In this video, David Henry demonstrates his method for throwing a pitcher on the potter's wheel using hand-made and store-bought ceramic tools.

In this video, David Henry demonstrates his method for throwing a pitcher on the potter's wheel using hand-made and store-bought ceramic tools.

I thought this would be a fun video to share because of the somewhat unusual methods potter Dave Henry uses to throw his pitchers. I figure that it is always good to think outside the cylinder, so to speak, and see how others approach various ceramic processes, even if you are quite comfortable with your own methods.
A self-proclaimed pack rat, Dave likes to raid his junk box to make homemade ceramic tools. In this video, he uses his hand-made spout maker and a hand-made extruder gun, in addition to some store-bought pottery tools. In case you would like to make a spout maker of your own, we’ve also included Dave’s instructions. He plans to follow up with a video on making his homemade extruder gun, as well. So, look for that in the future. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
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The Spout Maker
I’ve been asked to give you a little history into the throat tool I use in this video. Well, here goes: In the past when I would make a pitcher I would make the throat by placing two fingers on the outside and one on the inside and pull out. If I wasn’t paying attention or the coffee I was drinking was a little stronger than normal I would end up with a spout too thin or crooked. So what to do? Give up coffee? That ain’t happening. So I thought, why not come up with a tool that could make a consistent spout?
For more ideas for homemade ceramic tools, check out the 2008 Ceramic Workshop Handbook, a FREE downloadable studio reference from Ceramic Arts Daily. The 2008 Ceramic Workshop Handbook features great ideas for pottery tools you can make, and valuable technical references on clay forming, surface decoration, kiln firing and ceramic materials. Be sure to download your free copy (and our other free studio resources) today!
The Process
I’ve always enjoyed the problem solving part of pottery, and I’m quite the pack rat so I started to look through some bits and pieces in my ever-growing junk box.

First , I found some of those wooden hobby wheels; the kind you find on those preschool train sets. I have a pretty good set of wood working tools, so cutting the pieces to the correct dimensions wasn’t that big of a deal. My wife, God love her, gives me some sort of wood-working tool every year for Christmas thinking that I know how to use it. If you’ve ever seen any of my wood-working attempts you would know why I throw pottery instead. See the above diagrams for dimensions and parts needed. The spout maker is a pretty easy thing to put together if you have basic wood-working skills.
I added a spring to it because it kept closing on me at the most inappropriate times. I’ve used this tool for giving bowls ruffled edges as well.
Coming up with pottery tools out of discarded junk is a lot of fun. If you have any tools that you have made as well, drop me an email and share. Happy Mudding!
To learn more about Dave Henry, visit www.mud-man.com.
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