Pulling Up Thick Walls

by Sally
(FL)

Question:

Do you have any advice on pulling up walls evenly and moving the clay up from the very bottom? I am small and have small hands.

When I can no longer join my two hands, my hands start to wobble and not join together as much as I would like them to.

My pots are much thicker at the bottom, but the rest of the way up they are pretty straight. It is that bottom part that is difficult.

I love your website. Hope you will expand it from time to time and move in to more advanced techniques.

Thanks for being out there to help.

Sally

Answer:

Sally, that's a great question and a very common problem to run into. There are a couple of things you can do to help in pulling up the walls. These techniques will help the rest of your throwing as well.

1) Particularly with your right arm, brace it really well against your body and/or your thigh to stabilize that wobble.

Most (70%) of your pressure and control when pulling the walls comes from the right hand so this will solve most of your problems.

You can also brace your left elbow against your body. This is a little bit more awkward, but helpful if that arm is wobbling a lot.

2) Another trick is to make the pot narrower to begin with, then push the walls out to the width you want. This will stretch the walls outward and THIN them to where you want them to be.

3) Finally, practice pulling more clay up the walls on your initial pull. This requires some practice and a soft, very well-centered piece of clay. Not only will it eliminate your need to "get rid" of excess clay at the bottom, but it is also extremely satisfying to really MOVE the clay rapidly like that.

I hope this helps. Please add a comment and let me know what specific kinds of advanced techniques you are interested in learning. I'll definitely do what I can to get them on the site. Thanks, and happy potting.

Steve

PS, if you have any pottery wheel stories, first pot photos, or cool pots that you want to share I'd love to see them. Go to the "Get Discovered" link to share. Thanks again.

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