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Throwing a Basic Pot on The Wheel Lesson


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The pictures below are step by step freeze frame illustrating how to use your body properly throwing a pot on the wheel. Always start small. This demo is with a 3 lbs clay and starting with 2 lbs will be a wise choice if you are a beginner. On the upper right are 2 videos. One is 15 minutes long showing what the first lesson in our teaching studio looks like. The other video stream line all the photos below in a slide show.

Good luck!


Page 1
1 2 3
Place clay on bat firmly with tip pointed down Tap to center with dry hands while wheel is turning slowly Get your hands wet
4 5 6
Push clay forward as shown (plow forward).  Wheel speed - fast
Let the clay turn while wet hand and wet clay create slurry / slip
Sit close to the wheel & anchor your elbows tightly against body
7
8 9
When clay complies (feels calm), squeeze clay and cone up
Both hands are touching and elbows are against body
Level top of cone with thumbs pressure
10 11
12
Coning down - place left hand as in previous step securing elbow into body
Place right hand on top of cone while interlocking with left hand
Right hand pushes down. Left hand pushes forward. Wheel speed - fast.
13 14 15
Right hand touches only half of the top surface from center to edge.
Slow wheel a bit. Place thumbs in center and mark the center
Left hand smooths outer edge of clay with palm
16
17 18
Decisively, make a hole in center - both hands are touching each other
Pull clay out - both hands are touching each other and clay is wet
Leave enough clay for pot's bottom
19
21
20
Move clay evenly and keep constant distance from bottom for flat surface
Do not overhang clay . When finished pulling, let go gradually to stay in center
Smooth all unevenness. Make sure clay is not too dry
Page 2
23 24
22
Apply constant pressure on bottom. Move slowly towards center. Wheel speed - medium
Take off extra clay
If bottom too thick or uneven pass thumbs on bottom as shown
26 27
25
Raise the wall - squeeze clay w/ fingers using a sponge. Use fingers tips only. Hands touching
Note that the thumb is helping in squeezing clay
Compress bottom to avoid "S" cracks
30
29
28
Contact clay with finger tips to avoid unnecessary friction The pull - squeeze and lift. Don't be afraid to be a bit aggressive. Clay needs to be wet
Smooth the rim at end of each pull
32 33
31
Second pull - stay on bottom until you get desired thickness
... to avoid too much friction and possible torquing
As the wall gets thinner, use less finger surface contact ....
35 36
34
Collar top portion of cylinder in and even the rim
Even cylinder's rim
Even wall of cylinder
38 39
37
Note that only finger tips are touching the pot
Shaping - Push inside of cylinder out while outside hand gently supports clay Touch hands as soon as able for stability
40 41 42
Clean bottom with wooden tool. Sharpen Wooden tool every so often Under cutting -Clear clay from bat for easy access to the cutting wire
Smooth rim with Chamois
43
44 45
Clear as much clay as possible to minimize trimming effort later
Watch the angle of the wooden tool. Hold the cutting wire as shown
Page 3
46 47 48
Push the wire against the bat with thumbs or index fingers Run wire all the way through keeping it tight and straight If throwing for practice, slice pot to view wall uniformity
49

Throwing a large platter tutorial

Removing a pot off the bat without distortion - lesson
Good luck!

Lakeside Pottery


Your input is greatly appreciated and will help in creating improved pottery tips.

Thank you, Patty and Morty

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Phone: 203-323-2222
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