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Throwing on the Wheel – The Basics of Pottery Making

Throwing on the Wheel – The Basics of Pottery Making

Objective: To empower potters with the skills and techniques needed to create beautiful and symmetrical pieces using the wheel.

Materials Needed:

  • Clay
  • Wheel
  • Bat
  • Clay tools (rib, knife)
  • Water
  • Sponge

Introduction: Throwing on the wheel is an essential skill for any potter. It provides the opportunity to create consistent and symmetrical pieces with unique flair. In this course, you'll dive into the world of wheel-throwing and learn the basics of centering, opening, raising, and shaping the clay.

Centering: Centering is the starting point of wheel-throwing, and it's all about getting the clay centered on the wheelhead. Start by moistening the clay, place it on the wheelhead, and use your hands to press down while the wheel spins. The aim is to achieve an even and cylindrical shape.

Opening: After centering the clay, it's time to open it up into a larger form. Use your hands and apply pressure to the center while the wheel spins. Keep your hands in a steady position, and use the ribs to refine the shape.

Raising: Raising is about transforming the clay into a taller form. Apply pressure to the rim of the clay with your hands while the wheel spins. Keep your hands steady, and use the ribs to shape the clay.

Shaping: Once you have a tall cylindrical shape, you can now shape the clay into your desired form. Use your hands, clay tools, and imagination to create the rim, add a foot, and other details. Use a sponge to smooth the surface of the clay.

Conclusion: In conclusion, these are the basic steps for throwing on the wheel. Practice, patience, and persistence are key to improving your skills. Keep experimenting, pushing yourself, and creating pieces that you're proud of.

Assignment 1: Start by practicing centering the clay on the wheel. Start with small amounts of clay, and gradually increase the size. Keep a journal of your progress and document any challenges you face and how you overcome them.

Assignment 2: Practice the opening, raising, and shaping techniques. Create a series of cylinders using different methods, and note the results. Identify which techniques work best for you and which ones are more challenging.

Assignment 3: Create a set of matching pieces using the techniques learned. Try to make each piece as similar as possible in terms of size and shape. Keep these pieces as a reference, and compare them to your future pieces to track your progress.

Additional Resources:

  • Check out  Hsinchuen Lin on Youtube for some amazing lesson you can follow along to
  • Legend Kiwi potter  Lilly Maetzig has a great channel that is a must watch
  • The Ultimate lessons and everything you need to learn can be found by Florian Gadsby - watching

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