Using Pottery Wheels Correctly
When it comes to the use of pottery wheels, the old saying of practice makes perfect is very accurate! Even those that become experts at the wheel will take some time to learn how to effectively manage the wheel. The good news is that you can learn how to improve your technique and improve the quality that you’ll be able to produce too when you master learning how to use the wheel for pottery.
First and foremost, you must start with the clay in the center of the wheel. Even being just a bit off will cause you to create a lopsided pottery piece. When you are throwing pottery (using the wheel to shape it) you need the clay in the center to start so that when you begin to pull up the piece it will be balanced and even. It also helps you job of balancing the clay much easier throughout the entire process. To do this, sit comfortably, place one of your forearms against your thigh as this will be your guide throughout the process.
To get the clay into the center of the wheel, you need to first position yourself as described and then you’ll need to throw the clay into the center of the wheel. The best thing for you to do is to get the clay to stick to the wheel and the only way to do this is to actually throw it onto the wheel with a bit of force. Don’t worry, the clay won’t mind!
Next, you need to begin moving the wheel. This is where practice in balancing the motion of the wheel and the motion of your hands needs to happen. First, begin to move the wheel slowly and pat the clay into a cone like shape. Once you do that, you should have it into the center of the wheel and have yourself comfortable with moving the wheel at the desired speed. Practicing this over and over again is essential as it will help you to learn how the process works. Try it again!