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when to handle

updated mon 19 aug 02


BVCuma on sat 17 aug 02

. So when do I make the handle? Does it
have to be medium leather hard as well when I attach it?

Hi Martin,

After trimming, if the pot is too dry I will moisten it up with a wet =
under plastic till it is about where I want it.
The handle can be attatched when in a moister condition
than the will dry out faster as it is more exposed
(the pots sheltered interior keep things drying more slowly)
So you can get your timing down with a little practice.
Keep it under plastic to even it up and dry slowly.
The only problem can be if the handle is too wet
and your drying of pot with attatched handles is too fast...
then cracks will happen at the joins.
Monsoons are your friend for slow drying : )
Mind you the bottom of one of my favourite
greenware piece got soaked and when redried
broke clean off around the bottom...of course.
best wishes

Judy Musicant on sat 17 aug 02

Martin, I'm sure that people have different techniques. What I have done for years is to pull the handle directly from the mug. This results in a handle that looks like it grew from the pot, and wasn't stuck on as an afterthought. In terms of timing, my best handles are done when the mug is leather hard to the point of not moving when you try to squoosh the rim. The clay for the handle pulling is a stiff throwing consistency. That way, you can pull out a nice, relatively thin handle, and shape it without it turning to mush. There have been a lot of posts on pulling handles from a mug or pitcher, rather than shaping it off the pot and attaching. Also, if you have a basic pottery text, it should describe the pulling off the pot method, with pictures. However, if you want to shape it off the pot, I used to let them set up for a 1/2 hour or so before attaching - certainly not to the point of leather hard.

Good luck.


Martin Howard on sun 18 aug 02

Judy, I have tried pulling handles on the pot. It does give a lovely result
for jugs and large mugs.
It works for me if I throw bigger and/or more thickly than usual.
If I am throwing in my normal thin way, then I get trouble.

So handles for thin ware are pulled away from the pot and that method works
very well for me, so long as I don't let too much slip water affect the
strength of the wall of the pots.

Martin Howard
Webbs Cottage Pottery
Woolpits Road, Great Saling
01371 850 423
Updated 6th July 2002