The pottery wheel is one of the most important tools in a ceramics studio. It’s used to shape clay into various pieces, and it’s also really fun to use! Don’t be intimidated by this ancient technique; this blog post will show you how to use a pottery wheel for beginners and will have you sculpting like a pro in no time.
How pottery wheel works
It is important to know how a pottery wheel works before using it. Most wheels have 3 main parts:
- the foot pedal
- the brake
- the clay catcher.
The foot pedal operates the wheel by applying more or less pressure (usually controlled with one’s toes), which in turn causes the wheel to spin faster or slower depending on how much pressure is applied.
Steps to use pottery wheel
Apply clay evenly to the wheel; the clay must be of a consistency that is easy to work with.
Turn on the power; ensure all safety features are in place before starting. To do this, lift up one section of the safety flap while keeping the other side down, and turn on the motor with your foot or hand. Do NOT touch anything while it is running, as this will stop it instantly!
Keep even pressure on the pedal until you feel resistance from the wheel coming back at you, then push harder to get more momentum going. This way you won’t lose control over your clay because of the high speed of the wheel.
If you are nervous about applying clay with your hands, try using a little bit of water to help it adhere and get into all the nooks and crannies of your design: 2 teaspoons per cup of CP mix. If you find that this does not work for you, you may want to invest in a roller – or if that just isn’t possible, buy a few extra packs of clay at a time so that once your current pack is finished, you can make more while working on another project.
After you finished making your pot, turn off the pottery wheel and let it cool down. Make sure to clean the clay from all of your tools. Cleaning up quickly when you are done with a project will help prevent dust and dirt on your wheel.
Types of pots that can be made on the pottery wheel
Here are just a few examples of things you can make on the wheel.
First, you can make the more classic pots such as the one pictured on the left. You can roll out a wide or tall cylinder to make vases, or use your favorite shape-cutter to cut them into something fancier.
You can also use it to make pottery bowls. You would first roll out a cylinder and cut it into a circle (or whatever shape you want) using a wavy or round cutter.
The “fancier” part of what I meant by that is this: You can also use your pottery tools to make fancier shapes. For example, you can make a flower-like bowl, like the one pictured on the right. You would roll out a cylinder and use a star cutter to cut out petals that will serve as your pot ‘s walls. Then cut out the center of each petal using another cutter or .
To be able to do all these steps really well, you have to learn how to get precise cuts with your tools. To start getting those cuts down pat, here’s some tips:
1) Load your mat with dough to make sure it won’t slide around;
2) Gently roll over the area where you’ll be cutting first before pressing down hard;
3) Firmly but slowly press it into the dough (don’t move
Pottery Wheel Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and things to watch out for if you have a pottery wheel.
1) Don’t mix up the different clay body colors;
2) If your hands are not that steady, don’t start with the wheel’s fast RPM setting. Instead, opt for a slower speed and gradually work your way up once you’re more comfortable working with it;
3) Don’t forget to check the wheel’s alignment (make sure your clay doesn’t stick to the edge of a spinning wheel);
4) Don’t put your hands on the rims of a spinning pottery wheel;
5) Make sure you’re wearing all the proper safety gear.
A pottery wheel is a tool that can be used to make your own clay pots. It has been around for centuries and in the past, it was considered one of the most important tools in any artist’s studio. Today, you don’t need access to a workshop or even an artistic background – just some time and patience! All you have to do is spin the potter’s wheel while working with wet clay on its surface until your desired shape emerges from under your fingers. Hope this article helped you figure out how to work with a pottery wheel.