Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi

FOOT (d) Pottery: classic turning.

ca: PEU (d) Ceràmica: clàssic de torn.

es: PIE (d) Cerámica: clásico de torno.

a) Work with a bat which is a portable wheel head, it resembles a tray that can be attached to and detached from the wheel. Using a bat the clay is centered and the basic shape of the bowl is prepared leaving enough clay at the bottom for the footing.
It is then moved to one side until it is dry enough to be turned upside down without deforming. When dry enough, the clay is separated from the bat by pulling a wire cutter over the surface of the bat and under the clay.
b) Turn the bowl upside down on the bat and put it back on the wheel. Turn the wheel slowly and with your hands carefully move and center it without deforming the shape.
c) Then attach it to the bat with a coil of clay so it does not move while being turned.
d) Turn the wheel and with a turning-tool remove the rough surface round the foot so it curves correctly with the rest of the bowl.
e) Turn the wheel using the turning-tool to slice off the clay until the wall of the foot is at 90º.
f) Turning the wheel, use a needle tool and mark, quite deeply, the outside circumference of the footing. This becomes a guide when slicing off the outer clay. To do this correctly use a circle cut out in cardboard, a compass or a banding bar with a needle tool.
g) With the turning-tool sideways remove the rough surface round the foot so it curves correctly with the rest of the bowl.
h) In the same way as the outer circumference mark one for the inside of the footing.
i) Carefully peel off the clay on the inside of the marked circle work with care not to go too deep or to pass the line.
j) Following the marked and holding the turning tool vertically, carefully slice off the inside wall, making it the same depth as the outside and parallel to it. Turning the wheel, remove all the surplus clay and smooth off the center.
k) If it is a plate that will be hung up as a decoration make two holes in the footing by pushing a needle tool, which is not too thin, through it. Leave the holes big enough to pass a string and far enough apart to have enough strength to take the weight of the plate when hung up.
l) Add the finishing touch by smoothing off the rough edges that making the holes has left and removing any imperfection on the surface, then turn and check that the front of the plate has not been damaged in any way.

This is the last section, to go to the first; Foot (a)
The next section; Handles (a)