Swirlware, a traditional form of pottery made in the Catawba Valley of North Carolina in the early 1900s, is made by combining contrasting clay bodies when throwing. Michael Kline makes swirlware and other historical North Carolina pottery forms, but puts his own contemporary touch on the work. In today’s video, an excerpt from his… Read More »
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.
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… Read More »
Throwing large bowls has been something that has dogged me for quite some time. There’s a certain size bowl that I just cannot seem to get past and while it’s ample, it is not necessarily what I would call large. So I really like Martina Lantin’s bowl making process, which literally turns the typical bowl… Read More »
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… Read More »
Paul Linhares was introduced to paddling work when watching Yixing teapot makers use paddles to skillfully shape clay slabs into beautiful pots. Years later when he wanted to make a bottle shaped like a fish, he remembered the Yixing potters and decided to use a paddle on his wheel thrown work. In today’s post, an excerpt… Read More »
Shana Salaff prefers to design new forms by cutting and pasting components and playing around until she arrives at a form she likes. Sometimes she even goes back to shapes that she thinks she is too comfortable with and deliberately messes with them to see what happens. This playful approach helped her to develop… Read More »
Aysha Peltz’s “Splash Bowls” are inspired by the iconic photograph Milk Drop Coronet, by Doc Edgerton (http://edgerton-digital-collections.org). Peltz was captivated by the “elegance with which the image arrests a moment in time” and realized that the exposure of clay to fire does a similar thing. In today’s post, an excerpt from the April 2015 issue of… Read More »
Flower bricks have a long history in the ceramic world. Initially, they were the shape and size of bricks laying on their sides and had numerous small holes in the top for flowers. But ceramic artists have played with that shape, and now you can find them in a wide array of shapes and sizes made… Read More »
Trimming is a part of the wheel-throwing process that potters either love or hate. Regardless of where you fall on the love/hate scale, today’s video clip from Paul Donnelly should provide some useful information to aid you in the trimming process. In this clip, from his new video Designing for Function: Wheel Throwing,… Read More »
Sarah Jaeger’s soup tureens have generous, bulbous knobs resembling “onion domes” popular in Russian architecture. They are quite striking and look like they’d be easy to use as well. It can be problematic throwing a knob on a leatherhard lid, especially a large knob and especially with porcelain. There’s always the worry that the… Read More »