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Wheel Throwing Video: Macho Schmacho – How to Throw Hefty Pots on the Pottery Wheel Without Much Muscle

Tony Clennell returns to Ceramic Arts Daily this week to demonstrate how to show those large pots who’s boss. He demonstrates how to make a super cool and super big salad bowl or “Roman bowl” as he calls it. The clip is excerpted from his full-length DVD “Taking the Macho Out of Bigware,” which is such a great video to watch if you had given up on big pots because you thought you didn’t have the strength to throw them. I know I had, and Tony’s video proved that even my wimpy arms could take those large pots down a few pegs! In addition to the video, I have highlighted some important pointers that Tony gives on this process below. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

First, Tony throws a wide shallow bowl. It is important that the bowl is shallow, but still retains a curve for strength.
Next, he measures the width of the shallow bowl with calipers.
When opening what will be the top section of the bowl, he opens the clay to the wheelhead. Then, he begins to widen the opening, while making sure to apply downward pressure so the clay doesn’t fly off the wheel.

This clip was excerpted from the full-length DVD Taking the Macho Out of Bigware with Tony Clennell, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore.

After an initial pull, he starts to throw the wall about midway up so there is plenty of clay left at the bottom (the bottom will become the top of the bowl when the section is flipped over and attached to the first section so it is important to leave ample clay so that you can make a strong rim).
The second piece is flipped over and placed on the bottom shallow bowl section.
If the pieces don’t match up perfectly, Tony pushes from the inside out to match them up. While pushing out, he thumbs the two pieces together.
Next, he throws the top piece to get the desired height, diameter, and thickness.
He uses a flexible metal rib to round out the shape of the top part of the bowl. Flexible ribs work great because they can be bent to the desired curve and the clay can be pushed out from within to meet that curve.
As added decoration, the substantial rim can be split and pinched (see Rikki Grace’s Split Rim Video in the archives).