10 January 2017

a little progress - the story of an extruder

Getting started on my exhibition works has been quite challenging.

For one thing I am constructing a piece using thin coils and in this hot weather they are drying very quickly and some have already snapped..

In the hope of not losing too many pieces I have blended paperclay and a buff stoneware clay for colour.
blending clay - nearly there

home made extruder attached to studio wall
I have a home made extruder in my studio which I purchased from a retiring potter some years ago... I don't use it often as I prefer to throw pots on the wheel for my functional wares however, for this project it is priceless.
It came with a spare die and just as well...
top is spare die, bottom is existing die with small hole

I need two sizes of coil and so thought if I combined the sizes of hole in the one die it would save time... not quite right...

die showing new holes of two sizes

The new die worked well except for one thing.... the larger holes allowed the clay through at a faster rate so the smaller coils were not keeping up and came through much shorter... in comparison to the larger hole.

new die showing different size and lengths

Fortunately I still had the spare die... and a clever husband to drill new holes in the spare...
It has worked a treat... The old die is not lost either..  the small holes have been filled with small nuts and bolts and the larger holes can now be used on their own.

new die with small holes works well.
so we live and learn... always something new to learn when working with clay...


Elephant's Child said...

Good luck.
I am really, really looking forward to seeing your progress. And the finished articles.

Anna said...

thanks EC, I'll need lots of luck I think! I'll probably show some small details as I go but will be saving the full works for the exhibition...