Master the Art of centering clay in a potters wheel with a step-by-step guide

  1. Begin by preparing your clay. Knead it well to ensure it is soft and pliable, and then wedge it to remove any air pockets.

  2. Next, place the clay on the potter's wheel head and use your hands to press it down firmly onto the wheel. Make sure it is centered as best as possible by eye.

  3. Start the wheel spinning slowly, and begin to shape the clay into a rough cone shape by pressing gently on the clay with the heels of your hands. Keep your hands in the center of the clay to help maintain its position on the wheel.

  4. Once you have formed a rough cone, use your fingertips to press down on the top of the clay, creating a shallow indentation. This will help guide you as you continue to shape the clay.

  5. Begin to increase the speed of the wheel, while continuing to apply pressure to the clay with your hands. Use your left hand (if you are right-handed) to support the outside of the clay, while your right hand applies pressure to the inside.

  6. As the wheel speeds up, the clay will begin to rise and take on a more symmetrical shape. Continue to apply pressure with both hands, and use your thumbs to create a hole in the center of the clay. This will allow you to see how centered the clay is.

  7. If the clay is not yet centered, slow the wheel down and continue to apply pressure to the high side of the clay with your hands, while using a wooden rib or other tool to gently push the low side of the clay towards the center. Repeat this process until the clay is centered.

  8. Once the clay is centered, you can begin to shape it or "throw" the clay. Remember to keep your hands and tools in the center of the clay to help maintain its position on the wheel.

  9. When you are finished, stop the wheel and use a wire tool to cut the clay off the wheel head. Be sure to support the clay with your hands as you do this to prevent it from collapsing.

I found this was the hardest thing to learn, it takes time, it takes practice and loads of failed attempts. Be brave, fail lots, fail with a smile and embrace the learning procces.

By following these steps, you should be able to successfully center clay on a potter's whee. Practice is key, so don't be discouraged if it takes a few attempts to get it right. With time and practice, you'll be able to center clay with ease. We are working on a video serious to go with all lessons, check our first one out using the link below 

Reach out if you have any questions, simply message

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