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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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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.

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Video of the Week: How to Whack Your Wheel Thrown Pottery into Shape

Posted On May 10, 2013 3 Comments

Everyone who is learning to throw on the pottery wheel has probably had moments when they wanted to give the clay a whack (or throw it across the room). But this doesn’t necessarily have to be a result of frustration. A good thwack can actually be a nice aesthetic touch. In today’s video, Robin Hopper demonstrates how to throw a bowl and then square it off with a paddle to make a great surface for decorating. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Three Tips for Throwing Smarter and Stronger

Posted On May 6, 2013 12 Comments

There have been many times in my wheel throwing career that I have thought, “I just can’t throw large pots. I am not strong enough.” But I have learned over the years that to throw big, you don’t need brawn. You need brains!! There are tons of smart ways to approach throwing large. In today’s post, an excerpt from the May/June 2013 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, I am sharing three great tips for throwing large from potter Claire O’Conner. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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You Say Neriage, I Say Nerikomi…No Matter What You Call it, Mixing Colored Clays Makes for Gorgeous Pottery Surfaces

Posted On April 29, 2013 5 Comments

Today Robin Hopper explains the distinction between neriage and nerikomi, as it was explained to him by Thomas Hoadley, a long time colored clay aficionado. He also explains how to create a lovely marbled rim bowl like the one shown at left.

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How to Make a Square Baking Dish and Fill it with Rhubarb Crisp

Posted On April 3, 2013 5 Comments

In my neck of the woods, it’s the time of year when rhubarb starts peaking up through the cold ground. So when I saw Sumi von Dassow’s article on how to make a baker for rhubarb crisp going into the March/April 2013 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, I knew I had to share it. In this post, Sumi demonstrates how she makes her lovely square baking dishes (that are great for any type of baked dessert – not just rhubarb!). Plus she shares a recipe for rhubarb crisp from the lovely Sarah Jaeger! – Jennifer Harnetty editor.

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The Daily Grind: An Easy Way to Make Lids Fit Perfectly

Posted On March 1, 2013 2 Comments

Tom Turner is a firm believer in the phrase “no detail is too small,” which is one of the reasons his pots are so exquisite. One of the details that he prides himself on are his quiet, no-friction, perfectly fitting lids. Tom spends time throughout the making process to make sure he is getting the tightest possible lid fit, but he also wants them to be silky smooth “like butta.” His secret comes from an auto parts store. In today’s post, an excerpt from his video Understanding Porcelain, Tom shares that secret. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.