Easy Bat Removal: A Quick and Simple Tip for Getting Grippy Bats off the Potter’s Wheel

Easy Removal of Bats - No Knife Necessary!

If you are a potter who uses bats when throwing on the potter’s wheel, chances are you have had to wrestle with a bat or two to remove it from the wheelhead. Sometimes the suction-cup effect is so strong (especially with thin plastic or masonite bats) that when you finally break the bat free using a knife or pin tool, you have also distorted a perfectly thrown pot.

Ceramic Arts Network reader Michelle Kaisersatt came up with this simple solution for removing those extra grippy bats without hurting your freshly thrown ware. So struggle no more! –Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

Bats are not the easiest things to remove from the potter’s wheel once a piece has been thrown. Here is a simple tip for making “bat remover handles” out of the top three inches of the plastic bags in which moist clay is packaged. Cut the top three inches off of a clay bag, keeping the plastic intact as one continuous loop. Lay this strip across your wheel head before placing bat onto wheel, placing it near but not over the pins (figure 1). Place bat on wheelhead (figure 2) and throw your piece. When you are ready to remove the bat, place your index fingers inside the overhanging loops of the strip (as shown in the image at the top of the page) and pull up. With the equal pull on the bat, near the pins, you are able to lift the bat off the wheel with out throwing your newly created piece out of round.

figure 1

figure 2

If you don’t buy premixed, packaged clay, any thicker plastic bags could be used for this purpose.

Thanks Michelle Kaisersatt for this great tip!

**First published in 2008.

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