Belgium Diecraft

Hand extruders are an essential adjunct to clay pottery art. Extruder can be employed to form the main piece itself, or to add elements to wheel-thrown vessels. Even pulled handles can start out as extrusions. Although it may appear at first that using extrudes to produce work enables the artisan to make scores of matching items quickly, in fact just the opposite is true. Extruded pottery needs measuring, cutting, smoothing, and joining, and thus can need more time than an analogous pot which is thrown. For some kinds of forms, extruding is the most effective way to go. Designing and making dies is a vital component of the creative process ; it requires thinking in a different point of view, because it’s the negative die space which produces the form. With practice it is possible to shift one’s spatial thinking so that it is straightforward to picture the three dimensional piece which is acquired from a shape outline cut into a die from two dimensions; and vice versa.

Pottery adorned with twisted coil handles and rims have been popular since ancient times. To form the bucket part, use three lbs of clay and throw a 6′ diameter cylinder which is about 7′ high. Do not cut the pot from the bat when it is finished since it’s got to be returned to the wheel later to attach the rim. When the pot is leather-hard, place a twisted rope extrusion around the top edge of the pot, beginning with one end and working towards the other. This provides increased surface area to form a tight joint. Then the join is smoothed and blended by rotating the wheel slowly, and gradually throwing the join.

Then, cut the bucket from the bat, and cover it to let the moisture level to even out. When leather-hard, two holes for the bail of the handle are punched in the lugs with a piece of’ tubing. Roll the extrusion over a handle roller, which is made by gluing short pieces of quarter round and cove molding to a board. Just before the handle is leather-hard, a hole is made thru its length with a metal rod. It is simplest to work from one end for a centimeter or 2, then switch ends and work towards the middle.

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