Throwing is an important skill for any potter to master, using only a few tools, the guidance of the hands, and the momentum of a wheel. Richard Phethean describes essential techniques for working on the wheel with an eye to the practical. He covers a range of forms, from simple domestic pots to more complex vessels, with the aim of building makers’ confidence in throwing techniques. This book features clear instructions for creating each type of vessel, accompanied by step-by-step how-to images, which demonstrate the techniques described. It also profiles the work of contemporary potters, for whom throwing is a vital part of their practice. Throwing is an essential companion for anyone attempting to master the art of forming pots on the wheel.

 

Softcover | 144 Pages
Order code CA122 | ISBN 978-1-57498-327-2
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Professional standards

This book blends important technical advice with a passion and enthusiasm for making pots, using pots and appreciating the form of pots. Whether you regularly attend pottery classes, are an enthusiastic amateur with a studio space of your own or are setting out on a career as a potter, there is a huge amount of pleasure to be had from learning to throw, refine and finish pots to a professional standard.

 

 

Varied approaches

Approaches to throwing are as varied as in any field of the arts and crafts. The spectrum spans the diverse use of clays, glazes and firing techniques, from the delicate translucency of porcelain to the robust earthiness of terra cotta, from vibrant primary colors to subtle natural hues, as well as from the familiar homeliness of domestic ware to the drama of sculpture. Some potters find technical excellence to be crucial to work while others are happy with expressive and accidental nuances of the unbound by the strict application of the conventions. This book embraces and celebrates this variety and offers encouragement to explore, experiment, expand and improve your throwing skills.

 

 

First things first

Richard covers the entire gamut of the topic of throwing so no matter what your skill level, you’ll be able to find the right place to start. He begins the book with a discussion of your studio set-up, wheels, equipment, tools, clays, wedging, storage, and recycling. If you’re new to pottery, this section really helps, and for the experienced potter you may remember a long-lost tip you knew at one time.

 

 

 

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Basic techniques

Whether you’re new to throwing or struggling, you’ll find that the review of speed, body position, hands, lubrication, centering and coning most helpful. After covering these, Richard leads you step-by-step through making cylinders which progresses into making cups. Making bowls, the second of the two most basic shapes in throwing, is covered in the same way and also includes many photos and line drawings to reveal important points.

 

 

 
   

Domestic pots

If you’re throwing, it’s usually because you want to make functional pieces that you can use in the kitchen and around the house. Richard discusses the steps necessary to make drinking vessels, jugs and vases, larger bowls and dishes, lidded pots, lidded jars and teapots, and making sets.

 

 

Advanced techniques

While making bigger pots and working with larger amounts of clay requires good technique and is certainly more physically demanding, some of the advanced techniques described are straightforward, and even simpler than some basic techniques. Richard illustrates how to alter a thrown shape by stretching, squashing, cutting and beating. You’ll learn how to make tall forms, sectional and composite forms, shallow dishes with wide rims, oval dishes, cutting facets, adding handles, and more.


 

 

 

The artist potter

To round out the book, Richard looks at four master potters who have achieved a unique status in the world of studio ceramics. Simon Carroll, Jim Malone, Walter Keeler, and Colin Pearson all provide their fascinating perspectives on throwing and the many possibilities open to the creative spirit.

 

 

About Richard Phethean

A ceramics graduate of the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, Richard Phethean is an established professional potter, a Fellow of the Craft Potters Association and is on the Crafts Council’s Index of Selected Makers. He exhibits widely in galleries and at fairs and has regularly demonstrated at symposia throughout Europe. For over thirty years Richard’s studio-based intensive throwing courses have attracted an international clientele. He spent twelve years as a throwing tutor on the Ceramics degree course at the University of Westminster’s Harrow campus and has led slipware workshops at the La Meridiana Ceramics Centre in Tuscany. Richard is Resident Potter at a Quaker school in Oxfordshire, where he continues to develop his own practice.


 

 

This is an excellent how-to book on throwing, a good basic text for beginners. An updated reworking of Phethean’s book The Complete Potter: Throwing, which was published in 1994, it contains ample clear images to illustrate the steps of throwing, good friendly text, and lots of tips, which give the book an edge over many others, as do the ‘Problems’ sections. Phethean’s chosen examples of the vaious techniques read as a Who’s Who for UK throwers. The only anomaly is the choice of case studies at the end, although on second look, the four choices — Simon Caroll, Jim Malone, Walter Keeler and Colin Pearson — do represent a broad spectrum of styles. — Review from Ceramic Review, Jan/Feb 2013

 

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