If a bubble is popped deep in the form, I use a round
fingertip- or spoon- shaped wooden tool as a finger extension to smooth
over the resulting blemish.
In order to make pots similar in size for sets, etc. calipers are nice. Pictured are metal calipers, a wood jig with the lower part for fitting inside a cannister or casserole, and the upper part is the same width, for making matching lids. Also pictured is a bent wire which I use to measure and cut off goblet stems.
(the stems are thrown upside down, off the hump, and the tool is held even with the top, and pushed over with the short end of the wire into the clay to cut off the stem). With sufficient practice, most calipers are not needed--size can be controlled by the weight of clay used.
The chamois (cham'-ee) is a rectangular piece of rawhide kept wet when used, and pulled tight between the hands while draped over the lip of a pot to smooth and compress the lip. Most pots benefit from being chamoised, as sharp edges on pots chip easily.
(Kemper WT20 Trimafoot)
When a pot is finished, I trim cylindrical shapes like mugs, tumblers, and vases on the wheelhead to remove excess clay with this tool.
First point the tip straight down and cut in to reshape the bottom. Then point the tool towards the wheel center, flat part down, and slowly lower it from the tip outwards to remove the clay you have cut off. Kemper makes a nice version, which I believe used to be called the Trimafoot. Although made from hardwood, expect them to wear out with use.
(In the photos yarn is used to make the process easy to see.)
The last part of throwing the pot is releasing it from the wheel (or bat). I make a cutting wire from 25 lb. fishline and two washers. To secure the ends to the washers, slip some fishline through the hole in the washer. Bend the line back so it is lying next to itself, and tie a simple overhand knot in the doubled line, slipping the washer through in the process. Pull the knot tight close to the washer. Trim off the inevitable extra pieces. This knot will hold without slipping.
Pot lifts, as pictured, can remove any shapes which won't suffer from a bit of distortion in moving. They have a semicircular cutout which should be about the size of the pot being lifted. They come in several sizes. I use them for vases, pitchers, mugs, but avoid them for larger bowls and plates, due to deformation. If you do not have a source to buy these, they can be cut from sheet metal, but the round inner part is difficult to cut with tin snips (unless you have the ones designed for it.).
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