Scott B. Earl on fri 24 apr 98
Back in December, Vince Pitelka sent a post suggesting the
use of canvas bats. I've been using them for a while now
and find them very useful for a number of things.
Just wanted to share one method that seems to work well.
To make a set of mugs, try the following:
1. Throw a small, shallow dome directly on the wheel head.
Should be about 1/4 inch at its highest and about 1/2 inch
smaller in diameter than you want the base of the mug.
2. Set a pair of calipers to the diameter of the
desired size of the base of the mug.
3. Let the dome set for a couple of minutes to allow it to
toughen up. A light sprinkle of powder dry clay doesn't
4. Put the canvas bat on the wheel head over the dome and
wet it down. (I find that I don't need the slurry that
Vince mentioned in his posting, and assume that the dome is
providing all of the adhesion needed.) Smooth the bat to
the wheel head being careful not to deform the dome and to
eliminate any trapped air bubbles.
5. Center, open, and throw the body of the mug in the
normal fashion. Pay extra attention to the base, being sure
that the diameter matches the setting of the calipers, and
that any extra clay is removed.
6. Do NOT use a wire to cut the mug from the bat or the
bat from the wheel head. Just gently lift the corners of
the canvas bat (a gently twisting motion also helps). Place
the bat with the mug on a plaster slab. (This helps the
base to dry fairly quickly - another one of the advantages
of the canvas bat.)
7. When leather hard, peel off the canvas.
I get an elegant curved base with the pleasing canvas
texture. No trimming required. (Now if I could just get
the rest of the mug to be elegant and pleasing...)
The first time I tried this I thought that the dome would
require reshaping between each mug, and perhaps frequent
replacement. But it holds up quite well. Doesn't deform or
get to soft.
I'm sure others have tried this, but I haven't seen it
mentioned on the list (or anywhere else for that matter).
Hope it works for some.
Scott B. Earl
Communication Certification Laboratory