Trimming


So today we’re gonna trim and I have a
little cup here that’s ready to trim you want to make sure that your piece is
leather hard so it should still feel cold it should not be turning white that
means it’s bone-dry and it shouldn’t be sticky to touch whatsoever and it’s this
area at the bottom that’s most important before you start feel the bottom of your
piece compared to the outside bottom of your piece and visualize how thick the
spaces in between your fingers here because you don’t want to turn this into
a planter you also want to remember if you’re going to see a foot ring at the
outside or not we are going to trim a little foot ring today so the first step
is to take the piece and you can use the rings on your pottery wheel to first
align the form on here and to recenter it we’re going to use our needle tool so
you take your needle tool and you brace your arms and you just draw a circle at
the very top of your form and what you’re doing is you’re comparing the
negative space around this line that you just drew and you want to compare the
top and the bottom area and the right and left area it is ever so slightly thicker on
this side so what I’m going to do is just move the piece from thicker to thin
we’re gonna just slide it over erase the ring and draw it again once you feel like you’re totally
satisfied which I rarely am then you can start trimming so we’re gonna try that
one more time okay so once you’re happy with that you
need a little bit of soft clay nothing too wet or gushy you only need about
three little pinches here and this is to stabilize the piece onto the wheel while
you have it spinning you want to make sure you push straight down because you
just spent all that time centering your piece so you don’t want it to go
anywhere so you push that straight down while you apply the pieces of clay to
keep it from flying off of your wheel head you have two trim tools in your kit you have one large loop or trim tool and then you have one small it’s
got the rounded edge and a flat edge and so this gives you rounded curves and
straight sharp right angles the first one we’re going to use is the small one
we’re going to use this curved side you’re going to get your wheel going
quite fast and you’re going to take the tool with both hands lock your arms into
your body and you’re going to make just a little tiny spot wide and deep enough
for the tip of your finger to be able to rest in there
this is going to allow you to have a lot more control of the tool as you start
trimming the outside you should have an idea of what shape you want like I
mentioned earlier we’re gonna do a foot ring I like to use this flat edge as my
guide for the foot ring so I’ll bring it to the side and remove clay that way so
I’ll take my left hand tip of my middle finger goes here and then I just start
trimming off the clay from the outside and you can take this pretty much as far
as you want keeping in mind the more narrow the base of your cup the more
unstable it’ll be when you put it down on the table so I’ve taken quite a bit
off and now I’m left with this really ugly edge here so what I’m gonna do is
round that edge and I can use any tool to do that I personally like to use this
round this larger tool to do any major rounding I’m gonna have this
round edge to our foot ring now with the foot ring you could use this since I
used a rounded edge I could create a rounded ring but I’m not going to but I
am going to use this sharp angle here to kind of dig in and straighten the ring
up a little bit I always trim everything on the outside
before you come back to the inside when you first start throwing it might be
helpful my ring has kind of gotten a lot smaller so it might be helpful to make a
little mark so you know where to stop so use this tool here
my potter’s knife and you don’t have to do this this just
kind of helps sometimes visually when I’m working at the top I like to use the
point of the trim tool so I’m going to come right where I left off and I’m just
using that point and slowly removing pieces of clay at a time you don’t need
to take all of it off at once and I’m going to definitely take it all the way
down to where the dip is so that I have something flat in the end and making sure that your arm stay
stationed down to your body so your hands can be as steady as possible and if you
have a little brush that can be helpful to kind of get all those chunks out of
the way okay so now I’m left with this foot ring and it’s it’s not really
completed here its rounded and it’s ragged so I’m gonna use this tool and
just rotate it the opposite way so kind of like I did here but now on the inside
and that’s going to help me just clean up this rim here now the more weight that you take off so
the more clay that you take off of your piece the lighter your piece is going to
be in the end so I don’t really need this tall of a foot ring so I can
actually take it down a little tiny bit just the ring itself I’m gonna take off a little bit more here at the bottom now because we’re exposing all of these
clay all this new clay to the air one thing we want to do is compress the
whole thing afterwards and sometimes if your piece is wet enough you can do it
with your finger but another way is just to use the wooden part of a tool and you
can actually just run it along the base the other thing is your Potter’s knife
or a wooden rib make sure your wooden rib’s clean so it can be nice to kind of use the
edge of a wooden tool really get in there and compress everything so this
will stop things hopefully from cracking and it’ll keep this nice and smooth so when you go
to put it on the table you’re not going to scratch the heck out of any table and
the glaze will take to the outside just the same now that we’re kind of
compressing everything okay once you’re happy with that you can use a soft
pencil that’s what I like to use to mark your initials in the bottom and then
instead of pulling your piece just make sure you remove all of the clay from the
sides and now you’re ready to make a handle or
attach your handle

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