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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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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 peeking 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.

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How to Throw a Fluted Serving Bowl with a Decorative Flange and Rim

Posted On February 22, 2013 4 Comments

When Sarah Jaeger started making her fluted serving bowls she decided to add a decorative flange about three quarters up as a way of dividing up the space for decoration. But this was one of those happy coincidences when the decoration also enhanced the function by creating a natural place for hands to rest when carrying the bowl. In today’s video, an excerpt from her DVD Throwing, Altering and Glazing for function and Beauty, Sarah explains how she makes and trims these beautiful bowls. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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How to Make a Stopperless Salt and Pepper Shaker on the Pottery Wheel

Posted On January 30, 2013 12 Comments

Most ceramic salt and pepper shakers require a stopper of some sort – usually cork. But there is a way to make them without stoppers. Just throw a double walled vessel, but instead of joining the inner and outer walls, form a funnel with the inner wall. In today’s post, potter Keith Phillips explains in detail the ins and outs of stopperless salt and pepper shakers. 

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Wheel Throwing Video: How to Throw a Large Bowl on the Pottery Wheel

Posted On December 28, 2012 7 Comments

In today’s video, an excerpt from Stephen Jepson’s DVD How to Throw Large Pots, potter Bill Gossman shows us his method for making a large vase in two wheel-thrown sections. Bill has a couple of tricks up his sleeves that I hadn’t thought of previously, such as a great technique for centering large amounts of clay. So, check it out!

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Another Facet of Faceting: Adding Pizzaz to Wheel-Thrown Pottery

Posted On December 17, 2012 2 Comments

In today’s post, an excerpt from the newly revised Five Great Pottery Wheel Throwing Techniques: Tips on Throwing Complex Pottery Forms Using Basic Throwing Skills, Hank demonstrated how he makes a faceted wheel thrown bowl on the pottery wheel. 

 

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Wheel Throwing in Cross Section

Posted On December 12, 2012 1 Comment

When I was taking my first wheel throwing class, I remember staying in the studio late one night centering clay over and over again. Once I got centering mastered, I remember getting super frustrated because I kept throwing the clay off center when I tried to open it. Then, of course, there was the struggle to pull nice even tall walls. Sound familiar? Since these are not uncommon challenges, I thought I would post this helpful excerpt from Vince Pitelka’s Clay: A Studio Handbook (which is back in print!!). The cross section photos should be a helpful guide for beginners out there and those who teach them.

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How to Throw a Jar with a Quilted Texture

Posted On December 7, 2012 6 Comments

Today (and this weekend) we are having a sale on one of our popular DVDs: Jake Allee’s Assembly Required: Building Complex Pottery Forms by Throwing, Altering, and Assembling. So to give you a taste of Jake’s processes, I thought I would share this clip from his Hex Jar project. The clip is a good one because not only does Jake explain the cool way he makes his quilted texture, but he also gives an excellent explanation of each step of the throwing process. If you struggle with throwing, this video is for you.