W J Seidl on mon 4 dec 06
A technique I found that worked fairly well for me was not to use a knife.
Instead I took an idea I got from watching a band-saw and a violinist.
Spray the piece liberally with vegetable oil to protect the surface. Poke a
small hole in through the wall of the bowl where you want to start the
"negative space", and feed through a piece of fishing line (not
monofilament) about 30-50 pound test. You can use a piano or guitar string
too. In the hand which holds the string end "inside" the bowl (one hand is
higher than the other, you want the higher hand) hold a slightly moistened
sponge, so you can "feed" water slowly down the line by squeezing.
Saw the string back and forth to cut through the clay.
Easy to change directions instantly, go faster or slower, gently or more
forcefully depending on what you need.
If your negative space is large enough, you can use a cutoff string, but you
have to be able to pass the handle through the hole.
It helps to trace the outline of what you're cutting out first.
Try it on a piece you don't care about first, to get a feel for it. I now
thread that string through the hole, then tie it to each end of a coping saw
handle where the blade would be. Makes it easy to control the angle of the
cut, especially with thicker pieces.
From: Clayart [mailto:CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG] On Behalf Of Taylor Hendrix
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 3:22 PM
Subject: Tools for carving
Guess what Taylor threw this weekend? I bet Jon can guess. That's
right bowls. These were monsters too (23 inches/ 25lbs) which are
going to be pierced at the rims. Here is my question: what is the best
thing to carve piercings that are going to be hte negative space
between tree branches and canopy? I'm trying my hand at the
trees-in-the-bowl thing (about time right?) and I don't want to put
too much undue stress on the bowl. I'll be carving at the leather hard
stage or so. Exacto just won't cut it (har har har) because the blade
seems to want to go straight. I will be making compound curves, you
see. A needle tool is going to be too rough, but I sure like the idea
of its manuverability. If you clay carvers out there can describe it,
I can make it.
Taylor, in Rockport TX
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Dolita Dohrman on mon 4 dec 06
Wayne, I have never heard of that technique before! It sounds like it would
work great. However, one question...if you are using two hands to hold your
fishing line, what do you use to support the piece or rotate it as you
carve? I used to do a lot of piercing on my pieces till I decided I better
concentrate on form rather than decoration for awhile. I have been pleased
with my bowls lately (of course, ask me on Friday and I will probably have
changed my mind!) and think I am ready to start piercing again. Phil in LV
made me a sweet little carving knife that is incredibly sharp, about an inch
long, and is tapered on both sides. If you get the piece a tiny bit on the
soft side of leather hard, it is like butter to pierce.
Taylor, check out Bison Tools...it is not an instant fix since you have to
carve those bowls before they get too dry but for future reference, you need
to get one of Phil's tools. If you are throwing and piercing 23 inch bowls,
you will easily pay for the tool with one sale!
> Spray the piece liberally with vegetable oil to protect the surface. Poke
> small hole in through the wall of the bowl where you want to start the
> "negative space", and feed through a piece of fishing line (not
> monofilament) about 30-50 pound test. You can use a piano or guitar string
> too. In the hand which holds the string end "inside" the bowl (one hand
> higher than the other, you want the higher hand) hold a slightly moistened
> sponge, so you can "feed" water slowly down the line by squeezing.
> Saw the string back and forth to cut through the clay.
> Easy to change directions instantly, go faster or slower, gently or more
> forcefully depending on what you need.
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