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Video: Throwing a Bowl on the Potter's Wheel

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 27 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss

In this short video, Gillian Nichols of The Potters Wheel, Blakemere demonstrates throwing a bowl on the potter’s wheel.

Video Transcript
Hi I'm Gill Nichols of the Potters Wheel, Blakemere Craft Centre, and on behalf of Craft Expert.co.uk, I'm going to demonstrate throwing a bowl on the potter’s wheel.

Once you've got it nice and even, just making sure there, you can start thinking about adding the hole.

If you find the centre with your finger, keep your finger nice and straight so your finger doesn't get thrown around, and push down and get the hole in the centre. If your hole's in the centre and the clays in the centre, you should end up with an even pot.

What I'm going to do now is I'm going to open that clay wider, but I'm thinking about the base of the bowl as well as I'm doing it, so I'm not actually taking it too wide and I'm going to put a bit of a curve as I'm compacting the base to stop it from cracking.

Don't be tempted to make the shape of the bowl as you go, because it can get too thin and start to flop down. So all I'm going to do is thin the clay out, gently pinching it from the bottom to the top, and just sending the clay in the right direction, but nice and straight.

It's easier to make the bowl wider at the end and almost impossible to get it to go thinner again.

Keeping control of the rim, and then I'm going to start cleaning it up, taking the water out first, nice and gentle as you go further up and then I'm going to use a round potters rib for cleaning off the surface. I'm going to slow it down a little bit more just in case, and just scraping off any of the slurry, leaving a nice smooth surface for the glazing. Then we can think about taking it off.

Because we've already done it onto a bat, stop the wheel, wire through, so that as it dries, it will shrink instead of being stuck to the bat, and you can take the whole bat off and leave that somewhere to start drying.

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