Question:

How do I centre my clay?

Opening up

Hints for successful openings

* Opening is performed at the same wheel speed used for centering, and it also involves the tensing of opposing sets of muscles when pressure is applied. The pressure used to open the clay should be sure and even, and the downward movement should be direct, smooth, and relatively fast........

Read this entire article 'Opening the clay' in the Articles section of this site
Or go to:
http://www.ceramics-tips.com/RscArticleV.asp?id=394

A how-to overview

The evolution of a pot
What are the steps from your hand to finished piece?

It begins with clay. Many potters today use pre-mixed clay which is added to water and left to age in large bins or we can purchase it pre-made weighed out in 25 pound bags.

First, wedge your clay thoroughly, 40-50 kneading
motions for a 6-8 pound lump of clay should yield good clay for throwing. When your clay is properly wedged and you have checked for air bubbles by cutting a cross-section to see if any air is trapped inside the clay body, you can affix it to the wheel head........

Read this entire article 'The evolution of a pot' in the Article section on this site
Or go to:
http://www.ceramics-tips.com/RscArticleV.asp?id=388

Defining the rim

Completing the form

When a successful form is pulled, it is completed with
refinements of the lip (also called the rim) and removal from the wheel head. During both of these activities, speed of rotation varies according to the stability of each shape thrown - greater stability allows faster rotation. Horizontal ware, such as bowls, will require a considerably slower speed. Fifty rpm is a starting point to experiment with for
slow rim refinement.

Refining the rim

Once the shape of the rim is defined, it is finished with a wet chamois, a wet sponge, or a lubricated finger. The finishing action leaves a smooth clay surface and may also make subtle adjustments in lip thickness and shape. Uniform lubrication is important for maintaining a centered rim during finishing.

Pulling the clay

Basic Throwing -

Pulling the clay

You are ready to pull the wall if the outside of the hump is
centered and the clay is opened in center. As your skill increases, it will become apparent that pulling can also have a centering function - many professionals use this technique. But as beginners, it will be important to pull from a well centered and opened form. If the opened hump is off center, the probable causes are either insufficient hand tension, allowing the rotating cylinder superior force, or
releasing pressure too quickly.

Pulling has three main purposes: thinning the wall, extending the form, and directing the shape.

Note: If further spreading of the bottom is needed, the indentation is made prior to pulling. The lowest portion of the wall is squeezed between a surface on the inside and another on the outside of the wall. This helps trim away excess clay which spreads out at the base of the wall by a method similar to the undercut described earlier, besides defining the base of the walls visually it helps the fingers in raising the clay up from the bottom of the pot.

Pulling and collaring troubleshooting

Troubleshooting
When learning to pull and collar, you may encounter some problems with the clay. Hard lumps or soft pockets of clay, air bubbles, and foreign matter (pieces of sponge, cloth, etc.) become more apparent and problematic in the body as the wall is pulled thinner. If you find such a defect, probe it with a needle tool to discover its composition and size.......

Read the entire article 'Troubleshooting' in the Articles section of this site
Or go to:
http://www.ceramics-tips.com/RscArticleV.asp?id=395

Preparing the wheel head

Preparing the wheel head

Prepare the wheel head for throwing by applying a thin film of water or slip with your hand (wetting the wheel head is particularly useful when the clay is rather hard; when soft clay is used, this step is not necessary). Next, place a lump of clay on the wheel head and twist it back and forth until it is firmly secured. If there is too much water on the wheel head, it will take a long time to seat the clay.

Beginners should use soft clay, because it is easier to work with during most of the throwing operations. If the clay is too stiff to work with, you can dip it in a bucket of water and wrap it in plastic or wet cloth. You can also cut stiff clay chunks and wet enough, it can be re-wedged. If not, you can wet it
again, wrap it in plastic, and stored it until it is softened.

To attach clay to the wheel head without applying a film of close to center as possible. As the wheel rotates slowly, firmly slap the lump into relative center. No lubrication (water) is applied to the clay during this step. Peaks and valleys on the surface of the lump should be smoothed with firm, rhythmic slaps, and the overall contour of the clay should be forced into a symmetrical shape. If this is difficult, the clay is probably too hard. Only when the clay is firmly secured to the wheel head and relatively in center are you ready to begin the centering process.

