Pottery on the Wheel for Beginners - Throwing Clay, Beginning Ceramics | Steve McDonald | Skillshare

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Pottery on the Wheel for Beginners - Throwing Clay, Beginning Ceramics

teacher avatar Steve McDonald, Excel and Photoshop Geek

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction to Your Tools, Wheel and Studio Setup


    • 2.

      Getting Your Clay Ready for Throwing


    • 3.

      Centering Your Clay on the Pottery Wheel


    • 4.

      Pulling up the Walls of Your Pot


    • 5.

      Shaping the Pot


    • 6.

      Finishing Your Pot


    • 7.

      Cutting the Pot Off the Wheel


    • 8.

      Quick Trimming Your Pot


    • 9.

      How to Keep Your Hands Dry


    • 10.

      How to Set Up a Pottery Studio and Arrange Your Wheel


    • 11.

      Amazing Rim Finishing Trick with a Homemade Plastic Bag Shammy Pottery Making Tips


    • 12.

      How to Make a Spout for a Pitcher or Creamer on the Pottery Wheel


    • 13.

      Making Scalloped Edges on a Pottery Bowl Tips to Spice up Your Pottery Making


    • 14.

      Making a Pottery Mug Step 1 Throwing the Mug Body FINAL


    • 15.

      Making a Pottery Mug Step 2 Forming the Handle


    • 16.

      Making a Pottery Mug Step 3 Attaching the Handle


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About This Class

Have you been dying to learn how to do pottery? Now is your chance. This course will teach you how to throw a pot on the wheel from pulling your clay out of the bag to removing your pot from the wheel.

This pottery wheel course is for first time beginners new to throwing on the pottery wheel or for intermediate students who want to brush up their skills or troubleshoot their skills for quicker success.

Start watching and throw your first pot today!

Meet Your Teacher

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Steve McDonald

Excel and Photoshop Geek


Learning is easier if you are given the right tools and instruction. In every one of my courses I take you step-by-step through the tools and knowledge you need to accomplish your goals. 

