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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.


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!


Tips for Throwing a Perfect Tall Cylinder

Posted On August 30, 2013 15 Comments

Not only does Adam Field go over his meticulous carving techniques on his new DVD, Precision Throwing and Intricate Carving, but he also demonstrates his throwing chops on some fantastic forms. But before all of that he gives one of the best cylinder throwing demos I’ve seen. We’ve probably all had this assignment in our beginning wheel throwing class: Throw ten even-walled, 12-inch cylinders. I won’t divulge how long it has been since I had that assignment, but I still got a ton out of this demo. So whether you are struggling with cylinders now, or have been throwing for years, have a look at today’s clip and watch your throwing improve! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


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).


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.


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.


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.

Salt and Pepper Shakers

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.