Making a clay pot on a wheel is different from freehand.It requires centering and anchoring the pot on the wheel, and then using your hands to shape it.It takes practice and patience to make a pot from a pottery wheel, so don't worry if your first pot is not exactly what you were hoping for.Don't stop practicing!
Step 1: The pottery wheel has 2 to 3 pounds of clay on it.
The clay should be placed in the center of the wheel.If you are a beginner, you should start with 2 pounds of clay.You can use more clay if you are more experienced.The larger your pot is, the more clay you use.
Step 2: Start the wheel at a slow pace.
A low speed is all you need to lubricate the clay.Keep the wheel at the lowest possible speed when you switch it on.The speed should be kept low if you are a beginner.The clay will get off-centered if this is not changed.
Step 3: To anchor the clay to the wheel, place it on a mound of clay.
While the wheel is spinning, tap the top and sides of the clay with the palm of your hand to make sure it is centered.The clay will be secured to the wheel base.You don't have to push down hard on the clay.Just tap it.
Step 4: Place one hand on each side of clay.
If you don't wet your hands while working on a clay pot, they will stick to the clay.You can lubricating your hands by dipping them in a bowl of water.
Step 5: Place gentle pressure on the sides of the clay with both hands.
Place your hands on the sides of the clay mound with your thumbs on top of it.As the wheel turns, apply even pressure to the clay.If you feel comfortable with a higher speed, increase the speed slightly, or keep the wheel set to a low speed.
Step 6: Use your hands to shape the clay into a cone.
Slowly move your hands around the sides of the clay as you apply pressure.As you do this, the clay should start to form a cone.While shaping the cone, you can increase or decrease the speed of the pottery wheel.It is necessary to mold the clay into the desired width and height multiple times.
Step 7: When the clay forms a cone, move one hand to the top to press down.
Place one hand on top of the clay and press it down with light to medium pressure.To maintain the shape, keep the other hand on the side of the clay.As you do this, maintain an even wheel speed.
Step 8: Make a mark with your thumbs by finding the center of the clay.
Find the center by looking at the clay from the top.The rest of your fingers stay outside of the clay to help maintain the desired shape when you press down with 1 thumb.As the wheel turns, use both thumbs to widen the opening, while your fingers guide the clay on the outside of the bowl.
Step 9: If you want to shape the rim, you should compress it.
You can use your fingertips to define the shape of the pot at this point.While the wheel is still turning, squeeze the clay around the top of the pot.Continue until the rim is the desired thickness.A chamois can be used to compress the rim.Press on the rim with your fingertips if you hold the chamois over it.It is optional, but it will help to remove excess water from the clay.
Step 10: The inside of the pot should be pressed against your fingers.
Put your hands in the pot and place them near the bottom.The curve on the inside of the pot should be created by bending your fingers.Press the back of your fingers against the inside of the pot and then move your hand up towards the rim.If you bend your fingers too much you will create grooves in the pot.The same type of curve on the inside of the pot can be created with your hand.
Step 11: You can put the palm of your other hand on the outside of the pot.
On the opposite side of the pot, place your other hand.This will help you shape the walls of the pot.To check the positioning, look down into the pot from above.Curve your hand on the outside of the pot in the same way as you curve it inside.
Step 12: Slowly move your hands up to shape the pot while applying even pressure.
While the wheel is turning, slide your hands up towards the rim of the pot.The pottery wheel should be turned at a low to medium speed.It is necessary to repeat this many times to get the desired shape and wall width.To keep the clay well lubricated, wet your hands after each throw.
Step 13: Take the pot out of the pottery wheel.
Shut off the wheel after you are done with your pot.Then, use a wire to loosen the pot from the wheel by sliding the taut wire under the base of your pot.Once the clay has come loose from the wheel, you can use thebat of the base to carry your pot over to a dry surface.To guide the pot onto the flat surface, tilt the bat slightly and use your hand.Before placing the clay pot on it, you might want to put down a newspaper.
Step 14: To finish the pot, fire and glaze it.
You can fire and glaze your pot once you have finished shaping it.This is required to make the pot waterproof.A glossy finish on the pot is created by a glaze.You will need to use a kiln to do the initial firing, and then apply the glaze and fire the pot again.Keep in mind that the pot won't be waterproof if you let it air dry.Depending on the size of your pot, air drying can take several days to weeks.If you don't have a kiln, you could visit a local studio and ask if they can make a pot for you.They might be willing to pay for it.The bottom of the pot should be covered with glaze.Your pot will stick to the shelf in the kiln if you have any glaze on the bottom.Follow the instructions on how to apply the glaze.