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I. HAET. TRIMMING.

 

Seriously. It kills my back and OMG SO MUCH BORING.

 

What do you guys think about it? Is it a love-it-or-hate-it kinda thing? I just love throwing... mmmm, mud... but, then I ignore my pieces for days because I hate trimming so much. :D

 

Handles ain't so great, either, haha!

 

I need to hire a trimming monkey.

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Trimming is my favorite part! It's much easier than throwing and if the clay is not too dry and not too wet, it is super fast. Also trimming is when you give the definite shape to your piece so it is important not to screw everything up. I just love how the form appear from the clumsy original thrown shape!

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I think my problem is that I really don't care so much about the subtle nuances of form as I do about the surface, so trimming is a step that kind of wedges itself between my thrown pieces and my decorative process. I always just trim the same foot over and over, because I want to get those pieces dried and decorated, haha! I mean, don't get me wrong; I am nice to the feet. I make them all pretty and smooth with a rib and stuff, and compress the bottom, too.

 

I JES HAET IT

 

Oh, also, what are your opinions on chattering? Am I a bad rodent because I love it when that happens? :D Pretty swirlies!

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Find the zen of it.  You know zoning out?  Try zoning in.  Don't think about what you'd rather be doing or what you should be doing, just focus on the spinning piece and try to do it justice.  

 

No thinking, just trimming.  It's a very addictive form of meditation.  I love the whole process of making a pot, but, as others have said, trimming's where the magic happens and you can elevate the form to its highest level.

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I agree with Judith B, I love to trim. Something about trying to catch the clay right at that perfect dryness where the clay flies from the tool in long ribbons. Trance-like, at least that's my excuse when I trim through the bottom. I was hypnotized. Honest!

 

Chattering? Not my fave. It's a cool technique, better but similar to the "Steve Tool" which the novelty passed quickly.

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I have gone from hating trimming to loving it.  That happened when I got my Giffin Grip.  That thing is awesome!  I use trimming to think about the decorative piece.  I smooth out the throwing lines and determine where I will texture and where I will put the design.  It's really fast now so I enjoy the process.  

 

I used to hate handles also, then I watched a youtube video...(I don't remember who it was) about pulling the handle off the pot itself.  I tried that and not only is it a lot faster than what I was doing, but my handles are soooo much better.  I heart youtube for pottery video's.  I also learned to throw goblets, salt and pepper shakers, make ocarinas, and throw fully enclosed jars.  I swear I have learned more from youtube than I did in my 5 years of undergrad!

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I love all the parts of pottery. Trimming is probably one of my favorite parts. When I throw a piece I imagine how I am going to trim it to give it its final look. It is nice to be able to see if my thrown piece will live up to what I imagined it would. I also love the burnishing part of trimming. I love smooth pots and nothing makes me happier than trimming the pot and then hearing the scraping of my metal rib pealing off the clay then burnishing it after. When you take the pot off it shines and looks beautiful.

 

I also love making feet. Deep feet, small feet, wide feet, tiny feet, no feet. Just think Dr Suess and you will do amazing.

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I have gone from hating trimming to loving it.  That happened when I got my Giffin Grip.  That thing is awesome!  I use trimming to think about the decorative piece.  I smooth out the throwing lines and determine where I will texture and where I will put the design.  It's really fast now so I enjoy the process.  

 

I used to hate handles also, then I watched a youtube video...(I don't remember who it was) about pulling the handle off the pot itself.  I tried that and not only is it a lot faster than what I was doing, but my handles are soooo much better.  I heart youtube for pottery video's.  I also learned to throw goblets, salt and pepper shakers, make ocarinas, and throw fully enclosed jars.  I swear I have learned more from youtube than I did in my 5 years of undergrad!

 

 

Based on your work, you should be a spokesperson for learning skills via Youtube videos; great stuff!

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A well trimmed piece is like putting a fine frame on a painting. Without it, the pot sits on the table doing nothing. After trimming the piece raises from the table separating from it, catches a shadow at the bottom to do it, and usually has an accent edge that finishes that bottom area but at the same time helps the eye to move into the substance of the form to the top of the pot.

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Seriously. It kills my back .

 

 

Perhaps you need to look at your posture, wheel height etc.  No-one else has mentioned back pain from trimming.

 

I like trimming, I find it less painful on neck, shoulders, back and arms than throwing.

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There are ways to throw that delete the need to trim.  Often with mugs and such.  I am sure this style could be applied to just about any piece.

 

When I was first learning to throw I hated trimming.  I didn't do it well.  Now it is one of my favorite parts of the process.  There are many decorative ways to trim a pot to change a very simple piece into something more.  No matter how nicely thrown a pot is, if it isn't well finished, it won't look, or feel, it's best.

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Another vote in favour of trimming. I just find it very satisfying. However, I didn't really enjoy it until I switched from loop tools to an angle style trimmer. They're a more aggressive tool, so you take off more with one pass. Also, I tend to only do a trimmed foot on pieces that demand it, like bowls, round jars, teapots, plates. More cylindrical pieces I roll and alter the foot, but then I'm in it for the form. I actually have a heck of a time with surface work, and I would go absolutely around the bend with the amount of painting and decorating you put in.

 

GP, do you throw standing up or sitting?

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For me its for my eye, or brain. The exterior profile of the pot ,for me, needs to reflect the interior profile and the resulting interaction with the space around it I find necessary.. So when the form, and my technique do not allow this, I need to trim, as said above. The foot allows it to stand alone as said above.

Untrimmed pots, to me remind me of a person slouched into a seat, energy heavy and Blah.  A trimmed defined pot is intrinsically active and emits an  energy, for me. There exists a tension.

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I think its fun, I only trim bigger pieces though.. I use my thumb on mugs and just round them off real nice.. I have been practicing some new forms that will need a foot and maybe some extra light wall trimming.. I am getting pretty good with the metal rib of death, I can smooth out the entire outside of a pot and not leave many lines ...

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Okay, all you guys be lovin' trimming? Come over to my house. :D

 

Here's the thing: I work in earthenware. Earthenware has this really cute habit of peeing all over the place if you don't put glaze all over it--that includes the bottom part inside the foot. Soooo...I gotta trim and make a decently deep foot.

 

Believe it or not, I used to love trimming. I thought the clay ribbons were so fun and I could watch them for hours.

 

Then...I just trimmed one too many feets. >.<

 

SOMEONE COME TRIM FOR MEEEEE

 

I'll paint something cute for you! :D

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Have you tried chattering? Maybe that will bring some fun into it for you.

 

As to your posture - that can make such a difference! Have you tried using a banding wheel on top of your wheel for finishing things? It brings them closer to eye level. Also, what is your wheel height? That should be addressed if you are having pain. 

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Guinea has frequently mentioned her physical issues and how they contribute to the pain of throwing or in this case, of trimming.  One thing that has amazed me on this forum is how many of you work with serious disabilities.  I mean SERIOUS, pop-some-pills and call-it-a-day disabilities that would make lesser mortals pull the shades and suck their thumbs.  

 

It's incredibly humbling to see how many of you work through or around your pain in order to find ways to make beautiful things.  Some of you suggested in response to her original posting regarding her back pain that she try hand-built pieces. In terms of medical help, did you get the most relief from chiropractors? From traditional therapies? From Eastern medicine?  Or have you all simply raised stoicism to amazing levels?

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Clay is the opposite for me. It helps me with my scleroderma. After I wedge clay and throw for several hours my hands, arms and back feel so much better.

 

As far as pain management goes, whenever I am in a lot of pain I take a hot shower. There is nothing like water beating down on your old bones to help the pain. 

 

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