Monday, May 26, 2008

How To Remove Pottery From The Batt

Pottery Batts or bats (either spelling is acceptable) are round covers that go over the head of a potter's wheel when throwing a pot or vase. It protects the wheelhead from getting gummed up with clay and can be removed, vase and all to allow the vase time to dry elsewhere should another project require the immediate use of the wheel. Originally these bats where made of wood or plaster and it can be very difficult to remove a dried vase or pot from one without damaging the unfired clay. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to safely remove a pot or vase from a bat.

Things You’ll Need:
Pottery Wheel


Vase or clay vessel, newly finished shaping

Thick gauge dental floss or thin wire

Plasti-bat (Optional)

Removing A Pot From A Plaster or Wooden Bat
Step 1:
Begin with the bat still firmly attached to the potter's wheel and the pot attached to the bat. The pot should still be slightly wet, it’s best to cut them from the bat immediately after you finish shaping them.

Step 2:
Get a good grip on the wire; wrap the ends around your hands if it helps. Stretch your wire as taught as possible across the far end of the bat. The pot should be between you and the wire.

Step 3:
Start the potter's wheel rotating very slowly.

Step 4:
Keeping the wire flush to the bat's surface and as taut as possible; bring the wire toward you in one slow, continuous motion.

Step 5:
Stop the wheel and carefully remove the bat from the wheel head. The pot is probably still too wet to touch, but it has been cut from the bat. The suction between the two has been broken and you need not worry of them reattaching. Place the bat with the pot somewhere to dry.

Step 6:
When the pot is hard as leather (Approximately one to three days) gently lift it from the bat and store it to dry sufficiently before it’s fired.

Tips & Warnings
New bats made from flexible silicone or rubbers exist now which can make this task much easier. Generically they're called Plasti-bats. With one of them you needn't cut the pot from the bat. Simply wait until the pot has dried a bit and peel the bat right off.
Wait too long to cut your pot free from the bat and it will likely crumble.

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