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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Large and In Charge: Four Helpful Tips for Throwing Large Pots on the Pottery Wheel

Posted On September 2, 2013 12 Comments

Today, I am presenting some tips from large-pot-potter extraordinaire Nic Collins for upsizing your pots. I liked what Nic had to say here because it addressed some simple, but often overlooked, things to consider before you even put your clay on the wheel. Plus, it includes some great cross-section diagrams that clearly show what should be happening both inside and outside of the pot. Follow these tips and you’ll soon be in charge of the clay!


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.


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.


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.


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.