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Wheel Throwing Techniques

For some people, throwing clay on the potter's wheel can be addictive. If you are one of those people, you have come to the right place. Here, professional studio potters provide instruction as well as inspiration for anyone wanting to learn, improve and master wheel throwing techniques. Browse these articles and videos for helpful information such topics as altering wheel thrown vessels or trimming large platters with complex rims. And, if you haven't already, be sure to download your free copy of Five Great Pottery Wheel Throwing Techniques: Tips on Throwing Complex Pottery Forms Using Basic Throwing Skills, which includes detailed well-illustrated, step-by-step pottery making projects by nationally known potters, teachers and workshop presenters.


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Video of the Week: How to Throw and Assemble a Yummy Candy Dish

Posted On December 19, 2014 7 Comments

You can never have enough receptacles for candy in my humble opinion. I really loved Jake Allee’s candy dish project from his new DVD Assembly Required: Building Complex Pottery Forms by Throwing, Altering, and Assembling because it reminded me that I could probably use some more candy dishes in my world. More importantly, because of Jake’s technique of throwing, altering, stretching, and assembling, I started to really think about new ways to make them. Hope it whets your creative appetite too!

 

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Pottery Video of the Week: How to Make a Textured Sushi Plate Using a Wiggle Wire

Posted On November 28, 2014 53 Comments

I love the technique of using a wiggle wire to cut pots off the wheel, thus creating an interesting texture on the bottom of the piece — a great alternative to trimming a foot. In today’s video, an excerpt from Wheel Throwing with Nan Rothwell, Nan takes that concept a step further by throwing her pot upside down and cutting it off with the wiggly wire, creating texture on the top of the piece. Have a look and think of more directions to take this technique. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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How to Make a French Butter Dish

Posted On November 27, 2014 8 Comments

Today we continue our tradition of sending a food-related post on Thanksgiving Day, since it is traditionally a day of feasting in the United States. In today’s post, an excerpt from In the Potters Kitchen, Sumi von Dassow shows how to make a French butter dish. If you are unfamiliar with French butter dishes, they are a great way to store real butter outside the fridge without it going bad. How does this work? Read on to find out! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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How to Throw a Lightweight Graceful Pitcher on the Pottery Wheel

Posted On November 10, 2014 6 Comments

One of the biggest challenges when learning to throw is often getting the clay at the base of the pot up into the form. Not overcoming this challenge results in tons of clay to trim off in the trimming stage and or a clunky heavy pot.

With pitchers, this heaviness can be a real problem because they are meant to carry a large volume of liquid. Glenn Woods came up with a way of avoiding this extra clay at the bottom, which resulted in a more graceful form and a lighter pitcher. He shares this technique in today’s post.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

 

PS. For a printer-friendly version of this article and several more, download your free copy of Five Great Pottery Wheel Throwing Techniques: Tips on Throwing Complex Pottery Forms Using Basic Throwing Skills.

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Rhythm and Repetition: A Step-By-Step Guide to Making Multiples

Posted On November 5, 2014 0 Comments

Making multiples is a common and challenging endeavor for potters. To successfully accomplish this task, you need to have a well considered plan of attack. Sean O’Connell figured out a great system for making multiples when he was the “Salad Days” resident at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts. In this residency he had to make 500 plates for the center’s annual fundraiser.

 

In today’s post, an excerpt from the November/December 2014 issue of Pottery Making illustrated, Sean shares the insights he gained and techniques he used to pull off this feat.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Pottery Video of the Week: Mark Peters Demonstrates his Unconventional Lid-Making Technique

Posted On October 31, 2014 12 Comments

Mark Peters is a master of thinking outside the box when it comes to making pots, and developed his lid-making technique so he could do similar surface treatments on his jars and lids. In today’s post, an excerpt from Mark’s awesome DVD Lively Forms and Expressive Surfaces, Mark demonstrates his super cool lid making process.

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Making Lidded Jars That Work Together Like a Happy Marriage

Posted On October 22, 2014 1 Comment

I haven’t made a jar in a while and when I saw Bill Wilkey’s article in the November December 2014 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, I remembered how much I enjoy making them. It is a fun exercise to make two-part pieces and find ways to make the components hang together visually.

 

Bill’s jars do this perfectly. From the soft squaring off of both the jar and lid, to the slightly arching rim that echoes the arches on the feet of the jar, every detail is considered to make a cohesive whole. In today’s post, Bill walks us through his jar-making process.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

 

PS. To see Bill’s decorating technique, check out the November/December 2014 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated!

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How to Throw a Large Serving Bowl in a Bisque Mold

Posted On October 17, 2014 3 Comments

I have tried many different approaches to throwing bowls, but until filming Lisa Orr’s video (which makes its debut today!), I had never thought to throw a bowl in a bisque mold. Lisa uses this technique so that she can carve low-relief decoration into the mold, which then shows up on the outside of the bowl she makes. To better explain, here’s today’s clip of Lisa making the mold and then throwing a bowl in it. I can’t wait to play around with this idea. Hope you like it as much as I do! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Put Your Pottery on a Pedestal: Throwing in Two Parts on the Pottery Wheel to Add Interest to a Catch-All Bowl

Posted On October 15, 2014 16 Comments

In today’s post, Frank James Fisher shares his technique for throwing in two parts to make what he calls a petal bowl because of the flower-like rim treatment.

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Tips for Centering and Preventing S-Cracks in Dinner Plates

Posted On October 9, 2014 0 Comments

Throwing large plate forms is tricky because it can be hard to master centering and spreading the clay out wide enough without either knocking it off center, or getting water trapped underneath. Then there are S-cracks. If you don’t take steps to prevent those, you might be devastated when your plate comes out of the kiln.

 

If you have experienced these problems, pull up a chair and watch today’s clip from our new platters compilation. In this clip, Adam shows how to master centering and preventing s-cracks in plates. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.