Step 5 – Making a Cylinder from the Cup Blank

I use a section of paper mailing tube to “train” the cup blank to be round. I don’t wrap the blank around the mailing tube, I drape it over the tube in a horizontal position. I support the tube with my left hand, and with my right hand press the slab to conform to the curve of the tube. It’s important that each of the sides is pressed into the form of the tube.

When you have curved the entire piece, set the tube and curved blank down on what will be the bottom edge of the cup. The top will have a nice rounded rim, while the bottom will still have square edges. Slip the tube out of the cylinder and set it aside. Position the left side of the cup blank, which has scoring on its’ outer edge under the right side of the cup blank, which has scoring on its’ inner surface. The cylinder should be sitting level, and the tops of each side should be level, or close to it. Gently press them together, and let the clay surfaces adhere for a few minutes before smoothing the join further. Just your finger will do at this point, a tool can be used to finish the join more completely when the piece is at a dryer state. The tube can be reinserted into the cylinder and used to resist pressure from your fingers, or the brayer. Be gentle and don’t deform the join – the clay has a will to stick to itself….

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