I managed to get my hands on a used wheel, cheap. It is a gigantic banding wheel: wheel head is 50cm across and the whole thing assembled weighs 60kg. It looks like it might have been someone’s homemade wheel, made from acquired parts and put together.
It is an oddly constructed wheel, no bearings at all. The top of the shaft accommodates a pin in the wheel head like my kickwheel, but there is no bearing in the bottom, just tapered sleeve on the shaft that engages the bottom of the wheelhead shaft, heavily greased. It requires a very fine setting of the tapered sleeve. Engage it too much and the wheel doesn’t turn well, not enough and there is a waggle in the wheel.
It arrived pretty rusty and dirty, looks like it saw a lot of use at some point, then got left in a corner somewhere for a few years. I got a wire brush disc for my angle grinder and spent quite a while getting the accumulation of clay, gunk, paint, and rust off.
Finally got the wheel head assembly cleaned up and oiled, and with some experimentation found the ‘sweet spot’ for the tapered sleeve when engaging the wheel head shaft, and the wheel spins quite nicely. Click on the link below to see it spin: Wheel spin test
My plan for this wheel is to weld arms to the base of the wheel head shaft and mount a wooden fly wheel, and add a wooden wheel head onto the current steel wheel head. The resulting kickwheel should be great for onggi style coil and paddle work.
It has become increasingly obvious over the last year or two that a major remodeling of the studio was going to be necessary. As output has increased and work habits have changed, and the fact that I want to put in a wood burning stove for winter heating, changing the configuration of the studio has become unavoidable. I’d been putting it off for a long time because it is going interrupt, but I last week it finally reached critical mass and I decided to bite the bullet and get to work. So…
First order of business is to get the stairs into a more manageable place, and add some floor space to the second floor. Here is a series of photos of the project:
Interesting note here: when I removed the floor and started taking things off the shelf so I could dismantle it, I found my studfinder that I’d been searching for since, well since I put in that floor section 4 or 5 years ago. I looked everywhere for that thing!
I’ll still need to remove and redo the shelving at left, but for now just removed enough to get this project accomplished. Baby steps…
The ‘beam’ is actually two 4.5 cm thick boards screwed together. In my rush to get the beam in place, I forgot to move the stairs to a place within the work area. Doh! Stairs 1, Homo Sapiens Sapiens 0. But it all worked out ok, I threw the rope over the newly placed beam and used it to lower the stairs to the ground, then slid them over near to their final resting place, without destroying any discs in my back. Yes! Stairs 1, Homo Sapiens Sapiens 1. Take that, stairs!
This is my first project where I have discovered the forbidden delights of the Simpson Strong-Tie. I’d seen them before in the States, but only recently in Japan, and only at one of the home improvement stores. They saved me all kinds of time, since I didn’t have to cut all the joints for the floor joists, and as an added bonus, they’re cheap.
I secured all of the floor boards from below, so there are no screws or screw holes visible on the floor surface, and no need for wood plugs or putty.
As you can see, the stairs come awful close to the remaining shelving at left, but they are accessible. Moving the shelving is on the to-do list. Still, looking good from here…
Nice expanse of natural wood with no nails or screws visible.
All finished. This is the view from the doorway side of the shop looking back toward the stairs. The original part of the second floor at left. Stairs are up against the wall, and the studio already feels roomier.
This is one of my favorite water jars, not just from the Karatsu tradition, but from all water jars the world over.
I like the way it looks more like an old burlap sack than a pot, partly due to the way it was made, and partly from the firing.
Here are two I made as a sort of practice. If I can come close to the original, I’ll be thrilled, but just getting the practice is the main goal here.
Whoever made the original really really knew what they were doing. It is coil and paddled, and about three mm thick throughout.
I’ve spent the better part of the last week working on a wedding gift order. In Japan, the guests give the marrying couple cash, and the couple gives their guests presents.
Here are the yunomi and small plates for the bride. The yunomi were altered, carved, then given a slip deco, the plates given iron brush deco ( irises with grass and birds), and they are all going in the bisque this weekend.
There is a small artist show at the house and garden of another potter here in town. I have a small space there for the next 3 days. Quite to my surprise, there were many guests on the first day, and I even made some sales, though I wasn(t really expecting to.