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Video: Turning a Pot on the Potter's Wheel

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

In this short video, Gillian Nichols of The Potter's Wheel, Blakemere demonstrates turning a pot on the potter's wheel.

Video Transcript
Hi I'm Gill Nichols of the Potter's Wheel at Blakemere Craft Centre and on behalf of CraftExpert.co.uk, I'm going to demonstrate turning a pot on the potter's wheel. When you've made your pot on the potter's wheel - the next day or maybe later in the day depending on how quickly it's drying, you need to start looking at the base of the pot.

As you can see there are a few irregularities here that are quite unsightly. We can do something about that, we use turning - that takes the base of the pot nice and neat. The state you want it to be in is like the state and consistency of cheddar cheese, it's called the leather-hard state. What you need to do is make sure the pot is exactly centred in the middle of the wheel. The best way to do that is to actually start the wheel off, nice and slow. Using a finger, just try and see where the pot sits on the finger, and move it away from that place until it's right in the centre.

And as you can see the top down here is actually running true, up here it's not too bad and will actually end up nice and smooth. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to secure this with some softer clay. Don't have it too soft because you don't want it to stick to the pot, but soft enough so it can be tucked in round the sides and secure it in place.

The first thing you need to do is get the base of your pot flat so just starting from the middle and working to the outside - keeping the tool nice and strong in your grip and introducing it to the clay very softly. And the other thing I'm doing, I'm always keeping the cutting edge of the tool, pointing into the centre of the pot. So we don't to come down here, or go up there, we always want it pointing into the centre. So just taking the side of that down so it's nice and smooth with the surface of the pot.

What I'm trying to do is I'm trying to stay along the line of pot so it's not got any funny lines or funny bumps going through, so it's a nice flowing line all the way to the base of the pot. One thing I did do, while I was throwing it, I did leave enough clay in the base of the pot, to make sure there is enough room for me to cut this out, otherwise we will cut through to the bottom of the pot. Smoothing out any rough lines...

Take the clay from round the bottom and I think you'd agree when I turn it over, that looks a lot better.

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