Throwing Pottery

Our studio has gotten another upgrade as of last week… a pottery wheel!

We opted for a small table-top model, the Speedball Artista. Since we’re just starting out, it’s for a hobby and not production, and because our crafting area overflows with stuff we wanted to go with something a little more compact and portable. The plan is to turn the basement’s unfinished ex-bathroom area into a pottery throwing room.

I’ve been practicing a bit with it, but not too much yet due to being crazy busy. The Hus-Monkey wedged up a bunch of balls of clay for me. I am not good at it yet and have problems with my wrists… and I suck 🙂

Weirdly the very first thing I actually attempted to throw turned out not bad at all! The first night I attempted maybe 4-5 times but screwed it up every other time.

First Bowl

I didn’t really know where I was going with this before I started, it was mostly just to see what throwing felt like and trying to get the clay to center.

I ended up trimming it twice because the bottom was way thicker than the rest of the bowl.. nothing wrong with having it bottom heavy, but having a more consistent thickness is a better idea apparently. Trying to center up the dry object was WAY harder than trying to center the wet clay.

Also, I’m not very good at figuring out the thickness of things, specifically the bottom of the bowl when I was trying to figure out how deep to dig the initial hole. I’m not sure if I will need to employ tools for this or just practice more to get a better feel for things.

Anyway, for now my bowl is drying out completely and then I’ll sand down some of the rough spots and even out the rim a little bit. 

Edit: Dec 19

The past two nights I’ve spent some time at the wheel and it’s starting to look like my first bowl was an instance of beginners luck. Both night I tried over and over but I just couldn’t get a handle on things

I could manage to get it to what I thought was centered but as soon as I tried to pull it up, down or out it would start the wobbles. Occasionally it wouldn’t be that bad so I tried to just make due but eventually I went too far.

I think 2 nights ago the clay was just way too wet. As I was trying to throw mass amounts of slip was coming off on my hands. I think I was just finding it down to almost center, rather than moving it there.

Last night some of the balls of clay were too wet again, but a few we ok. I still couldn’t really get control of the situation… And I think I’ve been progressively getting worse.

At this point I think I might need to take a class. Nic has done ceramics before in school. But we old. School was forever ago! Plus he never really did a lot of throwing, it was mostly sculpture. So he doesn’t really know the finer points. How fast should the wheel be turning? How wet should the clay be? He also can’t really look at my firm and identify where I’m going wrong 


I will think about this class thing, and continue to research and keep trying to throw.