Throwing Pottery Basics
I’m back from my fun holiday vacation and happy to be at Southwestern Community College teaching the Beginner/Intermediate Throwing class. This, I think, is my favorite class to teach because I can watch the students grow from knowing nothing to making a teapot in 16 weeks.
One of my students recently asked if there were any good sites online to help her learn to throw. Here is a short list of sites that can help anyone learn to make a pot on the wheel:
YouTube is a GREAT start! Search terms may be: centering pottery, centering clay, wedging clay, pottery wheel basics, etc. Expert Village has a vast number of videos on Youtube. I have to say, watch more than one! Everyone throws a bit different, and not everyone is a good teacher. The more you see, the better it will translate to you.
Another place to find videos is the Ceramic Arts Daily website. This site is brought to you by the publisher of several ceramic arts magazines, and so they are interested in selling. However, beside the selling points, this site offers great tips for the new and initiated potter! Videos, books, shortened articles from their magazines, etc.
Lakeside Pottery has a pretty extensive site for a small studio in Connecticut. They posted photos of each step of the throwing process, handbuilding techniques, surface decoration and more. They really do a GREAT job online, and I am sure they do a mighty fine job in person if you happen to live near them and take a class.
About.com does a great job with both photos and text to help any beginner potter. I particularly like their tutorial on wedging (preparing) clay for those with hand a wrist strains, called the Cut and Slap method.
These links should keep a beginner occupied online for several hours. Perhaps in the near future I will post a list of books I recommend for learning about throwing pots on a wheel.
Until then, if you are in Bryson City, North Carolina, check out the classes I offer at Pincu Pottery or consider taking a class at the Heritage Arts Institute!