Monday, July 20, 2020

Legacy Tools

"If you don't have a wedging table, you don't have a pottery shop" -Me

Back in 1978, my friend (and at that time, employer) Doug Hively moved from Winona Lake, IN to Salem, Oregon. When he did, he left behind a wedging table -- the first official piece of pottery making equipment to become part of my shop.

At that point, I still didn't have a wheel, a kiln, or even my first ton of clay. I had yet to finish building my 8'X16' shop (in a trailer park).

But I had a wedging table.

The way this wedging table looked when Doug left it to me, it was simply four 2"X6" legs holding up a 2"X4", plywood-bottom frame that was then filled with plaster.

It was maybe ten years later, I added supports because the legs were wobbly. Some short time after that I remodeled it. I cut off the legs by 5" so that I could then put it up on wheels. That allowed me to move it around the shop if I wanted, but also allowed me to box in the bottom with plywood, and still have room for my feet to go under it while I was wedging.

The cut off wire is a guitar string strung between two screws that I bored through. One screw stays stationary, embedded in one of the wooden uprights. The guitar string's ball stops at it. The other screw is in the opposite wooden upright and tightens the guitar string as it is screwed in.

My old cat, Hobie, used to sort of "bleat" whenever clay passed through that guitar string causing it to twang. I never new if she was singing along or complaining.

Today I fixed the plaster and put a new canvas on the old girl. She should be good for another forty years.