search  current discussion  categories  forms - plates 

mary's 8" plate throwing problems

updated wed 17 aug 05


Curtis Nelson on tue 16 aug 05

From: Curtis Nelson
Date: Mon Aug 15, 2005 05:07:13 PM US/Eastern
Subject: Your Clayart Post About Throwing Plates

Hi Mary,

You might go to the archives and find Michael Wendt's post from August 12th.=
his article using his address. His address is . Read =
it, and
then open his 15-second video. There's your tuorial for easy plate throwing.=

You seem to be having trouble getting the just-opened mound of clay to move
across the bat with an even thickness and not separating into partly a panca=
ke and a
partly a separated ring of clay at the circumference. Your bat or wheel head=
have too much water on it. If that=92s the case, the clay will skate across=
the surface
instead of adhering, resulting in a ring of clay separating from the rest of=
the clay. So
get the excess water off the bat.

Suggestion: Instead of pulling the clay towards you with your fingers or pus=
hing it
away from you with the heel of your hand, pound the clay mound ever flatter =
on the
bat with the side of your fist. Encourage the clay to move across the bat.

Do this while the wheel is turning slowly . . . just enough to get you a new=
place to

Don't pound too hard. Just move the clay, watching that you don't pound plac=
es too
thin. Leave it a little too thick. You can correct that later. If it's too t=
hin in places (or all
over) you're out of luck.

Use clay that is soft enough that you aren't fighting it (and losing). If it=
isn't soft
enough to start with, make it softer.

Perhaps the clay you're using is the wrong clay, ie., too short . . . not pl=
astic enough
to be moved around like that. Try another clay. Ask your supplier for a plas=
throwing clay recommendation.

After you've pounded out a few times and are confident that you can do it, l=
ook at
Wendt's short video again. As he does, you do. Level your pancake with a pip=
e. Use
enough water to lubricate the surface. Don't flood it. Remember, a slow whee=
l is your

Look at his video again. As he does, you do. Tease up the circumference of t=
pancake with a wood rib or a wood knife. Go with a slow wheel. He goes much =
fast for you to do at this stage of your learning.

Report back when you've completed matching place settings for twelve.


Curt Nelson
Asheville, NC