Medium bowls thrown on wooden batts. For the most part I pick off pots directly from the wheel, but there are some that need an additional platform beneath them so they can be lifted away without distorting the form. The walls of these are so thin and the bases relatively thick that attempting to pick them off without one would be a cause more warping than I’d ideally like.
I used to think that picking pots off the wheel was easy no matter what, you just needed to use the right technique. This isn’t the case. Very smooth clay bodies cut off the wheel with a single strand wire can be almost impossible to lift off without deforming the pot, even if you ensure the outside surface is clean of slip and your hands are dry. All the clay bodies we use are somewhat coarse, even if it’s just a touch of grog it makes a vast difference. The wire too, ours are textured, one sharp wire wrapped around another means the sliced clay doesn’t just sit back on itself, resealing. If the clay you use doesn’t like to be pick off the wheel, in honesty, you’re better off throwing almost everything on batts. Sliding them off with water has always felt like such a slow way of going about it, especially if you have to deconstruct your splash tray to do so.
These bowls firm up in minutes, the thin rim quickly becomes hard enough to support the bowl without being marked, when possible I’ll flip them upside-down to let the thickly potted bases dry out ready to be trimmed into a tall, elegant foot-ring. These wooden batts are lovely, smoothed and sanded edges and they haven’t frayed in the slightest—I’ll miss them when I leave Maze Hill Pottery soon. I definitely want to get one of those false wheel-heads with a square shaped space hollowed out, bisque tiles can be placed in and thrown on before being easily plucked out, they take up less space on a board too as they’re square.