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I would break up your plaster board table and do it again. Yes, there are
different types of plaster and some are graded stronger for heavy duty wear.
I don't remember which is which but you could probably ask your clay dealer.
When it is almost hard I use a rubber kidney to scoop out some from the
middle and soften the surface to make it slope gently.
For cutting wires, we buy thick monofilament wire and make little clay
toggles to use as ends and make our own. A lot cheaper but for wheel
throwing I like wire so I use old violin/guitar strings.
I don't like using cloth that is stapled onto boards. It gets so dusty. We
use large pieces of canvas cloth that fit each work table and some smaller
pieces as well. We label them RED and White Clay. When they are dirty I
take them home and wash them with my studio clothes. Before I wash them the
first time I zig zag them like crazy so they won't run. I hate it when you
roll strings in your work. The canvas is an expense for the outlay but mine
have lasted over 6 years so far. When the get holes we cut them down
If you are in a teaching situation, I recommend using underglazes. You can
mix them somewhat to make some new colors and they can be painted on wet,
leatherhard, or bisque ware. Again, a start up cost but we used the paints
for a year before using them all up.
Anything I can do to help, let me know. Clay is a wonderful medium. (Among
my potter friends we say, "Clay is a wonderful lover" Don't want to scare
every body off here. Enjoy)
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