Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ball Opener - DIY Throwing Tool - Pottery Tip

I fondly refer to this tool as the "Ball Buster".

The Ball Opener
Designed by Tom Whitaker

Tom Whitaker generously shared his design for the "Ball Opener" on YouTube.    This tool is used to open clay on the wheel and pull a perfectly even bottom. 

John made mine with a couple changes.  We used regular 1/2" PVC (schedule 40) and built a sized down model to better fit my strength and throwing needs.   We also plugged the peg holes with "JB Weld" Plastic Weld Putty and sanded all the sharp edges.  

A quick way to start your pots on the wheel. I think this tool is great for production pottery making, it definitely speeds up the process.  I like this tool a lot, but I also love the process of opening a ball of clay with my hands.

Happy Clay Day!      

Monday, January 13, 2014

Getting back to work in the Studio

The first week back in the studio wasn't very productive.   I had a tough time getting my head back into making pottery.  Maybe because I had too many ideas swirling around.   What ever it was, I hope I'm over it because I need to get some work done.

John's making me a new studio table.  It's going to be very sturdy and big!  It will be metal tube construction with a maple butcher block top.   I can't wait!   I've been using one of those long folding tables from Costco.  Over the past few years it has warped badly in the middle.  So Tammy Jo, if you're reading this, I know you like the long table but, I can't recommend a folding resin table for long term studio use. 
Mishima tool made by Phil Poburka
 of Bison Tools. 

Mishima, mishima, mishima!  It's a nice little treat.   Thank you Diana Fayt for re-introducing me to this addictive technique.  I enjoy drawing on clay.  I free-hand my own illustration designs.  Maybe simple designs, but they make me smile.

Tea Jar with Red Balloon

Happy clay day :)