I start out with, to make taller pieces? How thick do the walls need to be, to be structurally sound, or does it vary with height (the higher it goes, the thicker the wall needs to be)? Is there a uniform thickness that applies to all pices, big, small, short, or tall? I guess I should get a scale LOL.

 

 

I try to go higher all the time, but after a point, when the clay doesn't seem to want to go any higher, I get fearful of trying to force it to do so, so I just work in my usual height range.

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here is a good exercise for learning to throw taller cylinders. Wedge up ten two pound lumps of clay. Assignment is to throw ten inch cylinders from two pound lumps. Cut each one in half top to bottom. Wedge them up and start your working day. do this every day for a while. Add a few drops of vinegar into your throwing water just for an added kick.

see how your height improves after a month.

marcia

Ps

When throwing taller pieces use your index finger knuckle on the outside to lift from the bottom up. keep the inside and outside sponged wet but not sloppy wet. The drier you can throw, the thinner and taller you can go.

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When throwing larger work one need a good body with legs-the right clay body will make a huge difference.

Not sure what your body is so I cannot advise on yours but generally a stone ware body with sand or grog will throw much taller than say a porcelain body

Throwing taller also takes time to master skills so be patient.

Mark

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I think you would be best served by aiming for consistency in size (using the same weight in clay). Work with one pound objects, they fit most hands well and make good sized mugs. Try to make them the same diameter and height and bottom thickness. If your bottom is a good thickness, then when you begin your lift better and you will have fewer problems. Also, take your finger and move it down the lower side of the pot, with your fingernail down, and trim away any excess before you lift. Then, when you lift, don't try to pinch the clay and lift it. Instead, get your outside finger under your inside finger a little, and lift. Mastering this will increase speed and control. The why of mastering control is obvious, but speed helps by keeping the clay's exposure to water down. Don't make multiple lifts, do one to get the clay up off the bat, one to even the thickness out, and a third to lift it up. Let that be. You will get more out of those three lifts when you get better.

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Use hard clay. If you buy commercial clay never use the stuff right out of the bag because it is usually way too wet. Dry it out first then wedge it up. Obviously, you don't want to use clay that is so hard that it takes so much water to center that you end up with clay wetter than it was before you dried it out. Later you may want to use sloppy clay for some esthetic reason, but when learning, the harder the clay you can throw without using more water to center, the better.

 

Jim

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Marcia's technique will serve you well ... it's boring and it kills you to cut them in half, especially when they get better ... but the lessons you learn by looking at each wall and bottom to see where you are throwing thick and thin will tell you more about your progress than anything else. As she says, do it for a month ... take a picture of a cut cylinder now and another picture in mid August so you can see how far you've come. Have fun too!!

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Marcia's technique will serve you well ... it's boring and it kills you to cut them in half, especially when they get better ... but the lessons you learn by looking at each wall and bottom to see where you are throwing thick and thin will tell you more about your progress than anything else. As she says, do it for a month ... take a picture of a cut cylinder now and another picture in mid August so you can see how far you've come. Have fun too!!

 

 

 

Ya I'm going to give that a try. It seems like a sound technique builder. And i always have to remind myself that it's all about having fun doing it. Often times my OCD kicks in and I obssess about details and technique, that I forget to have fun.

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Marcia's technique will serve you well ... it's boring and it kills you to cut them in half, especially when they get better ... but the lessons you learn by looking at each wall and bottom to see where you are throwing thick and thin will tell you more about your progress than anything else. As she says, do it for a month ... take a picture of a cut cylinder now and another picture in mid August so you can see how far you've come. Have fun too!!

 

 

 

Ya I'm going to give that a try. It seems like a sound technique builder. And i always have to remind myself that it's all about having fun doing it. Often times my OCD kicks in and I obssess about details and technique, that I forget to have fun.

 

 

Yes the two pound 10 inch rule will work well. Sometimes when I was teaching I upped it to 3lbs. This was based on the size of the students hands. Some men, can not throw that tall an object narrow enough with 2lbs. You will also find that there are many techniques for throwing on the outside. I myself use the index finger tip supported by the thumb and second finger placed at the first joint. I found that the arthritis in the fingers was worse with Macia's technique. I guess some of us get more visits from Arthur as we get older.

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