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technique- handles

updated fri 29 sep 00


Sarah House on tue 26 sep 00

I used to hate handles. I hated making them, i hated attaching them, i
hated cleaning the floor afterwards. Then i started extruding blanks approx
3X the thickness and a little wider than the finished handle. With that
improvement and lots of practice it got better. I also don't do too many
mugs at a time i started with 25-30 at a time, and although the practice
was great i was dreading them and the time it would take. When i cut back
to 15 in a sitting it got lots easier mentally. And instead of 30 once a
week now i can stand 15-20 a day.

Sarah House

Martin Howard on wed 27 sep 00

Can anyone prove, with science and practice, that pulling handles is better
than extruding them?

I have been taught two ways of pulling them. One is one the pot. But that
way does leave a rather thick wadge of clay at the top of the handle, which
for many mugs is not appropriate. So I would like to use the extruder or the
Venco de-airing pugmil for the whole process.

The handles on bought machine mugs look as if they are just extrusions of
homogenous thickness throughout, stuck on top and bottom. Some (clean your
mouth out Martin) even look good, as well as functioning OK.

Martin Howard
Webb's Cottage Pottery
Woolpits Road, Great Saling

Cindy Strnad on wed 27 sep 00

Hi, Martin.

I think the advantage of pulling your handles is, first, the appearance
(which, as you say, may not be quite what you want on a given piece), and
second, the lack of equipment required.

That said, I pull some of my handles and extrude others. I do prefer the
look of a nicely pulled handle on most mugs, but let's face it--very few
consumers are going to know or care about the difference. Using extruded
handles on my lower-end mugs allows me to *offer* lower-end mugs. Otherwise,
the price goes up. I've yet to hear the first comment than anyone has even
noticed the change, let alone doesn't like it.

Maybe on your side of the lake, people know a bit more about pottery and
such, and will push for genuine pulled handles, but I can assure you that it
hasn't made any difference to anyone here.

Cindy Strnad
Earthen Vessels Pottery
RR 1, Box 51
Custer, SD 57730

Czola on thu 28 sep 00

I've found a happy medium between pulling on the pot and just plugging the
handles on once they've been pulled.

Pull your handle almost to the thickness/shape you want it, then attach it
to the pot and finish pulling it from the pot. You get the benefit of that
good "look" without having to curse and scrape off a bad handle.

Someone else on line suggested extruding a thick version of the handle you
want, then finishing it by pulling.

Voila, one big giant technique cobbled together from three or four little