Wendt Pottery Clayart Page
Check this page for information requests that require photos. Last update 14-02-18 MW
click here to tour our studio from the front door in TOUR page1 TOUR page2
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The simple answer to improving load density with fewer shelves is the use of risers sized various diameters to fit a variety of pot foot sizes.
I use the wheel to make these. They are very true and flat and stay that way plus they catch drips and runs so they protect the shelves.
Notice how pots can be stacked above shorter pots to make the layer taller. Fewer shelves result in more even and faster firing.
Here you see how easy it is to use the space over low, wide items like casserole dishes. Notice too that I have developed a simple method for threading clay. The soap bottles fit standard pumps supplied by places like Axner and others.
Non-intrusive wall thickness checking schemes:
click here for the caliper method
click here for the magnetic method
To see the full laser depth finder page, click on the photo below:
Laser Depth Finder
Here is one solution to "S" cracking. The microbat system lets you make pots much the way you would off the hump while assuring the bottom gets enough compression to eliminate the cracking issue. I recently made over 220 bowls for a fund raiser and did not have a single bottom crack with this system.
A Homemade slab roller I built
Pictured below is the infinitely adjustable 4 gear driven slab roller.
click on the words "slab roller" to see the details.
it is bi-directional so the slabs can be reduced going either direction for faster results. Maximum slab thickness is 1.5 inches. The boards I use are 24" x 36" but it really could accommodate much longer boards. Key to its construction is...
Anyone who wants to build equipment can take a welding class and do the same things i have done for the past 36 years. I consider building equipment an extension of the drive to make things that comes from making pottery
The Giant Trim Arm System
Trimming large items is easy with the clamp arm system below ( this is a 19" diameter sink). The eccentric cams hold the desired tightness as long as you wish yet are easy to adjust when needed. The arms can fit different sized bats to allow small, medium or large pieces to be trimmed. The arm set costs $30.00 plus shipping. The cams are $27.00 a set.
The new microbat system (click on this link)
Response to a question about the merit of making your own tools:
At the left is an assortment of tools we use all made in the manner below.
It starts by drilling 2 1/8" holes near the points of a grade 2 1/4" bolt 3" long. The head is ground down to increase trimming clearance and make the tool more comfortable to hold. A piece of 12 gauge Nichrome wire or hardfacing welding rod is cut to the desired length and bent roughly into the shape needed. I always check the fit in the drill holes before bending the wire to be sure the wire will fit. I grind it a little if need be to assure an easy fit but not loose. Final shape is fine tuned by pounding after insertion into the holes. A chisel is used to swage the hole tightly around the wire after it is fully inserted into the holes. The wire is then pounded flat. Cold working Nichrome wire hardens it so it will hold an edge. After flattening, it is bent into the final shape and ground sharp, ready to trim. Welding rod requires a final heating and air quenching step to make it fully hard. Cost is very low, the shapes you can make are endless and the 90 degree bend means many shapes can be trimmed with this tool type that loop tools just cannot reach. The handles are collet style so the tools are easy to remove and replace. Handles cost $4.00 each and can be ordered from us.
Rod and restand plate method
Click on the link to see a clip.
Response to a question on the value of learning to weld:
Why should you learn to weld? Pictured below is the cross wire cutter I built in about an hour that cuts the pugs uniformly along their axis so that the spring loaded swing cutter can make the correct weight for the pots we plan to throw. The time saved is remarkable! Plus, it is a fun welding project. I used 1/16" stainless steel welding rods as the cut wires to make the cuts wide so they do not stick back together.
Notice the use of threaded rod so that the wires can be positioned anywhere I choose with accuracy and ease.
Response to a footing versus flat finishing question:
Pots are accumulated in damp boxes for simplicity in the event that the finishing steps get interrupted.
Once firm, they are inverted on a smooth batt for the burnishing step which helps eliminate virtually all cracking.
Notice the sheen on the bottom. There are no microscopic tears caused by the cutoff wire for cracks to start from.
Notice the various burnishing tools used on the trim wheel to completely smooth all trimmed areas immediately.
Response to a question about how to make and dry hand thrown sinks:
Saturday I received an order for a 15" sink to sit on top of an antique wash stand. I threw the sink and the drain Sunday and they sat on the special fast dry air intake to the furnace which runs 24/7. Not a single crack is to be found on any part of the sink or its components as seen in the close up view. The finished sink works exactly as requested and looks like an antique with the clear glaze over the off-white Helmer Porcelain. For some reason, the fast dry approach to Helmer makes for the lowest loss rates due to cracking which makes it an ideal production clay body when used this way. mw 10-6-07
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