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those bottoms

updated wed 18 feb 04


Kim Marie on mon 16 feb 04

Thanks to everyone for so many wonderful replies. For some reason, it
seemed that after glaze firing this last batch of clay that no matter how
smooth the bottoms were going in, they came out quite rough. I'm going to
try to borrow my dad's bench grinder and get the flap wheel that many
suggested. In the meantime, I glued different sandpaper to a plastic bat
and ran the wheel. But I do prefer the idea of being able to reach the
recessed part so that it's smooth too.

Thanks again,
Kim Marie

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Bonnie Staffel on tue 17 feb 04

There are many things that happen in clay that are the result of a number of
factors. Seems like generally stoneware clay which usually has finer and
coarser material in its makeup, even after smoothing in the leather hard
state, keeps shrinking in the firing process so that the coarser materials
emerge and the finer ones recede. The potter needs to groom their pots,
sometimes more than just on the bottom, as these little knicks seem to pop
out in inopportune places. Anywhere that a lip, finger or tabletop touches
the pot, there should be no roughness or sharps. If the potter throws very
wet and doesn't compress the lip, it will be coarser after firing. When a
handle is attached, sometimes there are finger movements in attaching the
clay that when wet, seem safe, but after firing become razor sharp. Then if
you have a footed bottom, there might be sharps on the inside areas. My
suggestion of using the silicon carbide stone (fine) works on any of these
parts without setting up a machine that might do more damage than wanted.
This tool does many cleanup jobs. Then in those impossible places, I have a
Dremel tool with a pointed carbide grinding tip that will get those. These
tips last forever and never need sharpening.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Bonnie Staffel