As you in the clay world well know, clay needs to be handled when it is ready to be handled, not when you are ready to handle it.
After a recent day of throwing, I left some the jars under plastic but the bottoms set up more than I would have liked. I wanted to add a European foot to the jars but the clay was almost bone dry. I didn’t have a chuck big enough in the studio so, necessity being the mother of invention, I put a large coil around a 5-gallon plastic bucket to both cushion and contain the pieces then simply trimmed the jars in that. Because the plastic bucket is light weight and the jars much heavier, I often fill it half full to give a bit of weight to it in case someone has a heavy foot.
Since I put the lid in rather wet, I don’t want it getting stuck in the flange or messing up the trim job. I use a single layer of plastic wrap so that I can seat the lid in the somewhat altered gallery, allowing it to dry within the form.
Thank you to Tony Clennell of Beamsville, Ontario.
While it’s not cast iron with ball bearings, this homemade turntable is easy to make, inexpensive, and works nearly as well.
PVC plumbing flanges can be purchased at any hardware store or home center and both flanges can be purchased for about $10. Just match the inner diameter of one to the outer diameter of the other. Cut two pieces of scrap wood; the bottom piece, which will become the base, should be approximately 2 inches larger than the PVC flange and the top piece, which will become the work surface, should be cut to whatever size is appropriate for you working needs. The top piece should not be unreasonably large and not more that a few inches larger than the base. Each board should be about 1 inch thick and sealed to handle wet clay. Center and screw each flange onto the wood pieces. Add a little WD-40 for lubrication and you are in business.
Thank you to Dennis Allen of Lebanon, Ohio.
This ingenious wire tool and throwing wheel adaptation is for anybody who is tired of searching through a pool of muck or untangling a twisted, wiry mess.
Attach a wire tool to one side of the throwing wheel at the same height as the bat or the wheel head. Screw an eye bolt into a thin wood block and attach the block to the splash pan using a C-clamp or similar device. Tie the tire tool to the eye bolt allowing enough room for the wire to stretch across the diameter of the wheel head. The small wooden dowel used to make most wire tools can also be easily clamped for a quick use and remove system. This simple set-up allows for easy one-handed use and a clean cut giving a smoother bottom for trimming!
Thank you to John Powell of Castroville, California.
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