From start to finish

Wheel throwing is not the only way to shape a lump of clay into a finished product. To name a few other methods, there are also coiling, thumbing, slab making and casting. But my focus in this article will be wheel throwing.

This can look incredibly easy on all the youtube videos out there, but you realize pretty quickly that there is a lot of technique behind it. 

I always recommend taking a course or two to see if this is actually something for you or if you have patience enough. Most of the time, you find it incredibly relaxing!

There are 5 steps when throwing, stay tuned!



All clay comes packaged in plastic bags and must first be softened a little before you start working with it. Making the clay homogeneous and preventing air bubbles is done by kneading it and making it smooth.



Centering is a very important part of throwing and the hardest to learn. The trick is to try to get the lump of clay to be so "still" in the middle of the throwing wheel so that your creation does not become warped and uneven.



Now it's time to open the centered lump of clay in the middle so you can start lifting the walls. This is usually where you notice if you have not centered properly, the lump starts to pull in one direction or the walls become uneven.

Lifting the walls can be done with lots of different techniques, I use a mixture of "claw" (shape the index finger into a claw and pull with the side up) or with a wet sponge.



Now you have completed the hard part! It's time to shape your work and let it dry. Sometimes you have an idea of ​​what you want to create but the clay wants something else, let it happen!



Finishing is the last step and involves smoothing the sides or getting a nice underside with the help of trimming tools once the creation is leather hard. You decide for yourself whether you want to trim or just smooth with a wet sponge.