Sunday, 10 April 2011

Special Delivery

I’m a bit over-excited at the moment. A huge lorry arrived outside the house on Friday morning and left behind this big parcel. I unwrapped it and look what was inside…

A lovely new Shimpo wheel! I’m so pleased with it. It’s a Shimpo Whisper RK3D and I’m so chuffed. Within minutes it was out of the box and set up in the corner of my studio. Then I decided to give my workspace a good clean and re-arrange everything to accommodate my new toy. So here’s a picture of my nice clean workroom…

Yesterday I tried out my new wheel for the first time. I decided to throw a few small bowls just to get used to things. And for the first time in absolutely years I had trouble centering. Two bowls had to go in the reclaim. Now at first I put this down to a) getting used to a new wheel, and b) being over-excited. But two bowls…? I'm used to using different wheels at the drop of a hat without losing a pot. So something wasn’t right. I found a forum on the Internet that suggested if you know it isn’t you who’s the problem then check the wheel head is level. I checked. I got my spirit level out and realized my studio floor is so bumpy the wheel head was sloping all over the place!

So I spent a good half an hour re-adjusting the re-adjustable foot on the wheel and putting pieces of cardboard under the others to get it right. The forum also had a little trick to test if the wheel is running true. Put a pencil with an absolutely flat base up-ended in the very centre of your wheel and spin, increasing the speed. If the wheel is level it will stay upright even at full speed. I tried this with a flat-based brush. At first it flew off the wheel even at slow speed. After lots of fiddling with cardboard it now stays upright. So hopefully I’ve fixed the problem!

Anyway, not all the bowls went in the reclaim; I managed to make three little bowls on my first throw despite the centering issue - and here’s one of them. I’ve added a lip as you can see, and I’ll be turning them soon when they’re dry enough. So I should find out in a day or two how I get on with turning on my new wheel! Still over-excited by the way…


  1. It's so frustrating when you get a new toy and it seems not to be working! I'm glad you managed to get it sorted out :)

  2. youre so clever,i couldnt even begin to use the wheel,I like your workshop too

  3. You must be so pleased, new tools and equipment are just the best!!!

  4. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments!

  5. Your blog is fantastic! I would love to give pottery a go, you've inspired me. Don't worry, I'll be rubbish at it, no patience ;-)

  6. Thanks Denise! I'm so pleased you feel inspired! I find pottery completely addictive...!