Throwing Thursday - The Potter's Wheel

For years I've always wanted to be able to make pots.  My maiden name is Potter.  As many people do, when I was younger I looked up the origin of my name.  A potter was someone who made earthen vessels.  I've always wanted to be a real potter. 

A potter’s wheel is a machine used to create round clay ware.  It works like a wood lathe works.  Original wheels were powered by kicking a circle at the base which rotated the wheel head located on the top.  

Photographer: Oliver Kurmis[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 Clay is placed on the wheel head.  Clay is shaped using water to lubricate the hands to pull the clay up to create bowls, cylinders or pots.  The wheel generally changed and power was added.  Currently fully motorized wheels can be purchased or ones that have both a kick wheel and a motor.

By Julo (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This past November, I got my wish.  We ordered our Speedball Clay Boss Potter’s Wheel from Clay-King.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

I did a lot of research on the wheel before we ordered.  I chose this one for two reasons.  First, the price.  Clay-King has an amazing deal for this wheel.  It’s got a great motor speed and comes with two bats, delivered free.  Secondly, it has an amazing warranty.  It came with a five year warranty. 

Potter’s wheels usually last for years.  So the only time a warranty should be a buying feature is if the wheel has plastic parts.  Older wheels are really heavy and generally have a pretty long lifespan.   I follow Dan on Facebook and subscribe to his YouTube Channel.  I really enjoy his videos and I like his technique.  I highly recommend checking out his channels to learn more about throwing simple pots.

In this video Dan shows his wheel and the tools he uses to create amazing pots.

You’ll see me refer to several of his videos throughout this series.  Interestingly enough in my research for this post I found the myth of the Egyptian god Khnum, who was said to have created the first humans on a potter’s wheel which is shown in the relief below.

Roland Unger via Wikimedia Commons

Looking forward to my next turn at the wheel.

Namaste & Blessed Be

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