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cleaning your bottoms

updated fri 24 dec 10


Anne Doyle on thu 23 dec 10

Hmmm=3D2C not sure about the header of this thread but i'll chime in ...=3D=
i use diamond-backed sponges sold by marble and granite supply companies=3D=
and they do a very good job on my clay. I use them wet over a bucket=3D20
of water and use 60=3D2C 120 and 220 grit. It leaves the bottoms of my piec=
feeling silky smooth... i think its worth the extra minute it takes per pie=
but its still stoneware=3D2C and if ppl insist on sliding a bowl across a t=
it might still damage the finish...=3D20
Wishing everyone in Clayart Land a wonderful Holiday with friends and famil=
May good health=3D2C prosperity and serenity be the gifts you receive this =
Anne Doyle=3D2C=3D20
Saint-Sauveur=3D2C QC



"I expect to pass through life but once.
If therefore=3D2C there be any kindness i can show=3D2C=3D20
or any good thing i can do to any fellow being=3D2C=3D20
let me do it now=3D2C and not defer or neglect it=3D2C=3D20
as i shall not pass this way again." William Penn


Vince Pitelka on thu 23 dec 10

David Woof wrote:
"Forming a bevel or slight roundedness to the contact edges will act much
like a sled runner to make the initial table contact smoother. The mug or
bowl glides rather than stubs and stumbles it's way to rest. This little
detail also mitigates unsightly sharp edge chipping and for aesthetic
concerns adds a subtle detail that lets light and shadow play under the bas=
and so the piece seems to float slightly above the table surface."

In teaching both throwing and handbuilding, I stress the importance of the
same thing David mentions above - creating a bevel or undercut to create a
shadow around the bottom of the vessel - to give it a little buoyancy and
makes it distinctly separate from the surface it is sitting on. When the
wall comes straight down to a sharp corner, there is the practical reality
of the edge chipping (and for the same reason a trimmed foot should always
be rounded or beveled), but a sharp corner also makes it look like the
vessel is growing out of the surface it is sitting on. Our logical mind
knows that it isn't, but it still looks like it, and that is a design flaw
unless we are talking about a piece of sculpture where you want to create
that impression (Google "Roxanne Swentzell Emergence of the Clowns").

This doesn't mean that every vessel needs a trimmed foot, because many do
not. A rolled beveled edge works great on any form with fairly vertical
walls, and on such forms is often much nicer than a trimmed foot. A small
bevel can be cut at the base before the piece is removed from the wheel. I=
otherwise neglected, the lower edge can always be beveled with a Surform
tool at the leather-hard stage.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Tech University;