How To Make: A Throwing Stick out of a Wooden Mixing Spoon

March 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

First off, what’s a Throwing Stick? This explanation is for the non-potters reading this blog. Ok… imagine when you’re throwing on the wheel, a tall skinny vase… at some point, it’s gonna get so skinny that your hands can’t reach in anymore, but you still wanna pull up/shape some more. So you use a Throwing Stick as an extension of your hands! These things can be hard to find here in Kuala Lumpur, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for them. Before, I only had one large size wooden stick, and just had to make do for smaller pieces. So I kept an eye out… in the hardware store, in the pasar malam (street markets), and in supermarkets… and one day found a set of really tall skinny wooden mixing spoons. Perfect for my purposes. Now, I could very well just use the spoon as it is:

But if I want to use it in a really slim form, or one with a neck that’s already been brought in, it would be convenient to shave down the bulbuous shape at the end – because really, I only need half of that shape.

So these are the tools you would need for the project. Pencil. Coping Saw. Sandpaper.

And a bit of twine/rope (optional).

First, I marked out the area to be subtracted.

A note on which side of the spoon to hack away. If you throw on a wheel that spins counter-clockwise like me, you’d cut off the right side of the spoon (if it’s lying concave side up). If you throw on a wheel that spins clockwise, then cut off the left side of the spoon when it’s lying concave side up. Just a little detail that makes it a bit nicer to use in my opinion, cos then the curves of the spoon work nicely on the clay that way.

Then cut with coping saw. I guess if you had a proper woodworking shop you’d have a table and some clamps or something. I just had to watch out for the safety of my toe that was anchoring it down (left hand holding spoon handle, right hand holding saw).

Hacked! Looks broken but is more useful this way 😉 Now sandpaper comes into play… sand away any overly sharp edges. so it doesn’t nick into clay and make crazy lines in your work.

If you have beeswax or linseed oil handy, it would be a good idea to treat the wood before using it… that way it’ll last longer. I didn’t have any… dash it! So anyway…

At this point, you could stop and have a entirely functional Throwing Stick. But I’ve been feeling some strain on my hands lately, and wanted a more comfortable holding surface that was larger and easier to grip. So here’s where the twine came in handy:

Does it make a difference? Looks nice at least!

So there you have it, a new tool in 30 minutes 🙂

 

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