Thursday, October 2, 2008

Throwing Lids for Canisters

I've been taking up some loose time this week with filling inventories for November. My kiln blew an element last week and now I'm passing time until the replacement part arrives. I've been throwing canisters for my local farmers markets.

So... this post is about lids.

I know a lot of potters hate throwing lids, I hear professionals and students alike grump their way through this chore. I've been lucky, I've really enjoyed developing my approach to throwing this type of lid. It's taken a few years and a few hundred lids to work out most of the kinks, but the time spent was well worth it.

My lids are made with heft, durability, and functionality in mind. They have got to stand up to at least a family's worth of use. They are truly a functional item that need be well crafted to fit to their companion well. Still, at the same time, I create these with an eye on my personal decorative athletics of strong curvilinear lines, clean tight surfaces juxtaposed with textures, and with a well formed knob on top.

The carved out concave in the center in the bottom of the lid is purely functional, it helps even out the drying of the form, decrease the weight, improve it's balance, and, well... I like it.

This is a deceptive shot. I'll usually throw a series of 7- 15 canisters in a sitting. All of the galleys are made to meet whatever my current predetermined inner diameter is. This is a ritual of studio covenience for me, this way I'm free to explore a body's form and the lid will essentally fall into place as it moves through the studio. This piece shown is almost 12 hours old. Shrinkage at this scale makes a huge difference... so pay attention to the "wet measurements" of those openings. Take notes and figure out your shrinkage scales of the clays you choose to use, it really pays off.

Let it dry to leather hard before trimming....

I throw a fresh trimming chuck to softly hold a green lid and slowly enlarge it as I work though a lid series.

This is the finished fit for a lid in a greenware canister. I don't approve of excessive slop in the play between the lid and galley. When I throw 15 canister bodies I throw 20- 25 lids and mix and match to fit the greenware.

To get a feel for the entire process, check this out.


Ben Stark said...

Very cool! I think the video really helped me to visualize the process. Do you let the chuck stiffen any before using it for trimming?

Graciela Testa Lynt said...

Thanks for posting this... I am one of those who grumbles her way through lids! But you've inspired me to get to work on it!

FetishGhost said...

Thanks for the comments!
I'm really new to this blogging thing, but it's turning into a really fun way to share with my friends, family, and clients what's going on in the studio.
In answer to Ben's post, I usually let a chuck stiffen up a bit before I use it. If in a rush I'll just hit it with a torch to stiffen the galley of the chuck so it doesn't stick to the lid.

SarahKelley said...

Love those shots-- it's almost like standing there watching you demo!

cookingwithgas said...

I love a good lid.
and a good jar to go under it. I have one of yours that I look at daily.

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