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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 Make a Spunky Darted Pitcher with a Slab Spout

Posted On December 27, 2013 8 Comments

In today’s video post, an excerpt from Assembly Required: Building Complex Pottery Forms by Throwing, Altering, and Assembling, Jake Allee shows us how he darts his pitcher forms and adds a spout, along with a little spunk.

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How to NOT Trim Through the Bottoms of Your Pots

Posted On November 29, 2013 10 Comments

One of the most frustrating things you can experience as a potter is getting a bit overzealous with your trimming and trimming through a foot (face it, we’ve all done it!). Today I am sharing an excellent trimming clip from Ben Carter’s new DVD Design for the Soft Surface: Throwing, Handbuilding, and Slip Decorating. In this clip, Ben shares his fool-proof method of determining the “safe zone” for trimming, which is one of the best explanations I’ve seen. 

How to Make an Apple Baker on the Pottery Wheel

Posted On November 28, 2013 7 Comments

We have started an unofficial tradition of sharing both a clay project and an food recipe the day before Thanksgiving. So today I am posting an article from the Potters Kitchen section of the September/October issue Pottery Making Illustrated, which also happens to be a good fall project. In this post, Sumi von Dassow demonstrates how to make an apple baker, and also gives instruction on how to bake the apples once it’s done.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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How to Make an Ordinary Lid Extraordinary

Posted On November 8, 2013 5 Comments

If there is one thing I have learned from making DVDs with uber-talented artists over the last couple of years, it’s to pay attention to all the details. The details make all the difference in the world. Adam Field could stop with his intricately carved surfaces and he would have amazing pots, but he chooses to go even further and consider every additional detail from the lids to the feet. And the pots go from amazing to exquisite. In today’s clip he demonstrates one such detail (on one of the coolest lids I’ve ever seen!).- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Why Trim? A Simple Way to Define a Foot Without Trimming

Posted On October 24, 2013 4 Comments

Trimming is one of my favorite parts of wheel throwing. But with my limited time in the studio, it is an extra step that I sometimes wouldn’t mind avoiding. But if you skip trimming, you have to make sure you do something to make your feet look finished. Otherwise, an otherwise lovely pot can look sloppy. That’s why I love the technique demonstrated in today’s video clip. In this excerpt from his DVD Lively Forms and Expressive Surfaces (which happens to be ON SALE this weekend – October 25 – 28, 2013), Mark Peters shares his no-trim foot technique. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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How to Make an Animated Salt and Pepper Set

Posted On September 18, 2013 2 Comments

Sets are a great way to have fun with form, and a wonderful project if you like to make animated work. Jen Mecca sees her salt and pepper shakers as characters that need to interact and relate to one another. In today’s post, Jen shares her method for wheel throwing and altering the salt and pepper shakers, as well as how she embellishes them with various “costumes” such as sprigs and finials. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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How to Ensure Proper Cup and Saucer Fit

Posted On September 13, 2013 4 Comments

I love the making forms that go together, like salt and pepper sets, or cups and saucers. It is a fun exercise to come up with forms that relate and fit together, both functionally and aesthetically. If you have never tried it, give it a shot.

To get you inspired, I am presenting a clip from our newest DVD Form, Pattern, and Underglaze: Wheel Throwing and Decorating with Meredith Host. In the clip Meredith explains her method for getting a great fit on stacking cup and saucer sets.

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Large and In Charge: Four Helpful Tips for Throwing Large Pots on the Pottery Wheel

Posted On September 2, 2013 12 Comments

Today, I am presenting some tips from large-pot-potter extraordinaire Nic Collins for upsizing your pots. I liked what Nic had to say here because it addressed some simple, but often overlooked, things to consider before you even put your clay on the wheel. Plus, it includes some great cross-section diagrams that clearly show what should be happening both inside and outside of the pot. Follow these tips and you’ll soon be in charge of the clay!

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Tips for Throwing a Perfect Tall Cylinder

Posted On August 30, 2013 14 Comments

Not only does Adam Field go over his meticulous carving techniques on his new DVD, Precision Throwing and Intricate Carving, but he also demonstrates his throwing chops on some fantastic forms. But before all of that he gives one of the best cylinder throwing demos I’ve seen. We’ve probably all had this assignment in our beginning wheel throwing class: Throw ten even-walled, 12-inch cylinders. I won’t divulge how long it has been since I had that assignment, but I still got a ton out of this demo. So whether you are struggling with cylinders now, or have been throwing for years, have a look at today’s clip and watch your throwing improve! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Going With the Flow: Using Soft Clay and Darts to Preserve Fluidity in the Finished Form

Posted On August 21, 2013 4 Comments

In today’s post, Jane Sawyer explains how she throws with extra soft clay and cuts darts during the throwing process to create work that looks fluid even in the finished fired state. She also explains how she uses finger marks through slip to further enhance this effect.