How To Throw Clay

For my first ever audio post, I shared a step-by-step process for how to throw clay on the pottery wheel. For those who are unfamiliar, throwing clay is the process of spinning raw clay on a wheel and forming it to whatever shape you desire: plates, bowls, cups etc. Throwing clay on the pottery wheel is something I believe everyone should get a chance to try at some point. While challenging at first, it can be a very therapeutic and rewarding experience. It gives you the opportunity to hand make items that you will likely use daily. While this explanation is brief, it shares the general basics and what you need to know the first time you prepare yourself to throw on the wheel.

Here is an image of when I was first learning to throw clay. You can see here I have thrown a small cup to form and am putting the finishing touches on the rim. The clay will then be set out to dry, as it is very wet when throwing, before I add a handle and ultimately fire the clay to harden the form. It always helped me when I first started to think through the steps as I did them to make sure I did not forget anything. I would recommend listening to the audio as you begin throwing the clay, that way you are not distracted by a video and can be fully focused on what you are making.

This image is of a completed pot, thrown on the wheel and glazed in its final form. One of the most satisfying things is unloading the kiln to see your completed piece, ready to display, use and enjoy.

Transcript: Hello everybody hope everyone’s doing well so for today’s post I thought it would be fun to share a step by step process of how to throw a pot on a pottery wheel and this is just the general Mechanics for how you throw any type of pot so first thing you want to do is get your wheel spinning and and Throw the Clay in the towards the center of the wheel and make sure that your hands are in the clear pretty wet so that it doesn’t stick and you want to get it spinning and center the clay in the middle of the wheel and to do this you apply force with your hands to towards the center coning the clay upwards and then pushing it downwards until it’s in the center of the wheel and then once your Clay is centered and it doesn’t wobble as it goes around the wheel you know you’ll be able to see that it’s it’s centered as it spins around you could create a Hole by pushing your fingers down until you can feel it gets pretty thin and close to the base of the wheel to create that hole and then depending on what you want to throw you can then widen your base and flatten the bottom of the pot and then once you determine that you want to put one hand on the inside of the clay and one hand on the outside and what you’ll do is on the inside you’ll pull upwards and on the outside your hand will be following your other hand on the inside applying pressure so that the clay is evenly distributed as you pull the walls of the pot upwards and the whole time you need to make sure that you keep your hands in the clay wet otherwise it’ll stick but you don’t want to do too much cuz then the clay will lose its stability and become too wet to hold itself up but then once you are able to pull the walls up this will usually take depending on how much clay you use it’ll take four to five times maybe a little bit more if you’re using a lot of clay to get the walls and even thickness and to your desired height and then once you have it at the height that you want that is when you would turn it into the shape that you want by there you know if you want a little wider you put your hands on the inside of the clay and push it outwards to create a rounded wider look or you could close up the top of it and have it become like a narrow you know whatever you want to do with it but yeah those are the basics of how to throw a pot on the pottery wheel






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