Sunday, February 10, 2013

UnnecessaryRoughness - Cleaning the Bottoms of Pots

Scotch Brite Pads
Making sure the bottom of your work is smooth (in addition to nice looking and finished) is a desirable thing. Whether it is a cereal bowl or a vase, it is important that the bottom be smooth to avoid any surface damage to your and your customer's counters and table tops. 
I see way too many students and other potters that don't pay enough attention to this before they even fire the piece. Start there - clean up the bottom/foot, nice and smooth before you bisque. Use a green scotch Brite pad  on greenware - it works wonders. Be prudent regarding any dust.
Surface smoothness also depends on your clay body and in my case I use a clay body that gets very prickly when fired.  I make sure the bottoms of my pots get a quick inspection before Firing. After the Bisque I check for any unwanted roughness as well. I use a Stilt Mark Stone to clean off any spots that are a little rough. Be sure to wipe off your piece with a damp sponge to remove any dust you may have created.
Stilt Stone

After the final firing check agin and be sure the bottoms are smooth. Use a stilt Stone or try out a pot bottom grinding pad like this one. Made of Silicon Carbide this grinding disc can save a lot of time.  Most ceramic supply dealers stock it. 

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