My talent is taking complex subjects (like Exce... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction to Your Tools, Wheel and Studio Setup: Welcome to the how to make pottery on the wheel. Course. Very excited you're here, and I'm excited to teach you how to make pottery. This course is going to cover all of the basics of throwing pottery on the wheel. We're going to go into how to Senator Clay, how to pull up your walls out of thin your walls, how to shape your pot, how to cut off on uneven rim. How to troubleshoot various problems that come up especially for beginning potters as you're learning to throw, how to cut your pot off of the wheel and how to trim your pot after the fact. This course is dedicated specifically to throwing on the wheel and setting up your studio so it doesn't cover glazing or firing. Before we jump right into a pottery will demonstration. Let's first talk about your tools and you're set up. The first thing you're going to need, of course, is a good pottery will. And as you watch through the lectures, you're going to recognize this particular pottery will, because it's what I use in most of the demonstrations. This is a shrimp po Aspire portable pottery wheel, and I really love this wheel for beginners for a couple of reasons. First of all, it's portable. So if you're not gonna be doing pottery every day, or you don't have a permanent pottery space to work in, you can pack it away in a closet or on a shelf somewhere, and it won't take up hardly any space, and you wont break your back trying to lift it. These wheels are also some of the least expensive new wheels that you can find on the market. So once you have your wheel, you want to find a space to set it up, and you can see in this demonstration. This is not an ideal space, but I wanted to throw outside, so I actually set this up on my back porch. But the important details to look at here or that I have a water bucket, a space to pile mistakes and trimmings that I cut off the wheel, a vase or bucket toe hold your tools and, of course, a few boards on the side to set your finished pottery on. It's also really helpful to have extra plastic bats to go on your wheel like this. One other thing I'll point out on this wheel is you can see the splash pan. He's a really important because as you're throwing, a lot of water is gonna come off the pot and you want it to be able to go somewhere, not all over the room or all over you. So this splash ban is removable, and as it fills up with water and mud, you can then take it off. Go pour it out and rinse it out, and it reduces your mess significantly. One other thing about this wheel is that you do have to have a place to put it, so it has to go on a table of some sort. And to be honest, I've used this on my kitchen table. As long as it's a sturdy table that won't wall along you, you can do pretty well if you have an old lower coffee table. You could even set it up on that, and that would be probably just the right height for most people. Now, if you're thinking about becoming a serious production potter and doing pottery every day or selling your work, you would probably want to go with a bigger wheel that stands alone and has more power. But for the average Potter, and particularly for the beginning or hobby Potter, this wheel has more than enough power, durability and functionality to throw anything that you'd want to throw. So once you have your will, you need to get yourself some tools. And there are a lot of tools out there that you could get. But you really only need a couple of tools, and you can get these for super cheap. Tool kits like this can be purchased for around 8 to $10. In some cases, it might cost you about $15 but this really has everything that you need to do pottery. And in fact, these are the only tools that I use on a day to day basis. So what's included here? Of course, we have a yellow sponge that's for controlling your water. You have this little wire cutting tool, and while you're at it, you might buy an extra one or two of these. They're pretty cheap, and these are the things that will wear out the quickest because they tend to get kinks. But it's also nice to have a couple of them just handy. Then you have these two trimming tools. That's for trimming your pottery after the fact you have this needle tool for cutting rims off and measuring the depth of the bottom of your pot. You have these two ribs for scraping clay off the wheel and for shaping and smoothing the outside of your pot. And then you finally have this wooden knife for trimming off excess clay at the bottom of your pot and for various carving and decorative purposes on your pottery. So you'll take those tools. Put him in a vase or bucket next to your pottery wheel, and you can see the little wire that I have hanging over the tools that just keeps it from getting kinked and makes it readily accessible for use. The only other thing that you would need for pottery, which we don't really cover in this course, is a way to fire it. But what I recommend doing, especially as a big giving Potter is finding a community school, an art museum or a public pottery studio who will fire pottery for you. Usually you can pay just between 50 cents and a few dollars per piece, where you can pay for an entire killing load, and that way you don't have to worry about seven up account. You can just make your pottery at your leisure and have them fire it for you. And one last note before we get started Throwing is what kind of clay you want. And basically, it doesn't matter what color you clay is. You can get red terra cotta. You could get white clay. You can get brown or buff clay, but when you're just starting out as a beginner, you just want to make sure that it's designed for throwing on the pottery wheel. And you want to make sure that it doesn't have a lot of grog. Grog is like a sand that they put in the clay to give it more structure and strength for building larger projects. But as a beginner, before you've got your technique perfect, this grog contend to sand away at your hands and make throwing pottery kind of miserable. So at first you want a nice, smooth clay, and when you go to purchase that, just ask them for a smooth clay that's suitable for a beginner and you'll be in good shape . You also might want to go with a white or a lighter colored clay, as the terra cotta and red clays do tend to stain more things and that will prevent you with any unwanted stains. I'm very excited you're here, and I'm excited to teach you how to make pottery. 