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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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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.

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How to Make a Wheel Thrown and Slip Decorated Cup and Saucer

Posted On July 15, 2013 1 Comment

In today’s post Lyla Goldstein takes us step by step through her cup and saucer making process, starting with throwing the pieces on the wheel and finishing with her colored slip and sgraffito decoration (which would also work well with commercial underglazes).

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Pottery Video of the Week: How to Dress up a Wheel Thrown Bowl with Curves

Posted On June 14, 2013 4 Comments

The cereal bowl selection at my house consists mainly of all of my reject bowls from over the years. It’s a motley crew of old, wonky pieces that make me want to reach for the nearest sledgehammer every time I open the cupboard. So I am on a mission: to replace them with more recent work that is finally feeling a bit more resolved and successful. So since I am bowl obsessed, I thought I would share an inspirational bowl video. In this clip, an excerpt from her DVD Creating Curves with Clay (which is now available ad a digital download!), Martha Grover demonstrates how she dresses up a basic ice cream or cereal bowl with curves inspired by orchids and flowing dresses. Enjoy! 

 

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How to Make a Small Simple Pitcher on the Potter’s Wheel

Posted On May 24, 2013 3 Comments

Today we are debuting another one of our DVDs that we shot on location in Bakersville, North Carolina, last summer: Pouring Vessels: Making and Decorating Expressive Functional Pottery, with Suze Lindsay. Since we were on location, in addition to the excellent technical demonstrations, Suze discusses pots from her amazing collection off contemporary functional pottery and how they influence her work. In this clip, Suze demonstrates a simple pitcher form and gives great advice on tackling various pitcher components like making spouts, and pulling handles off the pot. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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How to Make Agateware Vessels on the Pottery Wheel

Posted On May 20, 2013 20 Comments

In today’s post, an excerpt from the January/February 2010 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Michelle Erickson and Robert Hunter explain the important considerations potters need to make when making agateware and demonstrate throwing agateware on the pottery wheel.