Clay arrives

Clay finally arrived the thursday before easter – been flat out throwing every day. Had quite a bit of trouble with turning at first – there is only a small ideal window to turn this clay given that the plates are so small. Loss rate to date 40% but improving it all the time – now sometime on loss rate is down to about 25% which is much healthier. The distorted plates (that is where the edges have been cut out are not only difficult to turn but have a huge loss rate due to bits breaking off whether while turning transporting or cleaning.

Cleaning I have learnt from much trial and error and loss but the method that is consistent with acheiving results is to wipe only one side at a time let dry then next side wait then the edge wait then drill them. Have lost at least 15% drilling confidence is the key and a fucking really sharp drill bit.

After much experimentation I have found that no wedging is best. I just cut the clay to size and knead it in my hand for awhile then wedge on wheel – this makes the clay exquisite to throw with. Turning then has required lots of trial and error – clay to wet get chattering each tool seems to work at a different stage. Have found it best to let the plates nearly dry completely then turn them. Had a couple of pieces of old clock spring works a treat – however the bits I have got are really small so has been a challenge will need to source some more. This clay is challenging in more ways than one but I think I am working it out.

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