Potter's Wheel - throwing in 4 steps

Materials needed ...

  • ball of clay
  • bowl of water
  • sponge
  • modeling stick
  • needle tool
  • string or wire
  • throwing stick

Four Steps:

  1. Centering
  2. Opening
  3. Raising
  4. Shaping

Throwing on the potter's wheel involves holding your hands still very firmly. (This may give the illusion that the video is standing still.) Use water for lubrication.

  1. To center, press one hand down on the top and one hand toward the center from the side. While the wheel is still spinning at speed, hold your fingertip on the side to feel how well the clay is centered. 
  2. To open, push down in the center of your ball of clay - stop at the proper depth for the thickness of the floor of your pot. Then, come outward and set the inside diameter of your pot. Use your thumb to press down on the floor of the opened clay to compress the clay and make the bottom smooth.
  3. To raise, (at slow wheel speed) push from the outside with your fingertip, starting at the bottom. Your inside finger waits until the outside fingertip gets a little higher - then supports and lifts the pressure from the outside. Hold your fingertips firmly as you move upward. Be sure to sponge out the water (letting water accumulate can cause cracks).
  4. To shape your pot: gently push inward with your fingers or outward with your fingers or with a throwing stick.

Don't forget to clean up before you leave the potter's wheel.

Let your project dry until leather hard before trimming to make a footring!