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Cavy Fire Studios

*gasp* Handle Sacrilege!

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So...

 

I never pull my handles.

 

Ever.

 

And holy mamma, have I seen some serious venom directed at handbuilt mug handles all over the internet! It's pretty insane!

 

My stupid back will NOT let me hold up a piece of clay like that for pulling. Plus, since I've been doing it for so long, my pulled handles would really suck, anyway. :D I have a process that makes them very comfortable and stuff. My fella ordered a huge mug from me and said it was "literally perfect."

 

What's your take on the handle thing?

 

(That handle looks bent in the pic, but it's an eye trick of the glaze.)

post-63665-0-34934900-1424734451_thumb.jpg

post-63665-0-34934900-1424734451_thumb.jpg

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That handle looks good to me.

 

I don't consider myself a "handle snob" though.  I know some are very particular, about what they think constitutes a good handle.  For me, if it has a nice aesthetic look, and is comfortable, it's good.

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Your handle is fine.

 

I prefer a pulled handle, because it almost automatically fits the hand, and it's more esthetically congruent to the throwing process that formed the pot (you can almost describe pulling as linear throwing.)  You really don't have to hold the clay aloft to pull a handle.  There are other good ways to do it.  For example, if you hand-shape the handle into a form close to what you want in a pulled handle, then attach it to the mug, it takes only a few strokes to finalize the shape, and you can hold the mug chest-high or even lower, to do the pulling. Hold the mug on its side with the handle blank hanging down, use lots of water, and it will work fine.  I often do it sitting down with the mug almost between my knees.

 

But I know what you mean.  Now I can't remember where I got that piece of doctrine that pulling handles had to be done up high, but I followed it for many years.

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I saw a video on youtube of a guy pulling handles off the hump. You should give that a try. I will look up the video. All things being said, if your customers love what your delivering I wouldn't go changing it. If the process works for you, and your customers like the product, I would research it and think carefully about what the words "improvement of handles" means particularly to your work.

 

I personally think the handle fits the mug well. I find that shape of mug hard to get a handle to look right on it. Your's look pretty darn fine. I am not expert by any means, I just started pulling handles this year. But I think yours fits that mug well. 

 

EDIT: found the link. Now I personally haven't tried this method, but If holding the clay up in the air hurts, then I assume this method might be easier if you wanted to try it.

 

 

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you can almost describe pulling as linear throwing.

 

That's essentially how I explain it to my students.

 

Also, another reason I enjoy pulled handles, is because I get to demonstrate it straight-faced, to a group of teenagers, while watching them try to not laugh...

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I'm with you Guinea. My back just won't handle it [no pun intended]. I prefer to make coil handles and then alter them from there to fit the piece, be it a mug, or serving bowl, or whatever.

 

I just hope my mind isn't the only one that went swimming in the gutter over that video............... :wacko:

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Over the years, I have made pulled handles, tool cut handles, extruded handles, and carved handles ala John Glick. To me, a handle is a handle, no matter how you make it. If is has the strength to hold up to use, and is comfortable in the curve fit and way it fits the hand. . . does it matter how it was made. I think not.

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Over the years, I have made pulled handles, tool cut handles, extruded handles, and carved handles ala John Glick. To me, a handle is a handle, no matter how you make it. If is has the strength to hold up to use, and is comfortable in the curve fit and way it fits the hand. . . does it matter how it was made. I think not.

I'm 100% with Pres on this-I can say the same about my handles as he said above-what matters is the FEEL and the look and function. How you get there is not what counts.

mark

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Looks good to me Guin. I can pull handles pretty good now but , I  like to try gifferent ways.. My favorite way is to use a tool and drag it through the clay, then shape it a little better with a wet hand ... I think they feel great because they have some thickness to hold onto and they fit the hand good...

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Also, another reason I enjoy pulled handles, is because I get to demonstrate it straight-faced, to a group of teenagers, while watching them try to not laugh...

 

If you wanted to make them laugh, cover it with a condom to dry. You could Segway into clay shrinkage at the same time....lol

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I agree with Pres. There are lots of ways to make handles. I have rolled out straps and finished the edges with a chamois. 

I never noticed my back hurting after pulling handles. I only hold a 2 pound lump to pull several. I finish pulling on the piece once a pulled stub is attached. As long as whatever method you use works as a handle, so be it.

 

Marcia

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No handle snob here either.  Whatever looks good AND feels good.  (How can anyone ever possibly buy a mug online without picking it up.?)  But, I do especially love the demo part of pulled handles, like Benzine....and I don't teach teenagers.

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I am delighted to own a Sarah Pike mug (yeah, that girl on the cover of Pottery Making Illustrated this month) which is entirely handbuilt, including the handle. You can't tell feel by a picture, but please believe that it is delightful. By contrast, I have encountered pulled handles that, bluntly put, suck. I say do whatever it is you do, and do it well.

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Steven Hill has worked out a way to pull without holding the clay to put stress on the back.  Benzine, this might be good for a laugh with the more serious students. Just make sure the clay isn't too stiff or you may have to finish up high anyway.

 

 

 

I think what he said about the thickness taper is where pulling handles naturally accomplishes the taper.  You can get the taper with handbuilt, it just takes more work. 

 

I alternate between a handle that uses a Bill Van Gilder ribbed board to texture and shape, and pulling, attaching and final pulling from the pot. 

 

John

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Oh yes, one of the reasons when I demonstrated pulling handles I did not do a round handle. I did my signature handle as I have used it for 30 years. My demonstrations of pulling a double ribbed strap handle were still erotic, especially to HS kids, but not as bad as a round one. However, I used to tell the kids that pulling a handle was more like a caress, and the secret was to have enough grip to make it grow, but not so much as to break it off. The rhythm of the pull had to be smooth from beginning to end, and only enough water was needed to keep the hand lubricated over the clay. Now if that didn't bring about snickers, nothing would. I really don't have problems with back concerns on handles, or much else for that matter, but do sympathize with those of you that have back pain. I had it for years.

 

Best,

Pres

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Guinea, your handle is beautiful and you should continue doing whatever process is comfortable for you. For me, holding up a ball of clay and pulling a handle is hard on my shoulders, but I manage with a little rest in between.

 

- Paul

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I've never understood the "my way is the only way" mentality. I say do it however you like and you successfully get the look you are going for.

As I rarely do any handled items I'd say your handle looks a helluva lot better than my handles(pulled) typically do.

 

Don't take any crap, Guinea!

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