Wheel Throwing Learning to throw a Pot

Before you can learn to make something like this you must first learn how to throw a cylinder!
For teaching about how to make a cylinder I found a lot of great information from the website Lakeside Pottery. It is a great resource if you get lost at any point during this process!
First, you must start with a large ball of clay that is somewhat rounded. Throw it onto the middle of the wheel plate.
Then get some water on your hands and place them on your clay. Be sure that your elbows are firmly placed on your thighs for support because the clay will be moving fast! Right now you are working on "centering" your clay which means to make sure that the clay is in the center of the wheel. While centering it is ideal to have the wheel spinning at a very fast speed.
During centering the clay it is helpful to push inward to make the clay become taller and then push is back downward several times to ensure that all of the air bubbles are out of the clay. Then after you are finished, push the clay back down so that it almost looks like a hockey puck.
Now you can start opening your pot! Start by sliding ex finger towards the center of the clay then pressing down. Have your other hand on the outside of the pot to secure the clay. Be careful not to press down too far and go through the bottom of the pot!
After you finish opening up the pot hole you can start to make that hole larger by sliding your fingers along the bottom of the pot. Be sure to always be supporting the walls of your pot with your other hand!
Raising the walls of your pot may be the trickiest part of this process. First place two fingers at the base of the inside of the pot then with a sponge in your other hand slowly move your fingers up the walls of the pot applying pressure with the sponge and your fingers allowing the clay to rise. It is important to stay steady during this process.
Once you are happy with what your pot looks like, it's time to trim! Trim the pot by using a tool with a straight edge along the bottom part of your pot until you are happy with the results. Then use a wire tool with the wheel spinning very slowly to cut your pot off the wheel and carefully pick up your pot and set it somewhere to dry out. Next is a video showing all of these steps so you can see them all put together!

Once you have mastered the skill of wheel throwing a great resource to go to for more information is the website Cermaic Art Daily. There you can find all kinds information on the latest in ceramics! You can even learn to make square shaped mugs here!

Created By
Emily Webb
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