Post 88 Fitting Feet

How to fit feet to pots is really no great mystery or significant IP to be protected. The method is no different to that for joining any clay pieces. This is how I do it.


 First roll out some clay to the required thickness.


Then with a template of the foot design I want to use I roughly cut out pieces for the feet and then set them aside to dry a little. This foot template is for a square semi cascade pot.


I usually place the pieces on a piece of gyprock or drywall sheeting. If you do this and have a couple of small pieces the same size, the clay is easier to turn and get even drying. I like to dry the clay on the wall sheeting and in contact with the air for 4, 5 6 hours until it is ready. When is it ready? Well I like to make sure the feet clay is as close as possible in moisture content as the pot they will be fitted to. If they go to far you can always bring them back a bit with a water misting and plastic bag.
Wet clay is the least problematic to join and as it gets dryer then the risk rises. I like it to be dry to the touch but still quite flexible. That said I have used the same process successsfully with leather hard clay - all but dry and flexible only with high point pressure.


 At that point it can be handled with less risk of messing up the shape and it cuts cleanly without dragging. So this is when I make the final cuts up against the template. The clay also needs to be firm enough the be able to apply some pressure when making the join.


Then the foot is ready to join with the pot. I use a serrated rib to score the mating surfaces.


 Here you can see the scoring with a good crosshatching.







Apply slip to both surfaces. I like to use a long bristled artist's filbert brush; soft and flexible. For me slip is nothing more than a slurry of the clay body, which I keep in a screw top container always ready to use. Some recommend the use of 'magic water' (sodium silicate and soda ash active agents) which will flux the joint and that may be helpful the dryer the clay to be joined. The slip works fine for me but the critical step is the next one.


When you place the foot in place then rub it back and forth in position with downward pressure until the slip is forced out of the join and you feel resistance to further movement. At that point make the final adjustment in position with reduced downward pressure and it's set in place.


Apply some gentle finger pressure all around the joint line and then brush around the joint line with some more slip. A little further finger massaging and smoothing and it's nearly finished.


 My final step is usually a final brush with the filbert with straight water to remove any remaining excess slip and to finally moisten the joint.