My old Pacifica....
I was 20 years old and had never driven into Chicago. I was going to go to Lill Street Gallery to buy my first wheel. So I looked at a map and figured out the most direct route -- across highway 30 and up highway 1. This is where I would insert one of those emoticons with the rolling eyes if it were available in this comment box, because obviously that route was not only ridiculously long, but dangerous as well.
Nevertheless, I arrived and bought the wheel. I stuck it and 500 pounds of stoneware into the trunk and back seat of my '66 Buick Skylark. I went home via the route the Lil Street folks wrote down for me!
When I got home I broke in the wheel by throwing a two quart pitcher (as I remember it, I liked the shape and then went and pulled a too-thin handle for it).
Sometime along in the late eighties or early nineties I bought a new Pacifica. Curious thing though -- I use the old one for throwing and the new one for trimming.
The new one has a system of belts that are nothing more than glorified rubber bands. They consistently break and stretch and don't have enough holding power to continuously throw big pieces.
The old wheel has a serious belt. Of course, over thirty years I've replaced it. I've also replaced the bearings twice, and put a new pedal on it. But it's held up quite well.
I guess I'm overly sentimental about my tools (if you read my "Kiln" piece, you know that about me!).
Changing of the Guard
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