2. Getting Your Clay Ready for Throwing: Okay, So the first thing you want to do when you're gonna throw a pot on the wheel, let's get your bag. Clay, open up the bag nice and wide so you can get to the clay. Give it a good slice with your clay wire. I usually just go ahead and divide it up into a number of pieces right away. This makes it easier. Six is good. You can just pop a piece off the corner like that. It's too small, which this one is. You peel another piece off another corner, get one about the size of your fist or maybe a smidge smaller. If you have big hands, make sure to close this bag up and set it aside. Um, you can lead your clay, Um, or you could spiral. Need it. In this case, since we're doing a demonstration, I'm just gonna How nice. Nice ground ball. Slap it onto the wheel, press it good and hard. 3. Centering Your Clay on the Pottery Wheel: I'm just gonna How nice. Nice ground ball. Well, press it good and hard. Get your wheel going. Go almost full speed. You could be pressing with the thumb here and the fingers a little bit and the the kind of palm of your hand and your bottom two fingers. Here it's no again. This part and this part, you're squeezing it a lot, pressing down with your thumb and pushing just for like, five seconds at a time. Not even that, I like to say three, 123 and slowly, let go. It's more water. 123 So go. If you're having trouble getting it centered, you can squeeze in like this, see how that brings it up and press back down. Use the way to your body, not your muscles as much as possible, but again, short bursts pressing and slowly let off When you're ready. The way you know it's center doesn't mean you can pretty much look at it. But you should also be able to set your hands on their gently and just still, no wall. Now you may see a just a tiny little wobble. I like to say I mean, you're really going to get, Ah, 100% perfect, but 97 to 98% perfect is what you're looking for. I mean, it's still clay, so it's It's never gonna be 100% but if you're like 90 or 92% perfect, that's good. But you still need to probably work on a little bit more to get a little more centered to keep you from having a wobble later. 4. Pulling up the Walls of Your Pot: Now you take your finger, brace it with your other hand. Cross it slowly into the part That's water for us, some more. Be sure to stop 1/4 of an inch from the bottom. You have to leave a base for your part. Yeah, I'm using my other fingers to support it and then gently pulling out. And now I'm a crab claw like this and pinching and pulling up, and I'm stopping and I'm drizzling water with my sponge. You can also compress the rim with your sponsor mistress by wrapping it around the rim again adding water, frequently pinching and pulling up. Now I'm not pinching and hard. I'm just pinching to about a centimeter or centimeter. 1/2 a part, holding it there. Pinch in, hold it there and pull up off the rim. No. See how that raise it up a bit and I'm gonna add more water drizzled down the rim. You'll be amazed how fast he's Wallace. Try out now. I'm gonna use the sponge in place of my thumb on the outside, pressing in with out from the outside. Wrap it over the ram to just strength in the room. You can pull the water out of the bottom, so it's not just sitting there soaking, although unless you're working on your pumps or more than 10 or 15 minutes, that's not gonna be too much of a problem. And then there's a little more water. Now you can refine the shape. In this case. If it will go for a nice tall blows, I'm gonna pull it open filming at the same time. 5. Shaping the Pot: and so you're well. But now that it's more fragile, smooth work. The bottom was working back and forth a bit here, just compressing the clay, strengthening it and make it even refine the walls a bit. Look, I had a little arable right there. You can see it's already pop, so I'm not gonna pop. It is not a lot I could do with that. So I'm just gonna leave it. If it was a bubble and see the actual bubble that would want to take a needle, pop it. You don't want fire apart with with an air bubble on it Because air can explode her, it'll expand as the moisture it expands, and then it will tend to want to explode your part in the firing. 6. Finishing Your Pot: I'm going to wire even room off. But well, all of the excess moisture off using your sponge around a little bit more, you can wrap a finger over the room a little like this or is to be evening everything up. You take away a little extra from the bottom. Here, grab onto the wire like this. Wrap it around your fingers, slice through nice and gently when we're done. 7. Cutting the Pot Off the Wheel: okay, I want to show you a little bit more advanced technique for taking your pot off the wheel. This is if you don't have a lot of removable bats and you're making medium sized pieces like this that are difficult to pick up Well, that you feel uncomfortable picking up. I call this floating. You can take your sponge with a good amount of water and drizzle that water alongside your pot. Take your wire. Hold tightly. Of course. Slice the water underneath the pot. You'll usually need to do this a couple of times. See how it broke Free announced. Floating on that water, you have to Jimmy your wire out a little bit. So sometimes if you shake it quickly back and forth like that, it will allow you to pop it out. And then you take so you could lift this up gently. Very gently. It pops too much, you could lose the pot. I'm gonna drain off a little bit of this water into my bucket. Set your your board that you're using on the on your wheel. Make sure stable. Set this plate or the bat flat and very gently push on the edge of this until it slides and it'll come right off like that. The one thing you want to avoid is tipping this up really high. If it's got a little section here and you're tipping this up really high, what's gonna happen when the section breaks, it's gonna shoot out on either land on its side and crush the side. It's gonna shoot right across your board and onto the floor. So the most important part is keep this flat and gently push a little bit here. Or you can use like the side of your pinky like this to kind of work that over. Always check the roundness of it. Sometimes you'll need to just give it a little a little smushed there t make sure it's even in round. 