How to Throw a Clay Pot
For aspiring potters – or any other new artist – the first steps can be the hardest. This guide from Sugarloaf Crafts walks you through the basics of learning how to throw a clay pot. With a little practice, you’ll be able to experimenting with your own incredible creations!
1. Scrap any scraps or chunks of clay off your bat and attach it to the wheel head.
2. Mold your clay into small balls and knead it to remove any air bubbles. When all bubbles are gone, form the clay into a single rough ball.
3. Use a sponge to slightly dampen the center of the bat and attach your clay, pressing the clay down all the way around the bat to help keep it secure. Keep the clay and your hands moist throughout the process,
4. While spinning the wheel quickly, use the heels of your hands to form the clay into a cone shape. Then use one hand to push the tower down. Repeat this 3-4 times to make sure the clay is centered and aligned.
5. Make a hole in the clay’s center by pushing your index finger straight down as the wheel spins, stopping about an inch from the bat. Use your other hand to stabilize the clay.
6. Create the wall for your piece by using your fingers to pull the hole towards you. The piece should spin symmetrically when you’re done.
7. With either your fingers or a wooden rib, smooth and compress the bottom of the clay.
8. Thin and raise your piece’s walls by using your thumb and index finger to gently squeeze as they move upwards.
9. Use the straight edge of a wooden rib to clean up the outside of your piece and remove lines.
10. Hold a wire tautly with both hands and use it to cut your piece off the bat. Use a straight motion and not a sawing motion.
Want to see an expert in action? Every Sugarloaf Craft Festival features master potters demonstrating their craft. Come to the next show near you and be inspired!