Thursday, February 26, 2009

Giffin Grip Substitute?

Trimming a 'Soul Pot'

One of the things I like about being a potter is being able to practice ingenuity. I love figuring out a way to do something. My large platter flipper is one such invention.

Today, I was trimming a few soul pots on a chuck, and I used an invention of mine that I thought I'd share. It's purpose is to hold the pot in place while trimming. I know some potters swear by the Giffin Grip, but I've never used one.

The photo at right shows me grasping the tool. There's a small plastic lid set on the bottom of the pot, so the tool doesn't mark the bottom of the pot. I'm pressing down to steady the pot, while trimming with the other hand.

I used to use a finger to steady the pot, but back when I was trimming and burnishing a lot of pots on chucks, I began to develop a lump in the joint of my finger.

"This can't be good," I told myself, and thus began the process of finding a way to perform the same task without stressing the finger joint.

I tried a couple of things, then an idea struck me and on one of my next trips to the DIY store, I bought a small caster with a wheel, the kind of thing you'd screw (along with three others) to the bottom of a piece of furniture or crate or something in order to be able to roll it around the room. I got one with ball bearings in it to allow your wheels to move in any direction.

The ball bearings would allow smooth movement when I used it to help my steady my pots, I figured. I took the wheel off when I got home and crammed the "fork" that held the wheel into a large cork. I may have added some grease to the bearings.

So, no more lumps in my finger joint. I'm a happy trimmer.

The Tool (Upside down)

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