8. Quick Trimming Your Pot: Okay, Now I want to talk to you about a quick way to finish your pots. Finish the bottom of your pot without having to trim it on the wheel. The first thing is that you wanna throw your pot a little bit later because one of the things about trimming is that trimming takes off some of the weight to make it a more delicate pot. So the first thing is, by throwing these walls a little thinner, you're already taking off the weight. Which limit helps to eliminate the need for trimming. The second step is cutting away a lot of this excess while it's on the wheel. So I obviously have all that weight down there. I'm gonna take my wouldn't knife here. I'm going to hold it like a pencil and I'm gonna cut into this supporting it with my other hand. But I'm really gonna cut away some some material here. Alternately you can. You can do that with a needle like this. The only trick is the needle. It doesn't pull it as far away from the actual pot, so that could get a little messier to clean it off. Now you can stop the wheel and just go in here and scrape this away gently by hand. Or, if you're feeling bold, you'll spend the wheel real slowly and going there with confidence and scrape that away. Trick is you just have to get it in the right distance. So you're not actually gouging into your pot. Do it one more time just to get rid of this little extras. But you can see that's already created a nice undercut on the pot. I think you can see that. Yeah, I'm smoothing it with my finger here just to bring it back on shape and then I'll show you real quickly. Cut it. So we're following our procedures correctly. So this is just an example of a tiny little dish that I've made and I'll show you how you can, um, just finished this my hand. First of all, check the inside to make sure that it's not too thin or whatever. But if you press, you compress the inside inward a little bit like this. See, I'm just doing this very subtly, but what that does that creates a little bit of a dish here so that your pot will actually sit on this room, much like creating a foot when you trim it on the wheel. But this is kind of an artificial foot just by denting in the middle. Now again, you want to keep an eye on the inside of pot because you don't want to press this too far and created a big bump in the bottom of that. Now take your sponge. It depends on how Dr these are. This is all skate. You drive if you if you get it leather hard on the top and then just pull it right off, smooth everything up. I should have done this one about half the night, Argo, but with a little bit of pressure to you can get everything smooth again. This isn't quietest, clean and crisp and sharp as throwing as tribute on the wheel. But you can see the point. She's a little pressure and a little water if you need to trump everything up. But that smooths up your pot pretty nicely, and with that end it has a nice little foot that it can sit nicely on. And then we're just gonna dry it upside down. And, of course, don't Don't forget to is like little wooden rib or something. And throw your initials in there or whatever you like to do, make it you. 9. How to Keep Your Hands Dry: Okay, Another little tip that will help you if you've got kind of slimy clay or water on your hands and you go to grab another fresh piece of clay to start throwing with. As you start to pass this into a ball, it's gonna be sticky and slippery. Um, and then once you get it patted into a ball, you try and stick it onto the clay onto the bat. It's not going to stick because you're gonna be trying to stick this slippery surface onto this plastic. So to avoid that, what you want to do is I just take a nice, clean, dry sponge, squeeze the water out of it and clean my hands. You can dip your hands in the water if that's easier, but clean. I'm good enough to get most of the clay off like so, and then grab it. Just a towel. I just always have a stash of dry kind of garbage towels, old old bath tells, or the best. Dry your hands really well and then grab a fresh piece of clay out of your out of your bag . Then, when you have this or wedge it, um, now it's not sticky. And so this piece of clay think about it. Nice around. Stick that down. And when I push it down, it's actually going to stick, Whereas this other kind of slimy piece, that one wasn't gonna stick. If I let this sit for just a couple of minutes, most of that slimy nous will be absorbed into the clay. And then I can throw with it. But not good to try to do this. What Slimy? Alternatively, if you have a canvass board or a, um, excuse me if you have a canvas covered board or table or if you have a plaster Ah, a plaster bat or plaster cover a plaster slab. You can wedge this on that clay and that will that will absorb the moisture very quickly, and then you can come right back to. So that's that. 10. How to Set Up a Pottery Studio and Arrange Your Wheel: I want to just do a brief overview of how to set up your own pottery studio. Now I'm gonna cover three different things in this little short course. The 1st 1 is how to set up your wheel, regardless of where your wheel is located with your tools and water and whatnot. And then the second part is going to be how to set up two different kinds of studios. One is a temporary studio that you just are doing on a kitchen table with a tabletop type wheel and the other one would be more of ah, permanent studio. So I'm just going to dive right in here and and and show you how to do this Just with some quick drawings. There are three main things that you need to have at your wheel at all times. The first thing that you need to have is a big bucket of water. And assuming that you're right handed, we're gonna put the water right over here. I was up for a beautiful drawing. That's your primary thing. You're gonna reach over with your right and dip it in the water. You want to be able to get both hands in there. So that's key right there. And then right here, you're gonna put another little smaller tub. Sometimes this could be like a little sealable plastic tub, and this is for your slip. So all the mud that comes off your hands, you can throw