Frank Colson on sat 2 apr 05
With the increasing profusion of gimmicks, devices, and endless mechnical
widgets to assist the potter hold a bat on a wheelhead, it appears that the
most simple and diret methods have become totally lost!
Start with a "dry" bat (any size or thickness), scoop half a handful of slip
from your throwing bowl, quickly slap the slip in a circle onto the bottom
of your bat just before placing it onto the wheelhead. Put the bat down and
immediately push it back and forth slightly, until it is centered. Within
seconds, the slip will respond like a hydrolic sucktion cup gluing the bat
to the wheelhead so forceably
that it cannot be removed. After throwing any size or weight of clay,
remove the bat easily with the tip of a broad ended heavy duty
knife. Jam the tip under the bottom of the bat, twist the blade a quarter
turn , to break the suction seal, and remove the bat and pot easily. Note:
Do not use a fetting knife; the blade tip is not wide enough to do the deed.
Try it, but remember these tips: 1) The "ptaster" or "*hydrocal" bat must be
dry. 2) The downface side of the bat must be level. 3) The slip
must be slip, no grog or aggraget. 4) Placement onto the wheelhead is
immediate 5) Dead center of the bat on the wheelhead is not crucial.
I apply the same technique when using a precast 24" wide hydrocal bat. I
used the lid of a 55 gallon drum to cast my bats. I am able to throw
10 or more 28" platters, in less than an hour, using such bats which are
placed onto my wheelhead with slip.