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Pottery Trimming Tools

Trimming wheel-thrown pottery – some potters love it, some potters hate it. But if you are going for that tight, refined look in your pottery, you have to learn how to trim it. The articles in this section will help you do just that. We’ll feature tips from potters on everything from trimming pottery with delicate rims to making your own pottery trimming tools. And don't forget to download your free copy of the 2012 Ceramic Arts Buyers Guide: A Ceramic Studio Supply Resource . This handy studio reference includes valuable technical references and great clay tools to help you with forming, surface decoration and firing. Plus, it has a comprehensive directory of manufacturers and suppliers that provide ceramic equipment, raw materials, clay tools and ceramic supplies.


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Tips for Trimming Bowls on the Pottery Wheel

Posted On July 9, 2012 2 Comments

Love it or hate it, trimming can transform a weighty Earth-bound pot into one that is a pleasure to hold, look at, and use. But it takes some practice to learn the proper consistency for good trimming or how much to take off (we’ve all experienced the horror of trimming through the bottom of a pot we love). In today’s post, Richard Phethean walks through the process of trimming bowls. This thorough guide will help you avoid the pottery trimming blues.

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Why Didn’t I Think of That? Pottery Tips, Tools, and Techniques from Ceramic Arts Daily Readers

Posted On February 1, 2012 0 Comments
When it comes to improving the efficiency of their processes, clay people are quite clever. We get a lot of great studio tips sent to us from readers, and every month Ceramics Monthly publishes some of them in their Tips and Tools section.   Readers seem to like them, so we also have been sharing… Read More »
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Pottery Video of the Week: Three Different Ways to Finish a Foot with Minimal Trimming

Posted On December 2, 2011 16 Comments

One way to minimize your trimming agony is to throw your
pots with thinner bottoms, remove any excess
clay at the bottom in the throwing stage, and then cut the pot off the
wheel with a wiggle wire for some extra interest. Bill van Gilder
takes this one step further by giving the edges a nice finished look.
He does this in three different ways and, in today’s video clip, he
shares them. He also shares a great idea for attaching your pot to the
wheelhead for trimming.

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7 Useful Tips, Tools, and Techniques for the Ceramic Studio

Posted On December 15, 2010 30 Comments
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, potters and ceramic artists are some of the most resourceful people around. I am continually impressed by the myriad tools and studio shortcuts that members of our community come up with to make their lives more efficient. It’s been a while since I have shared… Read More »

Good Footing: A Video Guide to Trimming Wheel Thrown Pottery

Posted On August 13, 2010 28 Comments

Today I thought I would share this excerpt from Jerry Hornings DVD Making Pots on the Wheel. It’s a great little introduction to (or reminder of) the considerations that should go into footing pots. Watch the video!

Pottery Trimming Video: The Superchuck

Posted On October 24, 2008 5 Comments

If you trim your pottery using a bisque-fired chuck—or even if you don’t—you’ll love the superchuck. Watch the video to check out what Tim See has come up with, and then make your own. We’ve included a materials list and instructions below; don’t worry, it’s short and the process is easy.—Sherman Hall, Ceramic Arts Daily

Multi-Purpose Chucks: Using Household Items When Trimming Difficult-to-Trim Pottery

Posted On May 19, 2008 0 Comments

At some point or another many potters are faced with a conundrum: their creativity goes unchecked and they artfully fashion a beautiful and delicate rim on a pot that they would like to flip over and trim on the potter’s wheel. But flipping the piece to trim will ruin the artfully created piece. A common solution to this conundrum is to use a bisque-fired chuck to prop up the piece so the rim doesn’t come in contact with the wheelhead. Then the challenge becomes finding the correctly sized chuck for the job. And often, in community studio settings especially, there isn’t a chuck that is just right.

A couple of months back we published a feature by Sam Hoffman on an easy way to create unfired clay chucks for platters with altered rims (see Trimming Platters with Altered Rims), a great solution indeed. In response to that article, reader Don Goodrich sent in this tip on his approach to the difficult-to-trim pot conundrum. If you keep both of these tips in mind, chances are you’ll always be prepared with the right chuck.

Trimming is Child’s Play

Posted On February 29, 2008 1 Comment

This week’s Tip of the Week comes to us from James Rozzi of Stone Mountain, Georgia. Last week we saw a technique for trimming large platters with delicate rims. This week, we tackle trimming delicate narrow-necked bottle forms. Not only is Rozzi’s tip a time and energy saver, it may also bring back fond childhood memories!

Trimming Platters with Altered Rims on the Potters Wheel

Posted On February 18, 2008 0 Comments

Altering the circular form of a plate is an exciting means of expression for ceramic artists, but it can also present difficulties at the trimming stage. If the rim of a plate is cut or manipulated into an asymmetrical shape, or is delicate, the piece cannot simply be inverted onto another bat for trimming. Instead, the piece must be placed on a clay chuck that supports the plate in the center. Today, Sam Hoffman shows us his method for trimming plates with altered rims on the pottery wheel.