Sign up for your FREE subscription to the Ceramic Arts Daily Newsletter and we will give you Recipe Cards for our Favorite High-Fire Pottery Glazes Free!

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.


vangilder620

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?

fieldcup_620

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.

Fisher_620

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

allee620new

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.

cartertrim_620

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.

fieldlid_620

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.

petersnotrim_620

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.

mecca_620

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.

host-cupsaucer_620

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.