So the first thing that has to be done in this technique is to throw the bowls, and the stems. I throw these off of a large hump of clay usually 15 to 20 at a time. I throw all of the cups first, then the stems.
A few years back, I created a chuck out of some plumbing parts that works quite well with my Griffin Grip (gp). I use this to trim almost all of the pots that I make preferring it over the many other methods I have used in the past. These include thrown chucks, damp wheel heads, clay chocks on the wheel head an piece, and many others.
I start my trimming of the base with a good hack saw blade that has not had edges worn down. This helps me to level out the base. Then I use a needle tool to trim out the center of the base so as not to have a trapped air pocket. I do not worry about the piece blowing up from trapped air, but it does stress joins and could crack them.
I finish the stem with a signature and a letter stamp "R". Most of my stems have a base in them, but occasionally they will just be an open stem. Then turning the stem right side up add any decoration that might seem warranted. This is just rough trimming as the clay is still a little damp, but later the sides will get more cleanup and definition. I like contrasting areas of smooth and valleys for glaze to pool in as much more happens when they are there.
Once the stems have all been trimmed, usually two hours for twenty, I will move on to the cups.
By now the cups have set up to nearly leather hard so joining the two together is pretty safe without distorting the cups in the gp. An old trimjim tool is my trimming tool of choice but almost any trimming tool will work, I trim the cup with the stem diameter in mind so that the stem fits into a hollow on the underside of the cup, then I burnish the two together as the clay is still a little damp and the added water from the joining. I use magic water (1 gallon of water,3 table spoons of liquid sodium silicate, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of soda ash) to join these together added on with a stiff cone shaped brush. This will score the area a bit, and make a little clay mixed into the magic water to fill gaps.
Once the chalices have been completed they are left to set up until completely leather hard and then cleaned up by additional trimming and hand rubbing with a soft sponge. This will remove the nerds and ditties (little pieces of clay) from the sides of the piece and smooth up any unwanted gouges.
|bats full of chalices|
|New canisters to be completed.|
|Kiln inside with bowl and bird bath|