Monday, June 4, 2012

Pug Mill Adventure

Yesterday was quite an adventure when I went to the Penland area to pick up a pug mill. For those who may be less familiar with such beasts, a pug mill is used to reclaim clay, mix clay, add grog to a clay for making larger pieces and flowerpots, and can be used as an extruder of sorts, but I do not really intend to use it as an extruder. Pug mills generally weigh quite a lot. Particularly when it gets up to this size and is made with marine-grade steel which keeps it from rusting. When I arrived to my destination, I saw a wooden flight of stairs, down which the pug mill was going to need to come. There was another option too - a large hoist system with chains that could lower it off the porch and into the truck bed. I should add that getting to the pottery was fun too, as it was up on the mountainside above a river! For anyone who ever visited me when I lived in a little studio out in Jackson County, Kentucky, the driveway to that place was a cakewalk compared to getting here!
Moment of truth before going over the edge

This whole adventure would not have been able to be accomplished without the help of Michael Kline and his family coming down from Bakersville to help out. The physical and moral support was greatly appreciated! After a while of figuring and my knowledge of tying things up from watching an engineer who knows about those things for several years, we got it attached and chained, and with breath held, pushed it out off the porch to dangle above the ground.
Almost there!
It was slowly lowered into the bed of the truck and with a little pushing, dropped right where it rode all the way home after being strapped in. With having a farm and developing a pottery shop, there really is never a dull moment. Life is full of adventures though, right?
With a sigh of relief, the beast was strapped in and covered up for the ride home.
As a funny post script, you may notice the port-a-potty in the above photo. Well, we almost had another adventure when someone went to back the truck up, the port-a-potty almost got pushed over a cliff! Luckily that did not happen and no one was inside!


Dennis Allen said...

Oh the work that will save. Sounds like a great adventure.

Jonathan Leiss said...

Part Two: Unloading the pugmill? I hope the kiln building is going well and the studio is almost up and running!

Ollie said...

Nice machine! Now you can build an old-fashioned pugmill and use the sweep as a crane to get the electric one out of the truck :) jk

Liberty Stoneware said...

Part II was not quite as adventurous, luckily our porch is about tailgate-level and we were able to offload it pretty easily. Definitely will be a time and work saver! Especially if I find that the clay on our property is stoneware, it will make processing the clay so much easier. Oliver, although we plan to get animals at some point on the farm, I don't think mules or horses to operate a pug mill is on the list. Although, I have an awesome sketch from an excavation of a pug mill I need to send you...remind me...

Joyce Hornsby said...

So how many friends, neighbors, associates, farmers, etc. will you have to round up to get this "beast" out of the truck and in his new home?