Merry Christmas to me!. I went to my buddy Frankie Tuckers and bought another Thomas Stuart wheel. This time I got the Pro model so I can throw 400 lbs. I am trying to fight off my Napoleon complex.
I like to tell a story about Frankie and wheels. Frank sold his kiln company to Shimpo. When he was doing the deal he was told of this secret wheel they were developing. He was asked to ask his potter friends what would be top three features for a wheel. I said #1 big splash pan. #2 British system for batt pins( one in the middle and one two inches to the side). This allows you to use small batts for small items like a porcelain saucer. No more 12 inch batts for small items. #3 Make that big splash pan all the colours of the rainbow like Mudtools ribs. Women love colour and so do I. They brought out the Whisper. It is silent. Who cares?????? Most of us are old and deaf and the others listen to their tunes or the radio. See how much I get listened to.
The TS now Skutt is the best on the market. Frank sells 20 Whispers to one of these. Why are people penny wise and dollar foolish? The wheel head lifts off, the big pan is easily cleaned, it has a plaster batt wheel head and mould for making plaster batts. Of course throwing plates on a flat plaster batt makes sense. For a couple hundred bucks more you get a wheel designed by a potter not an engineer.
So Frankie knows his business and how to make great kilns. He now owns his kiln company (Shimpo- Coneart) again. He could run it better than a big corporation. Now if I could only get him to build wheels- red, lime green, yellow, rainbow splash pans here we come.