Julie Tremblay on sat 13 feb 99
Another simple and basic question... At school, we used plaster bats. We
sticked it to the wheel with slip from throwing. I never liked it,
because I always felt like some chips of plaster or some powder could
get in the clay. So I am interested in those Medex bats, but would like
to know how you use those. How do they stick to the wheel?
By the way, I guess the two holes in the wheel are there for a purpose:
can someone explain?
Vince Pitelka on sun 14 feb 99
>Another simple and basic question... At school, we used plaster bats. We
>sticked it to the wheel with slip from throwing. I never liked it,
>because I always felt like some chips of plaster or some powder could
>get in the clay. So I am interested in those Medex bats, but would like
>to know how you use those. How do they stick to the wheel?
They can be adhered to the wheel with a "pancake" or "cookie" - a disk of
clay spread out over the wheelhead as if you are about to make a plate.
Just make sure that the center is level or slightly lower then the edge. I
like to use my fingers to form spiral groves from the center outwards, so
that the bat releases. The cookie can be used all day, with periodic
rejuvenation of the spiral grooves.
But the best approach is to use the pins in the wheelhead. The holes in the
wheelhead accept 1/4" Allen socket-head cap screws, with a nut or wing-nut
underneath the wheelhead. This requires that you very accurately drill the
proper holes in your bats, but that really is not difficult with some
careful measuring. Once that is done, your bats have a very positive and
reliable connection to the wheel head, with the added advantage that a pot
may be removed from the wheel, allowed to stiffen a bit, and then placed
back on the wheel right on center for further working or for decorating. It
is usually necessary to place some small wads of clay on the wheelhead in a
circle in line with the bat pins, and mash them down to flat disks before
placing a bat on the wheel. Whack the center of the bat with your fist to
stick it to the clay wads. That way it won't lift off the pins and fly
across the room during a hard pull. Use an old screwdriver to pry the bat
loose when you want to remove it from the wheelhead. Periodically moisten
the flattened wads, and they will last all day.
And for those questioning the durability of Medex, when I was running a
production studio in Northern California I made 200 3/4"-thick medex bats,
and used them daily for five years. When I moved to Massachusetts I took
half of them with me, and loaned many of them to the students at UMass
Amherst. When I moved to North Dakota to teach at NDSU I took them there,
and we used them as the regular studio bats for three years. When I left
North Dakota they were still in perfect condition, but I decided to
contribute them to the program there.
Good luck -
Vince Pitelka - vpitelka@DeKalb.net
Home 615/597-5376, work 615/597-6801, fax 615/597-6803
Appalachian Center for Crafts
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166