Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Upgrade issues

Nose to the grindstone is a fairly apt idiom for those that work on the potters wheel. I have nearly grazed mine on numerous occasions of late as I frantically make like a mad woman for the Christmas period. Loving every minute of it of course.

I had an idea to invest is some newfangled technology to speed up the clay colouring process so picked up this little beauty at the Daylesford trash and treasure...


No more holding the blender to mix stains in slip, I cunningly thought. I can get all sorts of things done as the machine works its magic. Alas this was not to be. While the beaters work a treat and the variable speed is a marvel, the bowl of this 1950's model Sunbeam does not rotate of it's own accord. I have to stand there slowly turning it, rather defeating the purpose. That and... well the walls of my studio were covered in splatters in an alarmingly quick manner. 

Not a huge success. But on the plus side I did have a lovely moment of being back at my mother's side, waiting patiently to lick the beaters as she whipped up her classic one-bowl-mix chocolate cake, .

So it's back to the trusty Kambrook for the time being...


Perhaps I'll try and modernise, maybe hunt down a 1960's model...

2 comments:

Linda Starr said...

I have an inexpensive hand held mixer with two removable blades, I put my slip into a very deep stainless steel bowl and drape a towel over my hand holding the mixer as I mix it all up to reduce the splatters. Then I add the stain to a small amount of slip which I then add to the larger amount. In good weather I mix it all up outside.

Sophie Milne said...

Thanks Linda, great to hear other potter's methods.

I add stain powder to dry clay (bone dry turnings) so I can weigh amounts and get consistent colours. Then I add water, allow it to soak overnight then use my hand held 'cheapy' to blend thoroughly in a deep bucket which doesn't have the splatter problems the sunbeam bowl produced (hence my surprise!)

I have learnt to overdose when adding stain to clay then dilute it by wedging it with measured amounts of clay fresh from the bag, that way I don't have to blend as much and I am not using all recycled clay which can have issues.

It's a labour of love that I love!