Batts

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I treated myself to some throwing time.  First, the bodies of a few jugs.  Then I wanted some plates, which I throw on batts because I’m not clever enough to get them off the wheelhead otherwise.  The trouble is, I’m not very clever at throwing on a batt either.  Posh wheels have screws or nubbins with specially made batts which can be attached to them.  I have to do it the old-fashioned way, which for a kack-handed amateur is fraught with hazard and bad language at every stage.

First throw a disc of clay on the wheelhead, as flat as possible, then make channels which I hope will act as suction cups to hold the batt on.

First throw a disc of clay on the wheelhead, as flat as possible, then make channels which I hope will act as suction cups to hold the batt on.

Position the batt and centre it.  Wallop judiciously in such a way that it stays centred, is well stuck on, and is perfectly horizontal. Ha!

Position the batt and centre it. Wallop judiciously in such a way that it stays centred, is well stuck on, and is perfectly horizontal. Ha!

Centre the clay without pushing the batt out of alignment.  Then throw a nice flat plate. Pass the wire below and try not to cut the bottom out of it.

Centre the clay without pushing the batt out of alignment. Then throw a nice flat plate. Pass the wire below and try not to cut the bottom out of it.

Cut batt from wheelhead with plate still on it. Air dry, and run the wire below the plate again soon before it sticks itself down forever.

Cut batt from wheelhead with plate still on it. Air dry, and run the wire below the plate again soon before it sticks itself down forever.

Then I lipped the jugs.

Then I lipped the jugs.

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4 responses »

  1. I enjoy your pottery pieces because my granddad was a potter. Actually, that’s not strictly true. He started work at the local brickworks (Furness Brick and Tile, which is still going) when he was 14 and worked his way up to end his days as the manager. During that time he acquired a wheel and had a corner of a workshop set up for making pots. He tried to teach me and my brother how to throw pots, but being little boys at the time we weren’t particularly interested. Looking back, it’s one of the things I really regret not pursuing, like learning to play the piano.
    I still have a couple of his efforts: a heavy shaving mug which I use as a coffee cup and a little blue jug about the size of the jugs in which they serve cream at tea shops. There’s nothing special about them, but to me they are worth their weight in gold. It’s like he’s still living, still present, in my house because they were made by his hands.
    Keep up the good work.
    Regards, Alen McF

    • 🙂 Thank you and glad you like hearing about my dabblings. And yes, I know what you mean about hand-made things – I have some of that astonishing Victorian and Edwardian embroidery and drawn thread work, done by my great-great- and great-grandmothers. I never met them, but it is so intimate to think of their long-gone hands setting every stitch.

      Regrets – it’s never too late you know! Without having to be a ‘proper’ potter, the process is fascinating, and you can’t possibly be as kack-handed as I am. I kick myself that I didn’t start years earlier doing the beach clay pots and exploding them in a backyard bonfire clamp, even if I couldn’t then afford the kiln or the pottery classes. Think of all the fun I missed.

      PS I think it’s easier than playing the piano!

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