in there and or any small pieces that you cut off when you're trimming your rim, that kind of thing that's gonna go here and then you can have some sort of arrangement over in this corner with your tools. I usually actually have, like, a vase full of tools over here, so it'll have tools sticking out of it like this. But if you wanted to have a box or however you like to Rachel Tools and then sometimes I'll have, like, a needle tool is kind of sitting right here. Um, you know, that kind of thing, You I throw my sponge in the water, and then that's basically you're ready to go. The only other concerns that usually have a tall stick sticking up out of this space here, and I hang my wire over that stick like so, and it kind of hangs off the side of the wheel and that way it doesn't get damaged if you throw it in your water bucket tends to get crimped or lost. If you throw it just on on the table here, it tends to get caked with mud. That wire you want to keep nice and clean, so if you hang it off to the side, that's good. So that's kind of how to set up a basic wheel if you just have a small tabletop wheel for the shrimp. Oh, aspire has two boxes, like a lower shelf in a smaller self. In that case, I would usually just do like this slip bucket right there. And then this may not even be big enough to hold Ah, water bucket. So in that case, I might even put the bucket right here on the table for the water. Really, your water is the most important thing, and it really needs to be accessible. You can put something there, but you want to have a good sized bucket like a one gallon size bucket. A nice deep tub is the best way to do. If it's too shallow, it's just not gonna function super well for you. Some people store a couple of tools in their water bucket to, but that's up to personal preference. Okay, so let's look at how to set up your wheel on your table. So this is our table here. And then what you have is just is you have your bag, clay, over here, pussy for clay. And in an ideal world, you would have a small tabletop wedging board that you could actually attach over here, depending on how nice your table is. But if you have a couple C clamps, you could basically attach it onto the sides of the table like this. Maybe 1/3 1 down here that would just make it secure toe, hold it onto the table and this would be covered with canvas. You know, if you have canvas wrapped around this board here, this would be a wooden board. Have canvas wrapped around that board, then that just gives you a spot right here to throw your chunks of clay. And you can just wedge away, maybe keep a wire sitting over here accessible so you can slice via clay while you're wedging. And then this would be your bag of clay, so it's just accessible you can get right to it. Another thing that you would have is a couple of boards, a couple of boards over here. And this is where you can put your pottery as you throw it if you have a big couple of big pieces. But this is where you put all your pieces to store them as they're coming off the wheel and that covers a small tabletop studio. Let's look, if we have an entire room, we want to break up into a studio and I don't know how your room is gonna be laid out. But I'm just going to give you some basic ideas, just basic principles. Right. Okay, here's your door. Let's see you have your wheel over here and you will have a stool here. Now you're gonna have some tables. Essentially, what you want is you want storage and you want tables. So along here, you'd probably want some storage. These were just gonna be shelves where you can put all your pieces plenty of room to store all your pieces, and then over here you're gonna have another shell for the same purpose. So, just to shelves like this, we're basically where you have room, and then you you also need alleging table, and this is probably go here now the wedging table. Ideally, you would have a side that's canvas and a side that is either just flat table or you can do just regular wood. Or you can have on, you know, like a camp aside in a woodside or a plaster, plasterboard and woodside or canvas and plaster, but or you could do the entire thing in canvas. But basically you're just looking for a good working surface. So let's just say that this is canvas and this is plaster. And then underneath here, you're gonna have storage. Um, so this is where all your clay is gonna clay storage glazes, that kind of thing. And you could also do some storage, say, like, on the self here and then have more pieces. Just store on here and these are gonna This is gonna be where you draw your pieces. So you may have some of these wrapped in bags like maybe this Ah, this could be actually your dry where and then these pieces could all be wrapped up in bags or or in a bag like this or individual bags to keep him from drying out. Now, if you have an extra room, uh, you could actually put a little shelf along here or even over the top of your your wheel like this. And then this would be very convenient to just throw pieces onto, has your throwing and then you'd have, like, one board here sitting on the surface and then you just take this board, move it over to here when you're done, and then start over. So that's just kind of a basic overview. Now, that doesn't cover glazing in that either. If you had more space, you know, say that your room extended off this direction, then you could have a separate glaze area. Um, so then that would be essentially tables in here. We'll just put a big G for glaze. You do, you glaze. You could do glaze storage underneath here, and then do your glazing on the surface there. You want to keep these separate, though, so if you have even a divider here or you were able to put this further away this direction , then that would be even better. But that's just kind of a real basic overview for you to get you started setting up a pottery studio, but now we're going to get to the fun part right here. 11. Amazing Rim Finishing Trick with a Homemade Plastic Bag Shammy Pottery Making Tips: can going to see a really cool little trick for smoothing out the ram of your pot, polishing it and rounding it and basically just camp does everything to finish your room. As you can see, I have a kind of ugly rim on this bull. So, uh, what I'm going to do is first cut this all the uneven this off with a