[Clayart] throwing sins

mel jacobson melpots2 at visi.com
Sat Feb 11 18:07:11 EST 2017

one of the greatest sin in throwing is having your wheel set 
to spin at max rpm.

when i go to schools to demo, i find that brent's are turned 
to the highest setting.  if you put wings on the thing it 
would fly.

turn your speed to half of max, yes, half of max.
brent's have a plate on the bottom of the foot feed
and it comes off.  (four screws) there is a hole, but take 
off the plate.  see how it all works..and make sure things 
are tight.  you will see a thing like a tuning fork.
it controls the speed...make sure the set screw is tight.
(that is a common problem with brent's...that screw comes 
loose.  fix it.  tune of your wheel every couple of years.

there is a red and blue spindle.  turn on the wheel
and start the foot pedal with your hands.  on your lap.
turn to high.  now, turn the red spindle to half speed.
the wheel slows.  find a good place for you.
now the blue spindle will turn off the wheel as you slow 
down. find a perfect spot.  experiment before you replace
the cover plate.
high speed does you no good at all.

you have more than enough torque to center anything.
high speed centering comes from kick wheels...getting
a head of steam.  you don't need that with power wheels.
it is an old man's tale.  total b s / like slamming down clay
before you throw...most of  you ruin the clay that is 
probably de/aired.   you spend time cutting and slamming 
re/claimed clay or from the pug mill.

other wheels have speed settings.  get your book or call the 
manufacturer....i have no idea why wheels come from the 
factory with all that speed. dumb.
only bad things can happen with a speedy wheel.

throwing is a dance.
you have to have your clay at a perfect density.
not too soft, not too hard.  be consistent.  i run all clay 
through my pug mill. add a touch of water if needed.  always 
the same density
you have to make your speed of wheel, match your pressure of 
fingers. slow down, feel the clay....keep the clay damp, not 
dripping wet.

and, once you start...get after it, don't mess for 15 
minutes...the clay is getting very wet and will not hold up.
slam down, center, open and re/center...pull up the cylinder
then shape. 5 to 6 minutes

you have to force yourself to be diligent. don't throw, then 
stare out the window for ten minutes.  don't pick your nose
and wonder what is next.

set a pace and keep going.  make twenty balls of clay and 
throw them all.  no farting around.

it is like playing a mozart piano concerto. you don't stop 
in the middle and wonder what you are doing.  start to 
finish...keep playing.  then do it again, twenty times.
get off the wheel, have a drink of water and do twenty more.
then twenty more.  just like practicing the piano, a couple 
hours a day. no practice, no skill.

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