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Techniques For Making Pottery

wheelThere are many different ways to make something beautiful with clay. My favorite way is throwing on a potter's wheel. It's fun, exciting, yet challenging. At first, I was very intimidated by the wheel. But once I was shown how to properly throw I took to it very quickly.


Pinch Pot:

Begin a pinch pot by forming a lump of clay into a smooth ball that fits the size of the hand. While holding it, press your thumb into the center of the ball, half-way to the bottom. While revolving the ball in one hand, press the walls out evenly with the thumb into the inside and the fingers on the outside. Smooth the surface with a damp sponge.


Coils of clay can be used to build bowls, vases and other forms in various shapes and sizes. Keeping the fingers flat, form the clay into sausage shapes, then roll into ropes 1/4 to 1/2 inches thick. Make a shallow dish with the pinch pot method and turn up-side down to serve as a foot of base. Place a cosplatter potil along the edge of the foot. Dampen the fingers and join the next coil to it, with a little pressure. Keep adding coils . Coils may be pressed with the fingers or a tool on both the inside and outside to create interesting texture. This techiniques seems pretty simple but the coils can dry out rather quickly if you're not careful.


Place two strips of wood on canvas a little further apart than the width of the finished slabs. Working on a textured fabric will leave imprints on the clay slab. Place clay on the cloth between the strips of wood and roll out. Use a pointed tool to trim the slab of clay to desired size. You may make paper patterns to follow if a form that has a number of sides is desired. Rub a wet finger over the edges to be joined and score with a tool. Roll out a thin coil of sticky clay and place it along one edge. Press the two edges together. You can form just about any geometric shape with the slab technique. The pot to the left was with slabs. It stands about 14" tall. I used a combination of high fire glazes with stains splattered on top.


The best way to describe how to throw is to show you! Enjoy this great video!