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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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Put Your Pottery on a Pedestal: Throwing in Two Parts on the Pottery Wheel to Add Interest to a Catch-All Bowl

Posted On June 22, 2011 16 Comments

In today’s post, Frank James Fisher shares his technique for throwing in two parts to make what he calls a petal bowl because of the flower-like rim treatment.

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Pottery Video of the Week: Think Big! The Secrets of Amping up the Scale of Your Pottery

Posted On April 22, 2011 35 Comments

Over the course of the three days we were in the exhibitor hall at NCECA, Scott Semple worked on a giant pot in the Skutt booth across the way from our booth. Well, Scott just wrapped up an instructional DVD on big pot throwing
and, for those of you who missed the conference, I am presenting an
excerpt from it today. In the DVD, Scott throws one of these babies
over the course of only one day and shares all of the secrets to
pulling off such a feat. This clip is slightly condensed, but it is
still packed with a lot of great information.

Get Your Wiggles Out! -

Pottery Video of the Week: How to Make a Textured Sushi Plate Using a Wiggle Wire

Posted On January 28, 2011 42 Comments

I love the technique of using a wiggle wire to cut pots off the wheel, thus creating an interesting texture on the bottom of the piece — a great alternative to trimming a foot. In today’s video, an excerpt from Wheel Throwing with Nan Rothwell, Nan takes that concept a step further by throwing her pot upside down and cutting it off with the wiggly wire, creating texture on the top of the piece. Have a look and think of more directions to take this technique. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Wheel Throwing Video: Matt Long – Making Mugs with Movement

Posted On December 24, 2010 25 Comments

Today’s video is an oldie but a goodie. It’s from Matt’s Vessels for Victory DVD. One of the reasons I like this DVD is because Matt talks about the “why to” as much as the “how to.” Sometimes it is easy to concentrate only on how to throw a particular pot, but not really think about the aesthetic choices made along the way. But Matt reminds us to keep thinking about why we make those choices and about how effective they are visually and functionally.

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Throwing Ceramic Juicers: Simple Wheel-Throwing Techniques Produce a Complex Form

Posted On December 6, 2010 19 Comments

Today, Dannon Rhudy shares her technique for making wheel thrown juicers – and excerpt from our newly expanded edition of Five Great Pottery Wheel Throwing Techniques, which is available as a free download today. If you’ve already downloaded the earlier version of this one, be sure to check out the new techniques that were added. 

How to Throw a Berry Bowl with a Textured Saucer on the Pottery Wheel

Posted On November 19, 2010 19 Comments

Today’s video is an excerpt from Wheel Throwing with Nan Rothwell,
the next installment in the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents video series
(which is coming soon to a Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore near you!). I
am super excited about this forthcoming DVD, which is packed with
clear, step-by-step demonstrations from simple cylinders to more
complex multi-part forms — and it’s all delivered in the the friendly,
low-key, and practical teaching style we’ve come to appreciate from
Nan. Enjoy!

Wheel Throwing Video: How to Throw Really Large Bowls on the Pottery Wheel

Posted On November 12, 2010 3 Comments

Lately, I have been working on some large bowls for a wedding present for a friend (he’s not a potter so I don’t think he’ll read this!). I’ve been frustrated, though, because I can’t seem to get past a certain size. Part of my struggle has been centering enough clay to accommodate a really big pot. So, I watched the section on bowls in Stephen Jepson’s How to Throw Large Pots DVD and got a couple of helpful tips that I am excited to try when I go to the studio on Monday. I’m sharing them with you today!

Round is Overrated: How to Transform Wheel Thrown Forms into Different Shapes Using a Paddle

Posted On October 15, 2010 7 Comments

In today’s video, Robin Hopper shows us how he paddles bowls into the shapes he wants when he gets bored with the traditional round thrown form. This techniques creates nice straight sides with subtle rounded
corners, and no marks on the inside of the pot. Plus, these straight
sides make wonderful canvases for decoration. Watch the video!

Paul Donnelly’s tea tray is inspired by a variety of things: Architecture, landscape and by the practical desire to keep furniture ring free and a spoon or snack close at hand.

A Potter Extends the Practicality of a Cup and Saucer Set

Posted On October 4, 2010 39 Comments

Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes, and Paul Donnelly’s tea trays are a prime example of this. Today, Paul Donnelly explains how he makes his tea trays using a combination of wheel throwing, press molding and slab-building techniques.

More than meets the eye—the lines on Jeff Campana’s pots go beyond just scratching the surface.

Decorating Through Disassembly: Jeff Campana’s Sliced and Spliced Porcelain Pottery

Posted On September 20, 2010 21 Comments

There are many, many ways to put lines onto posts – carving, fluting, painting, drawing – but, I have to say, I had never seen anyone doing it quite like Jeff Campana. Jeff takes his well-thrown porcelain pots, chops them up into pieces, and then reassembles them. Then to top it all off, he uses glazes that pool in the seams. Today, Jeff shares his technique and how he arrived at such a labor intensive process in the first place.