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Those of you who throw with porcelain ....

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Throw with little water to reduce flopping. Avoid making thick/thin areas. When it starts going ‘off’, you’ve probably lost it, so be attentive to tiny corrections. Never leave water in the bottom.

Artificial drying must be done very carefully since differences inside-to-out will make further throwing uneven. Better to use the rib to scrape wet surfaces up, I think, than a sponge. 

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@Rae Reich I'm a super dry thrower - I often leave NO water at all in the splash pan.  In fact of late I prefer not to use a splash pan at all except for trimming - because without it, trimmings fly all over the place.  Otherwise the splash pan just gets in my way.  I really am the driest thrower I've ever seen, to the point where I have to kind of check myself and use MORE water than I'm first inclined to use.

I also usually only use sponges to move water, either in or out.  Lots of people seem to throw with sponges in their hand - I'm not one of them.  And I've gotten MUCH better at having even walls, something I struggled with until we got these new clay bodies and I could stop using the perpetually short studio clay body they make here.

However I still feel like I'm pretty slow.  Maybe that's part of it.  Also the form I've been favoring for awhile now is a flared out shallow bowl with very straight sides.  It's pretty gravity defying to start with.  However however I am also struggling with vase shapes in the 3 to 4 lb range.  

Possibly I also need to experience some success with these forms in another clay body as I've made a medium sized bowl as described in one of the new stonewares at the studio (but I only had a bowl sized sample of that available).  I keep hoping the new stonewares will arrive soon, so far it is always "next week".  This week's next week hasn't happened yet either LOL!

I'm faster now but it isn't anything I would actually call "fast" - I am not doing a John Britt 6 bowls in 3 minutes thing by a long shot.  So possibly I've just got my hands on the clay too long, still.

Frankly I was shocked I could throw in porcelain at all, given how I've struggled with the studio clay over the past 2 or 3 years.  I about gave up hope.

I've seen people on youtube using heat guns on porcelain forms in the size range I'm attempting.  I'm really not a heat gun fan but thought maybe I was being too intransigent on this issue in the case of porcelain.  I'll keep trying - sans heat guns.


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@Pyewackette, seems like you’re doing most things that I would advise. One more thing, though - speed. You are indicating that you want to throw your porcelain forms faster. That’s something to work on after you have successfully produced the forms consistently.

Struggling with the reclaim probably has made you a better thrower. When I started throwing I spent a summer on a Lockerbie kickwheel with earthenware. That’s when I learned my most useful throwing skill - matching my movements to the speed of the wheel.

When past the raising stage, in order to get the most from my energy spent kicking up that wheel, I began moving more slowly as the momentum of the kick slowed. I found I had much more control over the shapes and they distorted less from excess torque.

Electric wheels encourage us to go fast. Students often don’t learn to ease up on the pedal as the shape is refined. The kickwheel teaches that by its nature. A smoothly working foot pedal can allow the thrower the same control, it just takes more attention. 

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Words from mages: Fewer pulls, Tend your pulls towards the the final shape. Be aware of the architecture of an arch, how it supports what’s beneath. As little fussing as possible. Work dry as you can. Good luck.. Heat guns are aggressive. Takes some finesse to not crack things. 

Embrace trimming. 

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