needle, or you can do this with a wire, um, and just kind of make sure there's no little pieces hanging off like that. Now, here's where the cool part happens. Draft my hands really well, take a very ordinary plastic stopping bag. Ordinary plastic shopping. Take a scissor slice a strip out of the plastic. By the way, I don't use these plastic shopping bags use recyclable shopping, but they're around. You can fire. So that's it. It's just a simple piece of buses full this and 1/2 like that, which is really necessary, but it just seems to go smoother that way. Spin the wheel, roast slowly, and I'm just gonna hold on to this plastic flow. That and I'm gonna gently wrap it around the rim, and I'm kind of gently, lightly pressing down. Not enough to collapse the room worse a little bit if you have to. Actually looks pretty good. Um, much you needed to go last polish on. I'm going to smooth this up a little of my finger. And there you go. I mean, just just buffs it buttery, smooth rounds it off. Makes gives a nice, even roundness. Um, it's just magic. It's basically I call it like a classic plastic bags. Sami. They make Sammy's. But the Samis don't even do a smooth the polish on there. That is this guy. So there's a little your little written finishing tip of the day. 12. How to Make a Spout for a Pitcher or Creamer on the Pottery Wheel: Okay, I'm gonna show you how to dio a, uh, to do a spout. And I just have this example on a little bull here, so this could be, like, basically gravy, little gravy bowl. But this works equally as well for pitchers. It's similar to doing scalloped edges. But what you're gonna do here, let me just smooth this room a little bit more. Okay? You pick, basically put two fingers underneath to support the wall like this, and then you take your top finger and pull gently. You have to be careful not to overstretch this because you can tear it. You could also squeeze this up tighter if you want, but if you do a little smearing right there that it will sort of create a nice little lip this gently working on bring it up like that. But, uh, that's really all there is to it. Um, I can shape this a bit. They want Prince. If I wanted to do this is a great e boat. I could bring this side out a little bit more coming. Stretch this out of that direction like so and then after it dries and it's been trimmed up . Put a put a handle here on the end on and there you are 13. Making Scalloped Edges on a Pottery Bowl Tips to Spice up Your Pottery Making: Okay, let's talk about how to make scalloped edges on a bowl. This could be a fun thing. Teoh. Take a kind of boring bowl. Andi. Spice it up a little bit. It's fairly simple to do. Um, So what you want to first make sure you have dry hands, and it's basically like making a pie crust. So you hold two fingers underneath the rim to support it, and one finger polls through like that, and then just keep moving it. Put this my pointer finger is gonna go where my middle finger waas and then pull through. And you can make these as mild Orosz. Dramatic as you like. I have a what sort of affect you with before then you have to sort of way to get to the end here. You have to sort of eyeball it to make sure you're not going to kind of overlap. We have to be tempted just kind of tour that room got a little too aggressive there. Okay. All right, I'm gonna go back and check if then you need to be a little deeper or less deep. That's that. That's little scalable. Um and yeah, that was just spice things up a little bit. This is also the same way that you would make the spout. And in fact, instead of doing it all the way around for a pitcher, you just do this in one spot here. Um, that's how you do Scalped at 14. Making a Pottery Mug Step 1 Throwing the Mug Body FINAL: Okay, welcome to making a mug. Step one. In this video, we're going to be throwing the body of the mug. And if you're watching this video, you probably already know how to center and make a bowl or some basic pottery structure, so I won't go all the way into the details. But I still will give you some tips on centering and throwing just to help you along. Also, all focus on bringing things up a little bit taller into more of a mug shape. But the first thing you want to do is wedge. A piece of clay that's about the size of a large apple or slightly bigger than a baseball is kind of a good rule of thumb. Make sure it's free of air bubbles or inconsistencies, and then, when you have your clay wedged up will jump on the wheel and we'll get started. So the first thing you want to do is put your ball of clay on the wheel and give it a little press and then get your hands nice and wet, and I'm actually going to stop for a second and give it an extra good press. While the wheel is not spinning. You want to make sure it's really well stuck to the wheel head so it doesn't come off. And then you're gonna put the palm of your hand on your right hand and the thumb of your hand on your left hand on the clay and start pressing your right hands, pushing in on the side and see my left hand. The thumb is right over the center, some pushing down with the pad of my thumb, and then you'll notice I'm stopping and getting water every couple of seconds. It's really like every 3 to 5 seconds because I'm pressing really hard, and as you press hard, it's gonna basically squeeze you the water off the surface and make you start sticking. So you're just pushing these short increments of like 3 to 5 seconds and then get water. And then we're going to make the hole in the center, embracing my finger. Notice how embrace it with my other hand and my arms were also braced against my body and keep adding water. Then, of course, stop about a centimeter from the wheel head to leave the base of your pot. Then we'll open it up just a little bit. Don't go too far. That's almost too far. But if you go too far, you'll pull it off the foundation that I'm gonna press into the bottom of it with a sponge . You can use just your fingers, but that compresses the bottom of the pot. And then I'm going to drizzle just a little bit of water with my sponge to keep the law stamp. And then we're gonna do the crab claw impressing with my thumb notice. I'm embracing it with my other hand. Had some water when you need to, and you can use your sponge to kind of compress the rim as you go. But mostly you're pushing