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Getting Handle on Cane

Getting Handle on Cane

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Published by Stefan Van Cleemput

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Published by: Stefan Van Cleemput on Sep 14, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/13/2015

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PotteryMaking Illustrated
  
November/December 2006
E
very teapot needs a handle. As talented potters,we could make a beautiful ceramic handle. Butsometimes a teapot needs a little natural woodto contrast the ceramic surface. Wood handlesprovide a friendly warmth that’s inviting and appealingto hold.There are ready-made handles of wood, bamboo, rat-tan and cane available through ceramic supply stores.I’m partial to cane for my teapots, either English or Chi-nese cane. The English cane seems to have a smoothersurface as far as blemishes are concerned. The Chinesecane is slightly thicker in diameter and sometimes hasa “natural” or rough look to the surface. Because theChinese cane is considerably less expensive and is com-pletely covered for this project, it’s the practical choice.Cane handle styles include the horseshoe, the oval andthe square cane.
Above left: Teapot with modified cane handle, porcelain,fired to cone 10 reduction. Above right: Teapot with modi-fied cane handle, porcelain, fired to cone 10 reduction.
by Frank James Fisher
   G  e   t   t   i  n  g  a   H  a  n   d   l  e
on Cane
Teapot withmodified canehandle, stone-ware, fired tocone 10 reduc-tion. Includesan assortmentof ready-madehandles, a coilof commoncane and a coilof dyed reed.
 
PotteryMaking Illustrated
  
November/December 2006
25
I’ve relied on a variety of ready-made handles foryears, but I admit to feeling a tad guilty when I don’tmake the handles myself. After all, I spent a great dealof creative energy on the body of the teapot only toclip-on a ready-made handle at the end. The resultslooked fine, but I didn’t feel fine. I created a uniquecustom teapot and used a generic handle.The answer came through a mix of family andfriends. My mother weaves baskets and wove severalwonderful handles from willows. As nice as these han-dles looked, they didn’t reflect the tightly controlledaesthetic I wanted for my teapots. A fellow weaversuggested using the ready-made cane handles and add-ing some innovative cane wrapping. This approach re-sulted in a refined, sturdy handle that functioned welland could be customized for each teapot.
 Attach the Handle
To begin, attach the cane handle. First, dip the endsof the cane handle in boiling water for a minute to soft-en the cane. Bend open the flange ends and slip throughthe ceramic loops of the teapot. Bend the flange backinto place against the handle and secure tightly withthe woven cane loops. Set aside to dry.When dry, cut and remove the woven loops and dis-card. Check the fit where the cane flange meets thecane handle. This transition at this juncture needs to besmooth; no bumps where the two pieces of cane cometogether. You’ll be wrapping the cane over this area infuture steps and any misaligned joints will show. If thereare bumps, sand the transition smooth. Once satisfiedwith the dry fit, apply the Insta-cure gap-filling cya-noacrylate adhesive and press together. There should
1
Glued and sandedcane handle.Insert cane through canehandle opening.
2
Begin wrapping coils aroundcane tip.Cane tip secured withwrapped coils.
Ready-made cane handle6-foot length of common cane, 1 mm.1-foot length of flat oval colored reedBottle of Insta-cure, gap-filling, cyanoacrylate adhesive (Super Glue)Bottle of Insta-set, rapid-curing accelerantScissors and hobby knifeBasin of water approximately 8–9inches in diameter to soak the cane
Supplies Needed
Align the colored reed ahead ofnext coils.
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PotteryMaking Illustrated
  
November/December 2006
be a little give at this point to align the joint perfectlyand give the joint a spray of the Insta-set rapid-curingaccelerant. Hold a few seconds and everything shouldbe solid and secure (figure 1). Repeat where the handleattaches on the other side.
Wrapping the Handle
Place the lengths of cane and reed into a basin of room temperature water approximately 30 minutesbefore you begin the next step.The 6-foot length of common cane should be dampand pliable (so it will not crack). Begin by poking theend through the open bend just above where the canehandle is attached to the teapot (figure 2). Press ap-proximately one inch of the tip along the handle andbegin to wrap the length of cane from the opposite sidearound the handle and the cane tip (figure 3). This isthe hardest part of the project, so don’t become discour-aged. It is clearly a task designed for persons with threehands. The trick is to have pliable cane and proceedslowly using your finger tips to trap the cane againstthe handle as you begin to wrap. Once you have threewraps completed, the cane will bind itself into place.Your goal is to get six or seven wraps tightly wound(figure 4). You may need to dip your fingers into thewater basin to rewet the cane should it begin to dryand stiffen. As you are wrapping, try compressing thecoiled wraps together to get a tighter fit. Hopefully theoriginal cane handle will be covered completely by thewrapped cane as you progress along the handle.After six or seven wraps, it’s time to introduce anaccent color of reed. Place the tip of the reed on the up-
Pass two coils under the reed.
7
Pass one coil over the reed.Secure the end of the reed withseveral coils.
6
Repeat over and under to the otherend. The final wraps over the reed.
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