Potter’s Sieving Mesh
“Your desire to change the world and the world’s desire to change you are constantly competing with one another.”
The summer school team went on with some school kids to identify the grassroot problems at a pot production unit. We observed things from its raw material intake to the whole process of the development of the final pot starting from the preliminary mixing of mud and its sieving; moving to the process of thumping to soften it and then to its final shaping, colouring and polishing.
The team found the conventional potters’ sieve to be obsolete and time consuming as it allowed the intake only from a small hole. In the proposed design, the sieve is placed slightly below the inlet, the mesh of the sieve is designed as two layers which are completely detachable. The design is intended to drop the gravel and the clay into their respective deposit pits. The handle of the mesh is used to shake the mesh to drop any deposited gravel and to remove it for any other interests. The mesh is made of aluminium aiding to an easier flow of water, clay and gravel. First layer of the mesh is the traditional one but adding the second layer to it enhances the deposition of clay since the kinetic energy of the flow is obstructed and thus, leads to better deposition of water and clay as the pressure increases. Because of the above-mentioned pressure, the mud slurry gets spreads across the entire surface of the mesh due to which frequent clogging of the mesh is avoided to a good extent. Any gravel depo sited on the mesh can be removed by using the handle to flatten the ridges created by the interleaving of the 2 layers, causing them to fall out into the pit.
The deposited clay after the resting period was initially manually extracted in multiple turns. The placing of a polythene cover or any plank would ease the process for the potter to take it to the drying process.
Since the filtration of the mud is an integral component of the quality of the pots and the whole process. This design aims to reduce the time and manual effort that was involved earlier and make the process a whole lot more efficient. An approximate increase in the efficiency would be 37.5%. (The proposed design is expected to bring down the time involved from 120 min to 45 min.)
This process continues for about 15 minutes and the pot takes its shape. 15 minutes for just a 12-rupee pot and this is not even half the process. Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Following is a description of what we tried.
We revolved around some ideas to address the problem but there were some things we could not adhere to. We can put the pot on a rotating platform and suspend the marble stone with a rod from the inside (The distance from the centre remains the same as it is a sphere). And the thapa is suspended on the outside with a steel rod. The motions of both are coordinated and this process shapes the pot.
This will reduce the time by at least 2/3rd allowing our potter to increase his produce by up to 3 times.