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Ground Breaking

Reuse, recycle, reduce. We hear these ideas all the time and I tend to think they are good ones. It comes in especially great when someone gives me an old kiln.  That is exactly what happened when the electric kiln that we used for cone 6 glaze firing gave up the ghost at Callanwolde. It’s a good size kiln, much bigger than my electric kiln but I’m not interested in rewiring this one. You may remember I did that with my electric kiln when I installed the kiln sitter (you can read about that here) which I got from another free kiln.

My plan for this kiln is to make it a reduction kiln since that is the look I like best for my pots. I am even considering adding a stoke hole so I can feed some small piece of wood into the kiln for some ash and wood effects.

Before I can start converting it into a gas kiln I need to build a kiln shed. My current kiln room is fine for the electric kiln but it’s too crowded to add flame to the mix. I’m designing a simple lean-to type shed that will have a m…

Handle Pulling Tip

We’ve been working on making better mugs in the class at Penland. Cynthia Bringle has demonstrated her way of attaching and pulling handles so we’ve all been working hard at getting the technique down well.  Cynthia pulls handles off the side of the mug which is different than the way I normally do it. So we’ve been pulling a lot of handles in this class. It’s not unusual to find a piece with 2 or more handles, it’s rather fun.

When pulling handles a potter tends to use a bit of water to make the clay move to the thinness and length that we want for the piece. This often means we have a little water running down our arms. It’s a bit annoying. My friend and classmate, Lora Rust has come up with a great solution. She uses a sweatband to absorb that water and stop it from running down the arm and dripping off the elbow.  Brilliant.

Pulling a Handle
How do you make your handles?

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. great tip, I dip my sponge in a bowl of water to wash my work table down and wet my clay and I can use this tip for that purpose too

  2. I pull handles off of the mug. When I was learning I did the lots of handles on one pot too! The wrist band is a great idea... would come in handy when eating lobster too :-)

  3. I still pull my handles separately, let them firm up in a curve then attach. One of these days I'll try this method but might have to see if I can buy a sweat band first :)

  4. I have made many handles off the pot too but never cared for it. I like to make exactly what I want, let it dry, then get it on there just right. Sometimes, ahem, if I may say, people who pull them off the pot are a bit, er, snooty about it, just like potters who throw off the hump or woodfire, considering themselves, perhaps, a little more traditionalist or something....


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