The Best of Sawdust and Dirt
A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!
Filtering by Tag: cutting feet
I finally finished processing about 500 lbs. of red dirt and came to the conclusion that I need bigger versions of my tools to get a bigger yield! (duuuH) Instead of shovel, 1/2 in. drill with jiffy mixer, I need a backhoe and a 100 gallon blunger! Then we'll be talking! I also had some good feedback from Tom Turner about my clay body and we invented (at least in on paper) a giant french coffee press type of clay plunger. (to separate rocks and small stones from slip before it is dried and pugged)
I finally cut the plates that have been under plastic since Sunday. I noticed this subtle influence as I was looking over this patterned wire cut. Can't say it was a conscious thing, but I had a little chuckle and thought I would share.
...until next time!
1. other peoples posts.
When I pulled out my super bat yesterday to cut some feet on a large bowl, I tried to remember if I had mentioned it or explained here. Hmmm? No matter.
It came about after needing to trim large bowls on the treadle wheel. Since the treadle has a limited bat width because of it's mud box (splash pan) I had to go over the pan to use larger bats. For years (before I put bat pins on the wheel head) I would put a cookie of clay down on the wheel head, put a small bat on that, then another cookie, etc. until I cleared the pan. One day, I had an idea to build a custom bat that would do the same thing but be more efficient and I came up with the "super-bat". It's worked very well.
The only thing about the superbat is that trimmings invariably fall to the floor and make a bit of a mess. But no problem. I have found a place on the pot where trimmings tend to go neatly into the pan. See the following video.
I've got to get the MeTube video production crew back in here to keep up with the
every once in a while, thankfully rarely, your lose one.
It's been so long since this has happened, it's always humbling, not to mention fun to play around with the pieces!
Why cry over spilled-milk, or cut-through-bottoms? Have fun. Delight in the mistakes. Do better next time. There's always another chance to make good.
Lot's of plastic to chase on Tuesday.
Day Two of the Big Week!
Just finished the yunomis. I'm not that excited by them. If I had more time I would go back to the wheel where I could take the info from the trimming session and work that into new forms. It's a chicken and egg situation. But here they are. What do you think? I know it's all about holding these cups, and without that info it's tough to assess. Then think about all the pots you've ever seen in books, even in museums, that you haven't touched or picked and think about how biased we are to surface because of that. It's crazy! To me this form is so much about holding.
So I thought it would paint the chuck with the white kaolin slip and avoid the smearing. But since the slip is very fine grained and smooth, I lost the grip of the coarse red dirt clay. It actually was so slick that this plate slipped off the chuck and got some bad bruises!
I ended up going back to three clay coils to hold the plates in place. A little slower, but always reliable.
I usually cut out the little peak that I get when trimming the foot. One of my mentors, Michael Simon always had these beautiful peaks under his cups, bowls, and plates. For many years it gave me great pleasure to try to get a nice point on my pots, too. One day though, I decided it was time for that point to go and decided from that day on to cut it out! Now I call it the belly button!
Every once in a while I leave the point. After all, cutting it out seems a little contrived even though I like the belly button. I think a lot about Michael when I make pots, even though I don't try to make the pots he makes, his commitment and mastery continue to inspire.
I love using the treadle wheel to cut feet on plates, bowls, etc. It's relaxing to hear the clip clop of the treadle and I get to sit down for a change. Plus it's very easy to stop to make adjustments. But when I have big plates or bowl I always have to use the Shimpo Scream™ without the splash pan and clay trimmings fly everywhere!
Now I have just the thing! The eBat™! Tonight a moment of iClarity™ took me to the next level. Now there's the super duper eBat™!
[eBat™ because names with the e or i in front of them look cool. ™ because I just learned the keystroke for "™"] The new Kline Pottery eBat™ will accommodate up to 18"platter or bowl.
Order yours today!
Maybe I will start a specialty tool business!
Mark Shapiro, who has probably made a gazillion teabowls over the years. I remember the hundreds we would load into every kiln load at Stonepool.
The center dosen't really support the cup, but, instead, keeps it from flying of the wheel if it comes loose from it's clay moorings. Ideally the clay pad is soft enough and the rim size of the cups are relatively the same size and a little trench emerges as you use it. Unfortunately it also dries a little bit as you go on. I just go back and re-wet it from time to time. Since all of the cups were of varying sizes I had to make my chuck to fit the average size.
Like many of these pottery processes, cutting the feet, getting good balance, visual and otherwise, is hard to get without repeating the cycle a few times. Just as in throwing each new pot gets you closer to an ideal, cutting these feet was a little disappointing, and I wish I had thrown a few, then trimmed a few to get all the notes right the next time around. I threw all of these cups before i had trimmed a single one. Doing the swirl added a complication. Since the swirl is essentially inlay, trimming away the feet cut most of the inlay away. I tried leaving the outside untoached in some cases, but I wasn't exactly happy with the weight, etc. So decisions had to be made, heads did roll, or something like that. Anyway, to the drying unit and hopefully bisquing and glazing in the days to come.