Pots, paddles and piqued people.

I have been busy making friends on a couple of ceramics related lists with my my heresy that wood firing isn’t a carbon neutral way to fire. I will be able to present my argument as I have changed the topic of my presentation at a conference this fall to just that topic.

In the studio I have been making large jars and bowls. One of the problems I had was the clay sticking to the paddle during the paddling of  the clay to close the coils. I found a way to stop the problem. I coated the paddle with oil. I let the coating sink in and then have re-applied it a number of times. It is important the wood doesn’t have any clay as that will block the absorption of the oil into the wood. One of the teaching aids I have been using is a video I linked to a while ago of a Korean potter making large pots. The sound of the paddle hitting the clay is loud and distinct. I found I had to make paddles that are very thin in order to be able to hit with enough force to not smash the wall but with enough force to close the wall.


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2 Responses to “Pots, paddles and piqued people.”

  1. Mike Says:

    Hi Dave,
    I find that keeping paddles wet prevents sticking as well. Soak the paddles well before use, then wipe them prior to paddling. They will actually sweat water slightly as you use them, preventing them from sticking to the clay.


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