Thursday, June 10, 2010

Floppin' and Flippin' Foot Bowls

I'm in the middle of throwing the upper portion of six foot-soaking bowls. It's noon and the shipping guy called this morning and said he'd be by after lunch with my new kiln, a Skutt 1231 Production Kiln. I'm kind of excited. I'm hoping to get through with these six pieces before the shipping guy makes it here, and I keep hearing trucks slowing down on NC 705. I duck out of the door and listen. I go back to throwing.

I'm just about through with this 16-pound bottomless bowl. And I tap the foot pedal. Suddenly the bowl disappears before my eyes in a split second. It just disintegrates. I tapped the wrong end of the pedal.

Upon closer inspection, I find the major portion of the former pot lying on the ground, some of it twisted around the base of the wheel head next to the wheel I am working on, and a small portion wrapped around the foot pedal of the other wheel.

Expletives are in order and after I spout off a few, I return to the pugger for more clay.


I spent the afternoon moving my oldest kiln - a Crusader that is full of drooping elements and broken brick - and replacing it with the shiny new Skutt. What a joy to lift the lid with the new Lid Lifter. Nice. I'll need a 90 amp breaker and I'm good to go, after a test fire, of course. Who does test firings? I'll do one this time, I think.

Yesterday, I received a shipment from Laguna: four replacement belts for my Laguna wheel, which is over 12 years old. The new belts are a little longer and fatter than my other ones, so I unscrewed and screwed a few nuts around the motor to tighten up the tension. But the belts are flipping around on the large pulley underneath the wheel head. I haven't had a chance to call Laguna and ask them for advice. Any potters out there have an old Laguna and experienced this? I'd love some advice.

I thought I'd share a little trick I do to prevent the bottoms of large platters from slumping when turning them upside down when still somewhat soft. I use the stuffing for pillows to support the platter. You can buy a bag of pillow stuffing at Walmart. Last time I bought some I got a roll of the stuff, and cut a bit and fold it, adding a bit at a time on top of the folded up stuff until I think it's enough support.

Ready for a foam bat and a flip

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