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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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How to Throw Large Platters No Matter What Your Size

Posted On June 16, 2014 3 Comments
Even though you don’t need to pull up high walls with a large platter, large wheel-thrown platters can be challenging, especially if you are small in stature. In today’s post, an excerpt from our 2014 Workshop Handbook, Yoko Sekino Bove gives some great tips for throwing large platters.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
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How to Make a Spouted Batter Bowl That Tells a Story

Posted On April 7, 2014 0 Comments

It is a lot of fun to use pots to tell stories. It can be even more fun to not only tell a story on the form, but to work the form right into the narrative. That’s just what Courtney Long does with her spouted batter bowls with a puffy cloud-shaped handle and playful slip decoration. In today’s post, she shares how she makes these wheel through pots. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

PS. You can see Courtney’s decorating process in the May/June 2014 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated.

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Pottery Video of the Week: A New Twist on a Faceted Bowl

Posted On March 14, 2014 18 Comments

In today’s post, an excerpt from his DVD Lively Forms and Expressive Surfaces (which is now shipping by the way!!), Mark Peters shares a new twist that he came up with for faceting pots. By making the cuts while the pot is still cylindrical and adjusting the way the wire moves through the clay, Mark creates an interesting alternative to the typical faceted surface.

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Friday Video: How to Add Beauty While Enhancing Function on a Lid

Posted On March 7, 2014 7 Comments

Tom Turner considers every detail on his pots, even the underside of lids. Initially, He came up with the flange system he uses to act as a counterweight on teapot lids so they would stay put when pouring tea. But he considered every last detail and realized that these flanges could be enhanced with texture. Now he uses them on all of his lidded pots. In today’s post, an excerpt from his new DVD Tom Turner: Understanding Porcelain (now available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore), he shares his technique.

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Pottery Video of the Week: How to Make a One-Piece Box on the Pottery Wheel

Posted On February 7, 2014 40 Comments

In today’s video, Bill van Gilder demonstrates making a lidded jar on the pottery wheel. The beauty of this jar is that you can make the whole thing from just one lump of clay. And less centering is always a good thing, wouldn’t you say?

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Paying Attention to Design to Create a Gorgeous Wheel Thrown Cup

Posted On January 31, 2014 2 Comments

The key to taking your pots from good to great is careful design (and practice, practice, practice, of course). If you fumble your way through a piece without really thinking it through, well, usually it shows. In today’s video, an excerpt from his DVD Precision Throwing and Intricate Carving, Adam Field explains the design considerations he takes when making one of his cup forms and shows you not only the how, but the why.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Groovy Ceramics: How to Use Scraps of Molding as Pottery Shaping Tools

Posted On January 8, 2014 25 Comments

When Frank James Fisher noticed a bunch of trim scraps at a local home center, his thoughts immediately went to “clay tool.” Today, Frank explains how he has turned these scraps into handy shaping tools for wheel throwing. Next time you’re at a lumberyard, ask for some of the scraps and try them out

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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 11 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.