Alternative centering methods

Alternative centering methods
You can use different methods of centering when throwing large amounts of clay and/or wide-based forms. Because most hands will not cover the entire surface of large humps, more strength or leverage is needed to manage these forms. Consequently, the clay is manipulated from the bottom to the top of the hump - pressure is applied and your hands move slowly upward as the clay below is centered.......

Read this entire article 'Alternative centering methods' in the Articles section on this site
Or go to:
http://www.ceramics-tips.com/RscArticleV.asp?id=391

cutting from the wheelhead

Cutting from the wheel head

When you are satisfied with the completed shape, cut it from the wheel head or hump. Throwing all ware on bats will temporarily avoid the problem, but you will eventually need to learn to lift ware from the wheel head to develop full use of your throwing skills.....

Read this entire article 'Cutting from the Wheelhead' in the Articles section on this site
Or go to:
http://www.ceramics-tips.com/RscArticleV.asp?id=392

Ceramics Frequently Asked Questions

What precautions should I take in the studio?

How do I decorate my ware?

How do I apply Lustres?

How do I market my ceramics?

How do I apply glaze?

How do I market my ceramics?

How do I fire porcelain?

How do I cast slip?

How do I fire an electric kiln?

How do I apply glaze?

What are some stoneware glazes?

What Precautions when using dry ingredients?

How do I apply glaze?

How do I apply opaque stains ?

How do I wedge clay?

How do I apply Stains?

What is Lustre?

What should I keep in mind when designing my studio?

How do I make a coil pot

How do I decorate my ware?

How do I make molds?

What is Clay?

How do I apply glaze?

What is a decal?

How do I clean Greenware?

How do I add texture?

How do I centre my clay?

What tools do I need to start potting?

How do I start a business?

How do I best promote myself and my work?

How do I load my kiln?

What are ceramics

Where do I start?

How do I make a simple mold?

How do I fire Decals?

How can I make a mould?

What are some life quotes?

What is underglaze?

What is Porcelain

How do I care for my brushes?

How do I care for my molds?

What is Celadon?

What is the Tea Ceremony?

How do I care for my kiln?

How do I apply one-strokes?

What safety aspect should I keep in mind when working with glazes?

How do I apply Lustres?

What is Overglaze?

What are oxides?

How do I fire Bisque?

Where do I begin?

What should I remember when firing the kiln?

How do I clean brushes?

How do I slump/sag glass?

How do I apply overglazes?

How do I best publicise my business?

How do I make a simple plaster mold?

How do I care for my brushes?

Are stains safe.

How do I fire overglazes/lustres?

What is a reduction firing?

How do I doccument my work?

How do I create fine feature lines?

How and when sholuld I apply underglazes?

How do I make molds?

What is an engobe?

Are they Water or oil base stains?

How do I hold my brush?

How do I store my Materials?

Are any two kilns are exactly alike?

What is mould in clay?

What is a Pyrometric Cone?

Do I need a cone?

how do I throw clay?

Can I use sand to stop glaze running onto shelves

How do I test my glazes?

How do I apply China Paints?

Does greenware need to be dry before loading?

What are some life quotes?

What is the history of the Potter´s Wheel?

How do I fire lustre?

What is a glaze?

How do I fire lustres?

What is The History of the Way of Tea

What is Celadon (Cheong-Ja) - the Stuff of Kings?

How do I dry overglazes?

What is a glaze?

How do I Burnish?

What is an overglaze marbleizer?

Is there a trick toThrowing Porcelain?

Have you some lovely words?

What is Earthenware?

What is a glaze?

What are some stoneware glazes?

How do I paint Eyes?

How do I Recycle Clay

How do I attach wet pieces?

How do I make a teapot?

How do I make a plaster mold

What are some good tools for decoration?

What is Kiln Wash?

How do I glaze my ware?

How do I slipcast ceramics?

What are some life quotes?

how do I dry my ware?

How do I fire my ware?

How do I apply texture to my piece?

What is a Glost firing?

How do I make my own glazes?

What are some change quotes?

