Step 7
How to Make Pottery:
Finishing the Rim

When learning how to make pottery, this is a simple but important step. This pottery video has some sweet tips for evening out wobbly rims. Finishing the rim is a two part process. Check it out in the video.

Next Video - Cutting the Pot Off the Wheel

1) Cutting the Rim

The purpose of cutting the rim is to make it nice and even. If your rim is perfectly even, skip to step 2. If you have a little wobble that's okay. We'll fix it.

First, spin the wheel very slowly. Then position your left thumb and fingers in a "C" shape supporting the rim. The fingers are on the inside. The thumb is on the outside. This is the same hand position as your first pull.

Next, take a needle tool in your right hand slowly cut into the rim of the pot. Go far enough down the wall to make a full cut all the way around the pot. You want to remove all of the clay that is uneven without taking any more than necessary. Usually, a 1-2 cm strip of clay is all you'll need to cut off.

Note: When you begin to cut the rim, point the needle a little to the right, with the direction of the spinning. If you point it to the left, into the spinning, it will jab into the pot and ruin it. This tip applies anytime you're touching the pot with a finger or tool.

Once you've cut all the way through, lift the cut piece off using your left hand. Presto, the rim is even. Now it just needs a little refining.

2) Smoothing and Shaping the Rim

First smooth the rim with a sponge to remove the sharply cut edges. Support the rim with you left hand as in step 1 so it stays upright. Gently wrap the sponge over the rim to create more of a rounded shape.

In the project pages you can learn how to vary the shape of the pot's rim to make it suitable for mugs or pitchers. You do this by adjusting the thickness and sharpness of the lip.


Way to Go!

If you've created anything resembling a pot you are light years ahead of most people who only dream of making pottery.

You've proven that you can do it. I'm so proud of you. Keep going. You're almost there! Next is step #8 Trim the Base and Cut the Pot Off the Wheel.

Return From How to Make Pottery: Finishing the Rim
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