05/22/09 The Wheels on the Bus Go 'Round & 'Round

Wheee! I'm getting a pottery wheel. An old wheel that hopefully is a workhorse that will outlive me!

And about a dozen bats!

And 150 lbs of clay!

And more tools!

And inspiration every day that will, with any luck, inspire other parts of my life as well. Yes, I'm a happy camper. I'll be a very poor camper - perhaps on hobo level! - but well worth it I think.

I stopped at the ceramics lab at the college last night from 10pm-midnight. I was shopping for stuff for the store shelves, go figure. I really should take a pick of the pile-o-groceries I end up with on one of those trips.... Anyway....

Ever heard of Devil Pots? Me either - until last night! I swear, there were evil gremlins in the lab last night. First I took my pretty round, slightly choked-in cereal bowl...and proceeded to wreck it! UGH! (Ok, so in reality I said something a little more colorful. lol.)

Trimming is when you smooth/level the bottom (or "foot") of a pot. Usually, you flip it over onto it's rim (or "lip") and carve away the bottom (or "foot") to make it flat. I like to put a fairly deep depression in the center as well. First, I center the thing on the wheelhead.

It was at this initial step that things went awry. The pedal to control the speed was sitting backward and I was using my hand to tap it to adjust the speed. Wellllll...lesson learned. I accidentally MAX SPEED instead of stopping. The pot went flying, scraping across both bat pins.

It dented and warped the heck out of my pretty li'l bowl! So I flipped it over, centered it right-side-up, cut off the lip, smoothed it out, flipped it over again, THEN trimmed it's foot. Little %#!&.

Honestly, I probably should have trashed it. lol. However, I'm still "precious" with my work: everything is special. It would probably be a good exercise for me to just smash a bunch of perfectly fine pots.

Then I carved the heck out of the inherited bottle using the "chuck" I had made several weeks ago.

A chuck is a "what" not a "who"!

Imagine a tire it flares out at top & bottom, open at both ends. You use a chuck to set pots in as you trim them. It helps with items like bottles, where the neck and lip are too narrow to support the body of the pot. The "shoulder" of the piece rests on that narrowed middle of the chuck for greater stability. super-purdy platter. I'm glad I saved that for last and got all my bad luck out of the way. It's going to be hard to resist doing another "ruffled lip" until I'm used to the new wheel at home.

I can't wait!


Rebecca Lynch Photography said...

WTG on getting the wheel.


Sara McManigle said...

Thanks! It's Saturday, Memorial Day weekend...and I think I'll be picking it up around 5pm. 2 hr. drive...woot!

All of Sunday & Monday to bond with it! I can't wait.

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