Art Off Center

116 W 2nd St, Ste 108

Potters Alley, Taylor, TX

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On Potters Alley 1

Wipe Your Bottom

I’ve teased everyone that I’m going to start a podcast called “Wipe Your Bottom” for potters, about all the little details that are needed to work or finish a piece.

Here’s a visual on the “wipe your bottom” issue and where this idea started.

As I load the Cone ^5 glaze kiln, I HAVE to check the bottoms of everything to make sure the items are clear of glaze so they don’t stick to the shelves when the glaze fires to the piece and turns into the glass-like surface on the pots/sculptures.

1: I often see bottoms of pots like the first photo below. The glaze is still sticking lightly to the sides and bottom of the area that’s been waxed, whomever glazed it, partially cleaned the bottom but didn’t really finish the task. The visual foot of the pot, where waxed originally, will be pretty patchy when done firing like this. It will look messy on that area when fired and will be seen every time someone uses this pot. This will also cause the piece to fuse to the kiln shelf during the glaze firing, no bueno!

2. I always have a small throwing sponge and a little bucket of water when loading the kiln. With a damp sponge, I “taco” (fold) the sponge around the edge of the bottom. Yes, you’ll hear me mention the taco spong in class.

Notice that while using the taco sponge in Step 2, I now have a little wet edge of glaze next to the visual foot ring area.

3. I take the wet folded, “taco”, sponge and now push up the sponge a little higher into the little wet glaze area and apply a bit more pressure to wipe back the glaze and get a clean edge between the glaze and the foot ring.

Depending on the glaze, that pot will now have a really nice clean glazed edge on the bottom next to the foot ring.

Voil√†!! “Wipe Your Bottom” should now make sense to you all. Stay tuned for the next tips!

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