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Water Whistle
(also known as Nightngale whistle)

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

FANCY CHIRPING BIRD WHISTLE from
Purchase this whistle at http://www.sixthstreetocarina.com/

This fancy version of the folk-style water whistle features an individually wheel-thrown base and a hand-painted bird perched in one of a variety of poses. As with the other chirping birds, all you need is a small amount of water to make this whistle sing like a bird.



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Making of an open vessel water whistle.

1. Make a mug or cup with fairly thick walls. Before it is leather hard attach the handle. The top of the handle should be even with the lip of the cup. Cover it with plastic to prevent drying while completing step two.

2. Use your little finger or the eraser end of a pencil to form the pinch pot.

3. Put the whistle on the handle so it is directly over the cup wall. You may want to slice some of the whistle bottom off so it sits snugly at the handle and cup junction.

4. Push a small hole making tool like a juice box straw, coated on outside with oil to prevent sticking to clay, down through the whistle, burrow down through the inside the cup wall below the whistle. Push the wall several inches down on the inside of the cup. Remove all chunks of clay that was pushed out by the straw. Keep the straw in place and patch any cracks in the cup wall. This will make sure that the tunnel stays open while you are making the cup wall presentable. If the wall is too thin the entire area under the handle will need a patch.

Water whistle 2

5. Slowly twist and remove the straw. Now you have created a hollow tube through the clay, running from the top of the whistle down through the cup wall and out into the inside of the cup.

6. Plug the hole on the top of the whistle left by the hole maker or leave it for an extra note.

7. Sound the whistle. Make any necessary adjustments to get a clear tone. Be careful to handle everything gently to avoid collapsing the internal cavities.

8. After bisque firing (cone 06), put wax in the whistle openings, including the one inside the bowl of the cup. When these are safely plugged, glaze as usual. When the glaze is dry, unplug the whistle openings removing any crusts of glaze left clinging that might obscure the holes. Glaze fire (cone 022).

Water whistle 1

9. Fill the cup to above the opening inside with fluid and try the sound. Blow into the whistle, varying your breath. The lovely clear liquid voice of the nightingale will ring out.

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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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