him with your thumb and just bringing up doing one pass to pull your walls up and compress your room a little bit. Tour is a little bit more water. See how loaded that sponges and I squeeze the water out to keep going. Now we use the sponge down in the bottom instead, and we keep pushing mostly again from the outside so it doesnt splay out into a bowl and compress the room a little bit. Take some water out of the inside. So it's not just sitting there soaking into your clay squeezer a little bit of water on the rim again and then back to using the sponge. My fingers are supporting it from the inside. I'm gonna wet my hands. I'm gonna close it up just a little bit, make it a little more vertical and just continue thinning and you're just bringing your fingers, pressing them together. But not just pushing through the clay or just pushing them to a set distance apart and then coming straight up and off the top takes more water out of the inside to keep that from puddling. And we'll go again if you need to stop and add some water down where you're inside. Hands are conduce that there we go a little drizzle and then keep going and we're going to try and make this fairly thin so we don't have to even trim it on the wheel. Slow and steady all the way up. Leave a little thickness in the room that gives it a little bit of strength and then you can just refine this shape. You see, it got a little dry right there, so you have to be careful about that. You can see where my fingers kind of chattered. And now I'm just gonna kind of try and thin the ram a little bit, Kind of make it a little bit narrower. You don't want it to be super rounded on the top of the rim because it tends to dribble down your chin when you drink out of it. So I'm just kind of tapering it a little bit, but also kind of compressing it, which is just like pushing on it gently to strengthen it. Then we'll give it a little bit of flair outward. You can see I have a little bit of a wobble here, which we're gonna fix in just a second. First, I'm just gonna smooth and take some of that water out of the inside. You don't want to be soaking what? You can't have to go back and forth between adding water and taking water away, smooth everything and then we'll grab our wire won't give it a little cut. So you want to get it like dental floss. So you're gonna hold it really tight, So your thumbs were really close together. Slow your will down quite a bit on. I'm not quite cutting deep enough there. See what I left off. It didn't take it all. See, I go a little further to get nice, even cut, and they could just lift it right off. If it doesn't come off to stop your wheel, pick it off with a needle and will come off. So now we have to refine that rim again, just basically tapering it, using my fingers in the sponge. It's a little tricky because when it's squared off like that, it takes some work to get it tapered again. But just take your time with that, even it out nicely. They were starting to get a good taper on it, but I just need to smooth the very top of it. So that blends. There we go. Close it in a tiny bit, knows I'm wedding my hands when I close it in so I don't stick and make it out centered. Always again, taking water out of the inside. I'm going over the surface with sponge. Sometimes you need to wash your hands a little bit when they get all gunky a little more with this room. I just got to do some really subtle refining to this shape, the walls, the way that the rim flares and a lot of that's personal opinion. And then we can shape the outside with a rib. This is not a necessary part of it, but what it does is takes the slip off of the surface so it will dry faster. It makes it easier to take off the wheel because it's not so slippery, and you can kind of put a little weight line right here underneath the rim. I'll see what I push a little bit harder. See, it just puts that little bit of a weight live, and they're also not necessary, but can be kind of fun and kind of nice. Then I'll even do a little bit of like a bottom lip shape to this rim. Give it a little outward curve, so your bottom lip kind of rests in there, and then we'll stop for a second. Don't grab a shammy. Well, this is a fake sham. It's just a piece of plastic that I tore off a plastic bag and these air awesome to me. They were even better than sham ease. And normally you don't want to have all these little strings on here. You just want a nice, smooth piece. But I'll just tuck those away so they're out of the way. It's not the best piece of plastic. If you can actually cut a square piece, you'll be better off. But you just wrap it like a shammy and you just wrap it over the wall, right on the rim like this. You just do it gently, but see how it just polishes that room. It makes it so smooth and so nice. And then I'll just use my finger toe smooth up a little slip on the inside. But that gives you a really nice grim surface when you're gonna put your lips on, okay? And then we're gonna do a little undercutting to get rid of that excess weight down there and let me bring it around here so you can see it better. Yeah, there we go. And you cut in and you could be surprisingly aggressive with this. It usually makes for a lighter, nicer shape to your pot. Scrape that away and a little finger right here just to smooth that transition. And you're done. You take your wire. Now you want to grab it over the metal and then have the would hit the sides of your hands , spent super slowly and pull with your thumbs. Keep it tightened. Fly all the way through. I just kind of dry off your hands. You can go washing if you need to, and then you can just grab it and lift it off. There's your mug, so we'll set this aside to dry, and we'll start making our handle in the next video. 