[Clayart] chucks/the story

mel jacobson melpots2 at visi.com
Thu Dec 24 23:35:07 EST 2015

we used dry/greenware chucks every other day in japan.
there was a chuck made for every pot we produced.

they were dry.  now, here is where tap centering is king.
you score the bottom of the chuck, dip it in water.  about five seconds
will do.
then add water to the wheel head. add the chuck and tap to center.
it will stay there all day.  you sorta get the hang of it after a few attempts.

these chucks are really chunky and heavy.  about three inches thick
and tapered to fit the pot that will be trimmed.  i have at least ten that
are 30 years old..and still function just fine.

after the chuck is attached, a damp sponge is run over the taper, 
maybe three times
and then it sits for a few minutes.
you dampen the edge of the pot, slip it upside down in the tapered chuck.
tap center, and make sure the pot is stuck to the chuck.
measure the ring foot, cut the outside, then the inside/ that would
be using a slop of 1/32 of an inch....sign it.
that would be the uchida stamp.  not mine.  i would sit at the
wheel for ten hours cutting ring feet.  everything thrown on monday
had to be trimmed to perfection on tuesday..wed/then thurs//friday 
then saturday.

it was an every other day production.  every pot was made to spec. four of us
threw the pots...the same pot.  trimmed them all on tuesday.
we did not go home till a was trimmed and set out to dry.  it takes a couple
minutes longer to trim to perfection.  so, the extra hour on the trim day.

we did one commission of two thousand matched teabowls.  it was august
and hot as hell.  we got it all done.  try two thousand /it sort of wakes you
up to what a potter can do. they were all identical.  all hand done.

if you have seen my studio video you can see the chucks on a shelf over
my wheel.  just reach up and grab one.  i love the teapot chuck.  it means
the gallery is never compromised.  the teapot sits on its shoulder in 
the chuck.
i don't do ring feet on teapots, but add a very nice completion to a chunky
\shape.i set the teapot right side up and add the cover, spout and other
stuff.  right at the wheel.
from: minnetonka, mn
new book: http://www.21stcenturykilns.com

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