Thanks for popping in. Thought I’d just pop in this evening before I sign off for a week or so. If I’m going to switch off, take a break, then I hope you understand that the blog will go quiet too. Just a week. Blogs take a lot of time to prepare and write too. I do them daily, and I do them gladly. One day at a time they are a big part of my daily routine. But a week off is a week off.
Been pottering away all afternoon. Dave gave me an early birthday pressie on Friday – and I cannot tell you how excited I was! A proper, all singing all dancing – wait for it – Clay Extruder! What is a clay extruder? I hear you ask…
It’s a sausage maker! Well, coil maker, to be precise…look!! You put the clay in the top, add the coil size extruder plate you want at the bottom – and Bob’s your ankle!!
Pull on the lever – and out squirt perfect coils. Cheating? Nope. Brilliant.
The only thing about using the extruder has always been the clean up. At class you always had to spend a good half hour cleaning the tube thoroughly, because of course, dry clay on the sides just mixes in with fresh clay being extruded – and you get lumps.
So last week I was watching pottery experts on Youtube – which is what we often do in the evenings – pottery or woodwork. Both are fascinating. Anyway, I happened to catch somebody using an extruder, and he packed the clay into a plastic bag first, then cut the end off before dropping it down the tube. Think Cake icing.
Mmmm. I thought. Worth a try…..
Worth a try?!?!? Worth a try?!? Why oh why didn’t we do this at class?? The tube was spotless, there was no clean up except for the extruder shape, and next to no waste. Bag holds out right to the end and then just gets binned.
I thought I’d try the smaller holes, to see if the clean up trick worked as well…PERFECT.
So what did I make with all these coils? Well, a vase actually. Cut a base by using a big yoghurt pot lid, and then started building on top of it.
Up up and up she went, one coil at a time…
Smoothed it all out with a metal kidney, and prepared a groove for a slip inlay…
More will be revealed. This isn’t the tall vase I am going to throw – but there’s something very special about hand-built art. More organic, more authentic somehow. I understand why it costs so much more than thrown pottery too.
What a glorious afternoon though. I love hand-building, but coiling is always a bit of a chore if you have to hand roll the coils, and if you use the extruder, you always have to factor in the mop up at the end.
The plastic bag trick is a game changer – and it works like a charm.
Have a good week. I shall be on TV on Friday 9am and 1pm, showcasing some glorious butterfly stamps illustrated by ~ Cherry Green. They are beautiful. Hope you can join me.
Love and Hugs