Tuesday, July 1, 2008

tumbler how to

These tumblers are thrown from a porcelain clay body. I take a 22# block of clay and divide it into 22 balls, easy and no measuring. I am not a precise, measuring kind of person. I throw on clay tiles that fit into a wooden bat that sits in turn fits on the pins on my wheelhead. This makes removal very easy without modifying the shape of the cup. I like to throw thin and I measure the height and width of each mug to ensure a uniform size. For these tumblers I have thrown thin from the bottom up and then used my trimming tool to cut away the excess at the bottom and to turn up the bottom edge so that it forms a lip. These are destined for the matte turquoise glaze and it runs like crazy, so lips at the bottom are a good thing. I cut them off the tile with my wire cutter after I throw and then pop out the tile and put it in the damp cupboard.

Day two has me removing the tumblers from the tiles and rolling the bottoms around and around to get rid of the cutting wire marks and obvious cut line. I like to do a minimum of trimming so these are not trimmed after the intial throwing.

Next I use the heel of my hand to make an indent in the bottom of the tumbler. I like the organic look and it feels good when you hold the mug. It also helps to prevent the tumbler bottom from drying outward and high centering the cup. I also use my Golden, B.C. Canada and my dragonfly logo stamp at this time. I put these on the bottom of the cup. The dragonfly is located on the sides of all bowls and the bottom of all cups. I don't know why, this is just the way I do it.

The next step is to use my right hand (I am right-handed) to grasp the cup and create two indentations of either side. These are very useful for gripping the cup and they give the glaze yet another interesting things to flow over and around.

Here they are: thrown, rolled, indented, stamped and grasped. Back into the damp cupboard for a few more days as the porcelain tends to crack on the bottom if it dries too quickly.

1 comment:

Patricia Griffin said...

Hi! Great post. The idea of not having to trim the bottoms is so appealing at times! Did you make your wooden bat that holds the tiles? I started using squares of roofing material that sit on top of a bat and can easily be removed after throwing. The idea is that you don't have to cut the piece off of a bat, it dries evenly, etc., but sometimes they don't stay on very well while throwing-- and that's frustrating to say the least!