Steps 8 & 9
Pottery Wheel Throwing:
Trim the Base, Cut the Pot Off the Wheel

Awesome Job! You're truly learning pottery wheel throwing. Just one more step and your pot is finished! It's time to cut the extra clay off the base and remove the pot from the wheel.



Next Lesson - Trimming the Base

1) Trim the Base

First, we'll remove any excess clay from the bottom of the walls. Start by spinning the wheel slowly. Hold a needle tool in your right hand like you would hold a pencil. Notice how the bottom of the wall is thicker than the top?

With the needle, cut into the wall at a 45 degree angle about 1/2 inch from the bottom. Keep going until the needle is touching the wheel. Hold the needle in place until the wheel makes a full turn.

Now, stop the wheel and gently slice underneath the cut piece all the way around the pot. Remove the loose clay. This will create a nice undercut to the base and remove excess weight.

Use a damp sponge to round out any jagged edges where it was cut.

Congratulations! Using these pottery wheel throwing lessons you have officially thrown your first pot on the wheel.



2) Cut the Pot From the Wheel

Now, it's time to cut it free. It's very important to cut it off the wheel before it dries or it will crack.

Take a clay cutting wire in both hands. If the wire is too long you'll need to wrap it once around your fingers. Spin the wheel very slowly.

Be ready to stop the wheel if you need to. Practice stopping it a few times beforehand so you've got it down.

Hold the wire tightly. Place your thumbs on the wire, pointing inward, so you have good control of it.

Hold the wire flat against the wheel head on the side of the pot that is farthest from you. As the wheel turns slowly pull the wire under the pot toward your body.

Tips: Keep the wire tight and flat against the wheel. The spinning motion will pull your right hand around the wheel to the left. Resist this pull. Keep your arms straight across from each other. Pull steadily toward your body. Hold the wire tight until it is free of the wheel. You may have to jerk it a little to get it out from under the pot.

Once you've cut completely through, stop the wheel.


Now it's time to let the pot dry to leather hard. When the walls are leather hard, about 3 hours, turn the pot over. Smooth the bottom with a damp sponge. For a more refined finish trim your pot on the wheel.

Finally, sign your name on the bottom with a clay needle or a ball point pen (it creates slightly smoother letters).

Congratulations! Way to go! Your pot is finished. Once it's dry it'll be time to fire and glaze it.

Return From Pottery Wheel Throwing
To Make Your Own Pottery

Return From Pottery Wheel Throwing
To Home

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