It has been a week of maintenance, new shelving and lots of cups here at Servant Ceramics.
For a while now, my wheel has been fairly noisy. As I’ve only ever owned second hand wheels, they’ve always had their own character and my current wheel, well, I definitely would of described it as ‘boisterous.’ Turns out, for good reason!
I searched the interwebs for tips and tricks on wheel maintenance and to be honest, didn’t come up with much (note: if you are a wheel thrower, I’d love to hear how you maintain your wheel… what you do, how often, etc).
For the record, I have a cone drive Venco 5 with the fun speed lock lever. Venco are very popular brand here in Australia with their cone drive wheels described by Robert Linigen as “the Holden Kingswood of Australian Ceramics” ( click here for Robert’s pottery wheel page).
So that’s what it the Venco 3/5 looks from the side.
This is what is looks like upside down (and I’ve included some text so you know that you’re looking at).
Realising that all my grommets were a bit worn out (ie: two had completely disappeared and the rest were fading fast), I needed a bit of information on how to replace them. Cameron Hess (from The Clay Shed) put me onto this fantastic video from Paul Gould which explains exactly how to change them.
Pulling apart the wheel was the fun part – trying to put in the grommets, especially the large one…. horrid! I tried and I tried and I tried to push those grommets into the shell’s holes, but in the end I gave up. Then I tried again, boiling a new batch of water to soak the grommets in. Then I gave up again and waited for my muscle man to come home and save the day. And save the day he did! Andrew was able to push those blasted plastic rings into the exterior shell.
As I said before, I really enjoyed pulling apart the wheel. I’ve never really ‘cared’ before about knowing what mechanical part was what and figuring out how the parts worked together. But it felt different with the wheel. Knowing how everything fits together and what happens inside the shell suddenly made sense and I felt kinda empowered – if thats the right word to use?
Like ‘I am woman, I pull stuff apart and put it back together!’
Everything got a serious clean, greasing the parts that needed it and when we turned the wheel on, and it worked straight away, I was ecstatic ! And so thrilled with how quite the wheel was running!
It’s been so pleasant in the studio the past couple days. Great temperature, clear skies, fresh clay…
Especially with the new shelving that I bought and assembled with my Dad on Monday.
I’m very much looking forward to filling those shelves with work from my super quiet wheel! Tomorrow I’ll be making some more candy beakers (like these ones).
Hope you have a great day tomorrow and oh, if you’re on the look-out for a Valentine’s day gift…. I still have a few of my very special & lovable heart cup + tea + note combo … Perfect for sharing the love around! Drop a hint to your loved one, if its something you’d like to have and hold 😉
With a big smile, Rachel.