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Briggs Shore

Recurring Lubrication Problem

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Sorry about the suggestive thread title.

 

I'm just getting back into the studio after a year's absence and an old problem is still happening.  I'm having trouble keeping my clay slippery when I pull it up.  I don't know if it's the body I'm using (Frost) or if I'm doing something wrong, but as I begin to pull up my fingers start to drag before I'm halfway.  I usually stop, sponge, and re-start … but I know it should be possible to pull a full pass without re-wetting the clay.  Any thoughts or tips?

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You may try one of these two possible solutions: throw with slurry instead of straight water, it will hold moisture on your hands and the clay more, then rib the pot, or try adding a tablespoon of hand lotion to the water-see what that does.

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havnt managed to work out how to hold a sponge and work my hand like i need to pull up clay. I moved to useing slip which has a tendancy to ride along with my fingertips

 

larger clay lumps (3-5+) lbs i throw with much less lube as the clay will take much more torque as its much thicker for the initial pulls

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Wow, guys, thanks for all the quick replies!  I'll try some out.  I'm not sure how I'd hold the sponge, though.  It's the exterior of the pot that I have the problem with.  Might have to try different angles and such.  Thanks again.

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A production potter I know actually uses the sponge itself (braced by his knuckle or finger behind it, obviously) to do the first pull on the outside of the pot. Might be easier than trying to figure out how to hold it so that your hand is still touching.

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Wow, guys, thanks for all the quick replies!  I'll try some out.  I'm not sure how I'd hold the sponge, though.  It's the exterior of the pot that I have the problem with.  Might have to try different angles and such.  Thanks again.

Yeah, I've never got the hang of holding a sponge while I work. I normally use the slurry to wet the pot for pulling.

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I too, have recently returned to potting after a long absence, and had the same problem. When centering, use the base of the hands to apply pressure to the clay, while holding the upper part of the left hand slightly away from the clay so that the slurry collects in the space and pre-lubricates the clay before it reaches the heel of the hand. Before each pull, spread slip all over both inside and outside surfaces. When pulling up, it is necessary to keep your hands moving up, so that you don't go over the same clay for more than one rotation of the wheel. 

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I use a sponge, also.  If it is too large, cut it down to a comfortable size.  My "goto" sponge is roughly 1/2 it original size and cut to comfortably fit my hand when throwing.  I'll admit, it wasn't by design I just kept cutting off the worn out areas.   I have 3 different sponges in my bucket, each has a specific purpose.

 

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I learned right in the beginning to use the sponge, and then when I started throwing larger 25+" I broke myself of the habit while making the last two or three pulls. Most of the time these days when throwing off of the hump, or other smaller pieces I usually forgo the sponge using just water. I do use the sponge when throwing mugs and smaller jars, as I like to keep the clay damp for later decorating with a rib.

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i use the sponge, but the sponge is not between my fingers and the clay. Just hold the sponge with your thumb and pull with your fingers.

Interesting Neil. Because using a sponge is great, because it allows your fingers to glide along the clay, but I don't consistently do so, because I can't feel the clay, through the sponge. This would solve that. I'll have to give it a shot.

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