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This video will show how to throw clay on a pottery wheel.
Tags:Throwing the Clay,ceramic ware,clay,clay mug,monkeysee,pottery,pottery tutorial,pottery wheel,sculpting,thowing clay
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Hi! I’m Jane Cullum from Manassas Clay and I’m showing you how to make a pot on a wheel.
Right now we’re going to throw the cylinder. This is the fun part. This is the part that’s interesting to do. I’m going to walk you through the steps slowly and explain what I’m doing. I’m going to use my back which is just this plastic disk that allows me to move the clay off the wheel head easily, I’ll put it on and then I’m going to find the middle right here, then use my piece of clay and hold it directly above my mark. I’m going to put it down vigorously and give it a nice swak on the top.
Now we’re going to sit the clay which is just pushing it down and making sure it’s stuck on the wheel head. It doesn’t matter how it feels. Next, we’re going to cone that mount up and I’m going to use this part of my left hand and pull with the fingers on my right hand. So, wedging my elbow up against my leg, I’m going to cone the clay up and the clay will cone up as I move my hands up.
Start at the base and bring it up into a cone. Once it set into a cone, I’m going to grab my left thumb and use that little bone on the side of my right hand for the middle of the amount of clay and push it slightly off center, and pushed down from the top. And as it comes down, the pressure will build up in my left hand. I’m forcing the clay into the center between my hands and I gently lift the pressure up and check to see if it’s in the center. If it’s not in the center, your handle bump and all you have to do is wet your hands again and put the heels at your hands together and lean in, and bring the clay up just a little bit not as high as before.
Grab on to your thumb and bring it back down and gently let the pressure off. Now, it’s time to open and I’m going to use my right index finger with my thumbs steadying it and my left index finger on top. I’m going to push down in the middle of the clay and make a cone shape opening. Once I’ve done that, I’m going to put my right hand on the side and drop my thumb in the hole and then with my left index finger, push my thumb nail across towards my little finger and that opens up the bottom. I’m going to take my right angle rib and put a corner in that cylinder base, push down, and smooth out the bottom. Then wet both hands and bring the top inside the base of the cylinder.
Centrifugal force is always pulling the clay out. And so if I can keep it either straight up and down or slightly in, it will give me a lot more control. Now, I’m going to put water all the way around and we’re going to start pulling. I’m going to use these two fingers on the inside and the same two fingers in my sponge on the outside, and touch my hands together. This will make my hands very steady. My elbows are on my legs.
Start at the bottom and squeeze the clay up and bring it up. Move your hands up and once you get to the top, pause and gently release the pressure. Now I’m going to recenter the rim, pinch with my left hand and lightly rest my right index finger on the top. Now, a little bit water all way around and start at the bottom, compress, and move my hands up.
The wheel is going about half speed and when I come all away to the top, pause and compress your rim. Start with water all the way around again, wheel a little bit slower push in really firmly at the base and pull up again.
Once you get to the top, pause and compress your rim. Next, I want to get rid of any water that’s left in the bottom. And now I’m going to cut it off the bat. Now hold the wire taunt and bring it underneath, and we cut this in half. And my goal is a compressed rim which is over here. A flat bottom and even wall and it takes a little practice to do that.
Now, let me get another cylinder going for you and you have to remember that the potter’s wheel was a huge labor saving device. And you can make a pot in a pretty short time but still go through all the steps. Increase the size of the hole, put the right angle in the corner, and bring that top back inside the base. Water all the way around and I’m going to start pulling.
Always try to have my hands touching. It makes them a lot steadier when I’m working on the clay. Water all the way around again and squeeze that clay up, compressed the rim, clean up the bottom, here we go. A very firm pressure on the base and about half way up, the pressure is much, much lighter, come up to the top, pause and compress your rim. And I’m going to use a shammy to smooth the rim and make sure no water is left in the bottom of the pot and make sure no water is left on the bottom of the pot. Run my wire and now the pot has to set to the point that it becomes leather hard and then we can trim it.