Marianne Lombardo on fri 4 may 01
I would be very grateful if someone could try to describe how to pull a =3D
spout upwards, from the rim of a jug. I've tried, and tried, and all it =
does is tear.
I am able to pull a sort-of spout shape outwards, but I don't like the =3D
look because it distorts the whole front of the jug. The jug ends up =3D
looking stretched from the neck down towards the belly.
Omemee, Ontario, Canada
Matt MacIntire on sat 5 may 01
>> I would be very grateful if someone could try to describe how to pull =
spout upwards, from the rim of a jug.
It would be most helpful if you could see someone do it, but I'll try to
describe how to pull a spout. There are many different ways to form a
spout, but my favorite is to pull the spout up to gain height. Some peop=
just reform the lip of the jug and pull the spout outwards. I think it
looks best if the spout goes up a good bit. Done correctly, you can pull
spouts that soar way above the rim of the jug. This added height makes a
fine counterpoint to the swoop of the handle. I think a nicely pulled sp=
is a real delight to see and use.
Think of the process as analogous to pulling a handle. While you are
throwing the jug, you can do a lot to make it easier to form a good spout=
To facilitate a nice spout, be sure to leave a generous wall thickness on
the rim and neck of the jug. Not just a thick rim, but a little extra cl=
in the neck below the rim. The bigger you want the spout, the more clay =
need to have in the neck and rim to begin with.
Let the jug dry until it is almost leather hard. Get your fingers wet,
preferably with a light slip. Then, as if you were going to pinch the ri=
rub over the area where you will be pulling the spout. Repeat if necessa=
using more water until the surface of the clay is nicely wet. No you are
ready to pull the spout.
Put your thumb inside, and your finger outside, as if you were holding a
lottery ticket. Don't pinch it between finger tips, but grab with your
thumb inside and the flat space between your knuckles on the outside. Wi=
a light pinching, pull the clay up. Your fingers should slide easily, ju=
like pulling a handle. Release a bit just as you get to the rim, don't
pinch it to thin, or too quickly. Repeatedly pull over the entire area
where you want to create the spout. Typically the spout will be a good i=
or two wide. Pull the spout up until it is as high as you dare, and nice
and even. The thickness of the spout will be less than the neck, but it
should taper nicely in thickness, with the thinnest portion being the
highest and the area where the center of the spout will be. Just be sure
not to make the spout TOO thin. Don't over work the pulling. It only ta=
several gentle pulls.
The spout will look a bit peculiar at this point. Finish shaping it by
pushing in the neck on either side of the spout to define the spout bette=
and to form the path for the liquid to pour out. Then, finally, with a w=
finger, stroke the spout outward from the inside to give the spout a litt=
sideways thrust. Give the spout a careful eyeballing from several angles
around the jug and make any corrections to the shape that seem necessary.
Be careful not to overwork it.
The precise way in which you finish that last little tip of the spout wil=
affect how well the jug pours. It needs to curve out and be fairly thin =
pointy or else your jug will always have a drip. It is probably best not=
let the spout curve downward toward the table. Have the last little part=
the spout above horizontal, with the jug upright. Then, as you stop pour=
the spout cuts the stream off cleanly. The final thrust of the spout sho=
seem to head off into the air and not curve back down toward the table.
Some of this is aesthetics, some is functionality.
Making a spout that looks nice and pours properly is a satisfying
accomplishment. Don't be discouraged if your first attempts are awkward.
Keep at it. Look at jugs that you like and think about how the potter co=
have formed the spout. Study how they made the neck and rim, so that
pulling the spout would work the way they need. Feel the thickness of th=
neck and rim and of the final spout. It helps to look at how spouts that
you like have been made.
From: Marianne Lombardo [mailto:mlombardo@NEXICOM.NET]
Sent: Friday, May 04, 2001 11:26 AM
Subject: Pulling Spouts on Jugs
I would be very grateful if someone could try to describe how to pull a
spout upwards, from the rim of a jug. I've tried, and tried, and all it
does is tear.
I am able to pull a sort-of spout shape outwards, but I don't like the lo=
because it distorts the whole front of the jug. The jug ends up looking
stretched from the neck down towards the belly.
Omemee, Ontario, Canada
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Cindy Strnad on sat 5 may 01
It's going to be pretty difficult to share this skill without the aid of
even still photos. You've had some good advice already, and I will repeat
some of it and differ on other points. That doesn't mean I'm right and
others are wrong--just that we do things differently.
1. Try to find a good library book, pottery magazine article (I wrote =
for Clay Times on making pitchers--can't remember what they titled it, bu=
it will be in their on-line index under my name.), or video (or better ye=
teacher) to give you some tips before you start.
2. Look at spouts in books, your cupboard, stores, galleries, etc., an=
decide what style you'd like for your pitcher. There are many out there a=
all have their proponents. Some are slab built, but we're talking about
pulling a spout, so . . . .
3. Leave the upper neck and rim of the jug somewhat thicker than you
normally would. Try not to throw with too much water. If the jug has beco=
very floppy during throwing, then allow it to sit for several hours until
it's stiffened up. If it's fairly sturdy, you may pull the spout
4. With wet hands, fingers on one side (usually the outside), and thum=
on the other, pull upward in measured, firm, yet gentle vertical strokes.
Have the center rise higher than the sides--you want a mountain-shaped ri=
Now do the same thing diagonally to the right, all across the width of th=
spout, and diagonally to the left, ditto. Don't get the spout too thin--y=
must decide on the thickness you like. I go for fairly thin myself, but i=
it's too thin, it will chip easily. Make sure you have a symmetrical shap=
5. Insert your finger or the round handle of a tool into the neck of t=
pitcher, against the wall below the spout. With your other fingers, suppo=
the outer wall as you create a channel using your (wet) tool handle. This
channel is for the liquid to flow through on its way to the spout. Not al=
potters use such a channel, but if you intend to make one, this is the ti=
6. Using a wet finger or round handled tool on the inside, and support=
the outer wall on either side of the spout, pull the spout outward and, i=
desired, downward. Shape it gently into the profile of your choice. I lik=
my spouts to point almost straight down (look at the jugs/pitchers on my
website if this description isn't clear) to prevent dripping. This will o=
work if you have a fairly thin edge, though.
7. Look at your spout from all angles to see if you like its looks and
adjust as needed. Smooth the edge with a chamois, make any adjustments yo=
need to with the neck of the jug, and let it dry. Much harder to explain
than it is to do.
Earthen Vessels Pottery
RR 1, Box 51
Custer, SD 57730