How do I store my tools?

What is the history of Raku?

What is Paperclay

What is a crackle glaze?

Do I need kiln wash for bisque?

How do I refire a glazed piece ?

What is reduction?

What must I remember when Raku firing?

How do I add decoration to my ceramics?

How do I care for my elements?

Does over firing produce poor colour in coloured glaze?s

How do I use my brush?

How do I care for my brushes?

How do I recycle clay?

What are some success quotes?

What is a glaze?

How do I clean Greenware?

How do I make coils?

What are some Black Firing Tips and Tricks?

What is the safest way to pack my ceramics?

What are Formulated clays?

How do I do a reduction firing?

automatic kiln sitter, should I trust it?

How do I care for my molds?

What are some tips for draining a mold?

What is a decal?

What safety measures should I take with Raku Firing?

How do I attach a bat to the wheelhead?

What tools do I need for ceramics

What are suggested plate clay weights?

What do I need to get started?

What are observation holes ?

What tools do I need to make a coil pot

How do I fire ceramic bisque ?

How do I recycle batches of clay quickly

How do I care for my molds?

How do I fire my ware?

How do I roll a slab?

How do I fire my kiln?

What is the correct firing time?

How to I prepare and make slabs?

What is Leatherhard ?

What materials are toxic in Ceramics?

How do I fire glaze?

What are slabs?

What is Korean celadon?

How do I fire Raku?

How do I make paperclay?

Can Crackle glazes be used for food?

How do I avoid S cracks in wheel thrown ware

how do I apply glazes?

How do I get the press onside?

How do I open-up the clay?

How do I fire Reds/Yellows?

What is a glaze?

How do I fire Ceramic glaze ?

Can I repair my kiln?

What are the Approx. firing times?

Ho do I avoid pitting and pinholes?

How do I make throwing ribs?

What is Stoneware?

How do I care for my molds?

How do I apply kiln wash?

What is a Stain?

What is a mold?

How do I decorate my ceramics?

How do I remove mold lines?

How do I cut the spare?

What is a ´good teapot´?

How do I Bisque fire in an electric kiln?

How do I keep a kiln log?

How do I paint Eyes?

How do I decorate my ceramics?

How do I apply crackle glazes ?

What is Primary clay?

What are some easy projects?

What is Thermal Shock?

What effects can I achieve with a brush?

What are cones?

How do I Drain small pour holes?

What is Glaze?

What is Raku?

How do I remove a stuck lid?

How do I glaze my ware?

How do I make Egyptian Paste?

How do I apply texture?

What is overglaze/lustre?

Must my kiln be level?

How do I make my own brushes?

What clay should I use?

How do I apply a decal?

How do I clean my greenware?

What is Agate ware?

How do I care for my new Kiln?

How do I make stamps?

How do I load my kiln?

How long do I fire bisque?

How do I promote my work?

can I draw directly onto a piece?

How do I increase my profile?

How do I fire different bodies?

what is porcelain?

How do I make test tiles?

What is Earthenware?

What is the humming in my new kiln?

What should I remember when firing a new kiln?

How do I mend Greenware?

how do I get the best results in glazing?

How do I prevent dirt on my greenware?

How do I accomodate Clay Storage in my studio?

How do I fire Larger pieces ?

How do I prevent sagging during firing?

How do I brush one-strokes?

How do I load my brush for applying underglaze?

How do I mend molds?

Why should I use pottery plaster?

What is the coat coverage ?

How do I prevent glazes from settling ?

How do I fire lace figurines?

What is Albany slip?

How do I create a woodtone effect?

How do I light my Gas Kiln?

What is a pyrometer?

What is a Binder?

What is a glaze?

What are some Doing well Quotes?

What is Slip casting?

What is a Rib?

What is a Bisque?

How do I care for my elements?

How do I fire porcelain?

How do I store my throwing tools?

What is the History of tea?

What is the history of Ceramics?

Why do I get black spots in my glaze?

How do I fire flat pieces?

What is Terra-Sigillata?

What are Pyrometric Cones?

What is Iron Oxide?

How do I load my kiln for a glaze firing?





Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Ceramics Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!


Guru Spotlight
Candi Wingate