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fantasy tools. suction ware boards - a story oil lamp wick - a

updated sat 9 sep 00


Bruce Girrell on fri 8 sep 00


Jennifer wrote:

>I was just joking about the suction boards.

Your request reminded of my first job out of college. I'm an electrical
engineer and studied in school how to make transistors and integrated
circuits from the silicon on up. Despite my training, the first job that I
could find was in a pottery near my home town. I was a ware carrier*. Yep,
that's how they transported greenware in that place. Guys would carry long 2
x 8 boards with green pieces on them from one station to another (to get
handles attached, for example).

After a time of carrying these boards on one shoulder, you'd have to switch
and use the other shoulder. One time I approached a corner carrying a board
on my right shoulder as another ware carrier approached from the other
direction carrying on his left. The boards struck one another. I lost only
two cups at first, but the particular style was the heaviest cup that they
made. The loss of two cups from the end of the board, along with the
confusion of the collision, eventually caused me to lose control of the
whole board and 40 cups crashed to the floor (actually 80 - the other
carrier lost his whole board, too). Now, if we had only had suction

Regarding the wicks - How about this: Cut the end so that you have a fresh,
neat end. Dip the end in molten wax and, as the wax cools, shape any stray
fibers to form a little taper to make it easier to feed into the metal
thingee. For that matter, you could cut a bit of a taper on the wick when
you're trimming the end. The wax would slowly dissolve in the kerosene and
become part of the fuel for the lamp.

Bruce "just full of good stuff today" Girrell

*It's interesting how these things creep into your life. I never really
thought about that job having any relevance to me. I guess I was supposed to
see another way of creating things besides my engineering. Also, I almost
responded to an earlier thread about early clay memories. I never really
thought about this having much relevance either, but when I was a kid, our
family had very little money. I have often told people that my two favorite
toys were cardboard and dirt. The dirt, though, was a fine clay (it was a
good enough clay, in fact, that they mined it and that was the reason for
the existence of the pottery mentioned above). You could make anything with
it. It felt _wonderful_ between the toes after a rain on a hot summer day. I
loved playing in the mud. It's interesting how these things creep into your

BTW, I got some experience firing kilns (they call them diffusion furnaces)
in my semiconductor physics labs.

Should have
put in ;-)!! My work has overglaze washes so nothing can touch
once they are glazed, ie side slats on the boards. My solution
was to design my new studio so I can roll wheeled racks
everywhere. No real need to carry boards any more(USED to need
suction boards: waited 25 years for the perfect studio). I was
just trying to get some new ideas for FANTASY TOOLS.
Hmmm what else: oil lamp wick that comes cut to length with
one rigid end, making it easy to stick through the hole of the
button thingy. Now I really do NEED these!!
Take Care

Mudnjoy@AOL.COM wrote:
> > Boards covered with teeny little holes that have suction(micro
> > vacuum pumps) so all the pots on the board don't fall off when
> > you bump the side of the door jamb going in to the kiln
> > room......I needed it the day I had 30 GOBLETS go
> > tumbling....... :-0
> > If I had a nickel for every pot I've dropped....
> > Jennifer, done with the firing
> 30 goblets Ouch that must have hurt. I've solved that problem by
> in sides & slats on the sides of a few boards to support the tall narrow
> pieces. I started with molding screwed to the edges of ware boards to
> the tiny magnets, pin and earrings I make from slipping off the edge.
> stored and carried tall narrow forms in 5 gallon buckets. I've learned
> my tall lizard cups to make the boards smaller. A large board framed in
> full is heavy. Counter sink those screws to facilitate sliding your ware
> boards around on racks.
> Joy in Tucson realizing storing even "clean" ware boards over head is a
> dust distributor.
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Jennifer Boyer
Thistle Hill Pottery
Vermont USA

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