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Studio Secrets: Tips & Techniques

Waxing a Bat

To prolong the lifespan of your wooden
throwing bats and plywood extruder dies,
seal the edges with hot wax resist.

The Bat Rack

To store bats out of the way, we built a
"bat rack" that hangs from the ceiling directly above the wedging table. Then, after wedging the clay, it is convenient to grab a bat and proceed to the wheel.

"High Density Plywood", which has a thin vinyl covering and is extremely water-resistant, is a great material for constructing >throwing bats and extruder dies.

Long-term Storage Box

Plastic boxes with sealing lids make great
air-tight storage for those odd detail pieces.
Here, handles and feet for fish platters are made
in quantity and then stored until needed.

WD-40 sprayed into extruder

To facilitate easy cleanup of the extruder,
spray its interior and the die with WD-40 before
loading the clay. When done, any clay left over will
slide right out and easily separate from the die,
and no clean-up will be required.

WD-40 is also useful to facilitate a smooth,
clean cut when using aluminum, plastic, or stainless steel knives and tools which may want to stick to the clay.

raw materials storage

Plastic boxes that are sold as containers for laundry detergent and cat litter are perfect for storing up to 25 pounds of dry raw materials. They can also be used in a pinch for small quantities of liquid glaze.

To center a large quantity of clay for bigger pieces, break your task down into bite-sized chunks. To throw a ten pound piece, for example, first center a five pound ball of clay, then smooth off the top and put another five pound ball on top of it, proceeding to center it next. Using this method, any quantity of clay can be accurately centered effortlessly in five pound increments.

To avoid pinholing and blistering in glazes,
bisque slowly to temperature, then
"soak" the ware at bisque temperature
for a couple of hours, to burn out the impurities in the clay body which cause the gasses that become glaze defects.

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