Jump to content

Cracking handles


Recommended Posts

I am delighted to have my own home pottery studio this year and am making great strides!  My problem is handles cracking!  Here are my steps to avoid cracking::

I pull (vs extrude) handles -> allow to dry just enough to handle -> shape similar to  how it will be attached and let dry a bit more -> attach to body which is just dry enough to trim  -> paint entire handle with wax resist -> enclose with plastic on a damp shelf - upside down - for several days… and I STILL lose multiple handles to cracking!  Not at the join but mid-handle.  What am I doing wrong?!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your handles have lost plasticity due to the drying you are doing. When your pots shrink, the pot shrinks more than the handle but the handle has already mostly dried. I would imagine the cracks are in the same place at the arch of the curve? Try putting the handles on right after trimming the pot, join them with slip or magic water, reinforce join, use you damp finger to pull/shape the handle and set aside for the next one. When done cover all with plastic over bat and then let dry. All IMHO

 

best,

Pres

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks - 

I am using a brown speckled stoneware.  

I understand body and handle should be as close as possible to same moisture content and slow drying is critical.  But body needs to be dry enough to trim and handles dry enough to physically handle w/o destroying surface and also be able to  somewhat hold desired shape…  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pre-drying the handles before attaching might be the cause. You end up re-manipulating the curve(s) to match the pot, which can stress the handle right where you rebend it. Try attaching and forming them when the clay is less firm, you’ll become accustomed to shaping the clay without deforming it. Drying upside down allows gravity to help  the handle keep the shape and retards the drying of the piece. Covering with plastic is good if there are drafts. Not sure waxing is needed. 

Edited by Rae Reich
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Waxing the entire handle ? I wouldn’t do that. They’re cracking mid handle, which suggests your attachments are solid. Like Bill said, a photo makes less guesswork for people who want to help.

Extruded handles may have some “memory” issues that could be eliminated when you shape them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, HoneyBee Pottery said:

Thanks guys.  Technology confounding me once again.  I tried to share photo and  informed file was too big.  Gotta figure out that hurdle now… :(

 

What are you using to take the pix? Phone (what type: Android or iPhone) or camera? Do you have photo software? I'm guessing, no...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.