Rob Van Rens on thu 13 nov 03
Some of you know I'm also a blacksmith. I've been messing about with making
some new trimming tools and other cool stuff with hot metal and big poundy
(Converstion with She Who Must Be Obeyed: "I want to buy a new anvil and
some new hammers...the old ones are wearing out, donchya know..." She
responds "A what and a what?" "Some poundy things and a hitty thing. You
know, like the Coyote always tries to drop on the Road Runner." "Okay.
Whatever. Are your old ones really wearing out?" "No, not really, but you
can never have too many tools..." But I digress...)
Anyway, we had some old Ugly Pots (tm) around the shop, since it shares
space with the pottery studio, and we decided to "test to failure" some
butt-ugly Cone 6 stoneware bowls.
We discovered that the following methods produce particularly satisfying, if
VERY small, shards;
1) Put bowl in trip hammer between flattening dies.
2) Drop anvil on bowl (this was accidental)
3) Place anvil in vice, squeeze slowly (with a very groggy stoneware, you
can actually watch it flex before it breaks).
4) Heat to 2100 degrees, place on cold anvil, strike with hammer (a bad
idea, those shards are REA:LL:Y hot). It doesn't break so much as crumble.
It was cool, and we decided it was a public service, seein' as how they were
such VERY ugly pots.
And yes, we were in fact sober.
Rob Van Rens
Frederick Clay Art Center
5400 Yukon Ct, Unit 500
Frederick, MD 21758