Friday, January 22, 2010
Making A Handle
Making a handle isn't as easy as I thought it would be. Perhaps you recall the basket in process post from late last year. I love how the ceramic basket fired, but the handle isn't what I envisioned for the piece. In my mind I pictured a black wire handle with a coiled spring of wire at the top of the handle. Like one of those wire egg baskets or those French wire baskets. I thought I'd get the piece fired and put on the handle quick as could be and that would be that.
Since I am living in my RV, not having many of my tools readily at hand is creating a challenge for me. If I had been at home I might have used kanthal wire and made a ceramic handle for the piece. I looked around for some wire stiff enough to stand up on it's own but pliable to bend easy enough to fit through the holes and bend back. I couldn't find any black wire except florist's wire and that wasn't a stiff enough gauge. The wire I used is 6 gauge galvanized wire. Gary happened to have some wire twisting tools in his tool box we have with us. I have to be careful twisting the wire. I want to get the wire good and tight so I can slip a bead over it but not so tight that I crack the ceramic. I didn't even think of what I would do with the ends of the wire so they would look finished.
Gary said it would be difficult to get the wire coiled and twisted at the top of the handle without crimping or distorting the wire. So I purchased a length of bamboo and then realized I needed something to cut it with. So then I got a mini hack saw. At home I would have had a chop saw and would have had the whole length of bamboo cut up in seconds. The end of the bamboo is rough, now I need some sand paper.
To me the bamboo looks a little stiff. I think an asymmetrical piece of wood would look much better, like a piece of driftwood or a found piece of wood. But then I would need a drill and a vice to hold the wood so I could drill it. So I haven't twisted the ends of the wire on the piece tight so I can easily remove this handle when I think of a better way to make one. I think my idea has potential I just need to do a little more thinking and searching for just the right materials. I also have one more of these baskets made from cassius basaltic clay being fired which I'll be putting a handle on. Comments and suggestions are welcome.