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New Issue of Pottery Magazine Online, Issue #001 -- Monthly Newsletter
July 28, 2012

Welcome to the second edition of Pottery on the Wheel Magazine Online. In this issue I'll be talking about one of my favorite clay bodies as well as some tips for attaching handles to mugs.

Clay with Character

One of my favorite clay bodies is called Calico by Laguna. The product number for it is WC-871.

Calico is a buff colored cone 5 clay with small brown speckles showing through in the firing.

The reason I love it so much is that the specks with show through on all but the most opaque glazes. This allows you to take a plain, flat looking oxidation (or electric kiln) glaze and give it some richness, life and character.

It also looks beautiful unfired, as it takes on a stoney look.

To read more about this clay or find out where to buy it you can check out Laguna's website at:

Tips for Attaching Handles

The main trick with getting handles to work lies in two things: shaping it right and attaching it right.

Here are some basic tips:

- Be sure the handle and the body of the mug are the same dryness, whether soft or hard, before attaching the handle.

- If attaching a more dry handle it will need to be formed into the desired shape BEFORE being attached.

- If attaching the handle fairly wet you can use a little bit of water to pull and reshape the handle while it's attached to the pot. The biggest challenge here is that the mug has to be softer too.

- Paint some wax resist around the attachment points if you are concerned about cracking. This will help equalize the moisture between handle and mug.

- With softer handles, dry the mug upside down so that the handle maintains it's "ear" shape.

- Be sure to leave two fingers of room inside the handle for an ideal fit.

- Dry the mug slowly in a plastic bag or a damp room with a humidifier to help the dryness of the parts equalize.

For lots more tips and how-to's see these pages on the website:

Hand Pulled Handles

Mug Making Tips

Also, if you missed the interview with Mitch Lyons last month, he is a really inspiring guy with some very interesting techniques. You can still read the interview and find a link to photos of his beautiful work here.

For the home page with access to more pottery lessons, videos, and advice visit

Thanks for reading, and Happy Potting.

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