Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy Feet

My phone always dies by the time I get to the studio, but I was able to take these photos of trimming and foot-making before the battery bailed today. 

I start by making a bowl on the wheel, using a wire to remove it and letting it dry under plastic for a few days (or on a nice Saturday, in the sun for half an hour). When it is pretty stiff but not totally dry (deemed 'leather hard' by the pros), I flip it over on the wheel to make something out of the flat bottom.
I make sure it's centered on the wheel (no wonky feet here!) and put some clay down on the sides to keep it in place.
With the wheel spinning I trace the outline for the foot with my pin tool, clearly outlining where I will trim off the extra clay.
With a trimming tool I take off all of the extra outer clay and shape the bottom of the bowl where it meets the foot.
Then I do the same on the inside, being careful not to trim too deep that it would leave the bottom too thin or make a hole in the bowl.
Since this is for a berry bowl, I cut little notches in the sides to make a space for the water to drain. I score it in thirds and take my larger hole cutters to remove the clay.
Voila! Next I'll add handles and cut the holes to make it a berry bowl. After a day or two of drying, I'll smooth it with a brillo pad and put it on the shelf for its first firing.

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