15. Making a Pottery Mug Step 2 Forming the Handle: hi and welcome back to the making a mug course. This is step to the forming of the handle, and the first thing you want to do is take a damp sponge and wipe it over your canvas surface. What that's going to do is it's gonna keep the canvas from sucking all of the moisture out of your handle on making it dry and crack. E. You just take a small piece of clay and start rolling it out. Actually, this piece is too big, so we'll get rid of a few pieces of it. You really just need a very small piece, and you can distribute your fingers to kind of spread the clay out. And if you get to ah kind of oval shape, then you can kind of balance it on the end and deal like I'm doing here to just kind of even it and make it more round. And then you just gently roll it until it's fairly even. You can have a little bit of a taper. That's fine. I've also got this would. It's just a piece of wood that's kind of softened a little. It's been sanded a little, and I'll show you how I'm going to use that later. And then you're gonna find the thickest spot and you're gonna cut that. And that's gonna be the top of your handle. And then it can taper a little bit where it can be even and you'll find the other end and cut that. It's OK to leave it a little bit long because you can always cut some off later. And then I'm just going to use this piece of wood and I'm just flattening an angle of 45 degree angle on each side and I'll show you a better view of this so that you can kind of see where those angles are. See, it just kind of looks like a roof of a house. Now I'm gonna take the corner of the piece of wood and just press gently into the clay to create just little ribs. And this just kind of gives it some details. Um, decoration, And it also will make the glaze kind of behave better. Sometimes you have to push a little harder. Push too hard, cause you'll smash it just a little like 45 degree angle, just a little indentation and you can be creative with this and make all kinds of different patterns like you saw in some of the monks that I originally showed at the beginning of the course. And now I'm just gonna take this piece of wouldn't use as a ruler to cut the edges off. If they're uneven, they can flip it around, do the same thing on that side. Just makes it cleaner and sharper looking. You can do that free form to you. I do that a lot. It will smooth the edges a little bit where I cut it, lips slipping. This is a fairly dry piece of clay and that can help you to do this if it's what you might need to let it sit and dry for a little while. But when it's like dry enough for you to handle, you can start bending it into shape. You just want to be very gentle and gradual about this being careful not to mush it at all . And then I'm just gonna stretch it into a little C shape, little large, and then you can kind of use your hands to check how the fit is gonna be. And remember it's gonna shrink a little bit. So I want a little extra space there. But this is a three finger mug handle. So that's about right. And then we're just gonna let that handle sit for about an hour or two. Meanwhile, our mug has been drying for probably about 2 to 3 hours, and we want them to be about the same dryness and once they are, will put them together. And in the next video, I'll show you how to put your handle on your mug. 16. Making a Pottery Mug Step 3 Attaching the Handle: Okay, Welcome back to part three of making a mug attaching the handle. This is where the fun part begins, because we gotta put it all together into a finished piece. Now, the important part here is that you should have had the mug body drying for approximately 2 to 5 hours, depending on the humidity and temperature of your room. But it needs to be leather hard, which means it's strong enough that you can pick it up and hold it. But it's not dry. Same thing with handle. The handle will only need to dry for about an hour or so to become leather hard. But it's really important that they're the same dryness. If your handle is much wetter than the mug, then they will shrink at different rates as they dry, and it will crack Okay, so if you need to wrap your handle in plastic while the mug dries or vice versa, do that until you get them both at a nice leather hard and they're both the same dryness and they're ready to attach. So before we get too far, we're gonna want to finish up the bottom of our mug. Now you can trim the mug on a wheel, but you can also just do it by hand, and then we'll also smooth up the edges of our handle. And you just do that like this by just running your hands, your fingers over it and softening that edge. It's very important to do this on that inside edge, because when we cut it with needle, it's gonna leave it kind of sharp. And it might not seem so bad when it's leather hard. But once that's fired and glazed, it will be actually a very sharp edge and could be very uncomfortable to hold. So you wanna definitely soften that up and you just use very light pressure so that you don't ding or most of the rest of the handle and just keep working until it's nice and soft and smooth. Sometimes, if you need a little bit of water to help, then you can do that. But usually it's best to just kind of work it dry like that. Then we can just leave it back where it waas and we'll work on our mug body real quick. So the bottom of our mug is not finished, so we're gonna I need to work on that a little bit. You can do kind of the same thing. You're just using the pressure of your fingers, and it should be soft enough that it's a little bit pliable gonna dent this in just a tiny bit. So it kind of has this outside edge to sit on, not too much. And I'm just smoothing all over all the imperfections. And again, if you need to add a little water or, like, you know, touch your hand to a sponge to get a little moisture, that's fine, but for the most part, you just want to be working with the soft clay. There's a little water just to kind of get extra polished. You can do that. You can also, at this point, write your initials in the bottom of it. I like to use a pencil or a pen like a ballpoint pen. I'm not gonna do that for this video, but just letting you know that that's kind of the easiest tool to use. Use a needle tool. It's kind of sometimes too sharp, and then give it a little pat on the bottom to make sure it's flat around that edge of that room and then we're about ready to put the pieces together. If the body of your mug is very dry, you might want to add some slip and I'll show you that. But first you want to match up your handle to make sure it's gonna fit. And if you need Teoh at this point, tweak it just a little bit, then you can. Or if you have to cut some off for this one, the angle will work better. If I just cut this a little bit like that and I could get that angle better too. Careful, it's not crooked. They're nice and straight. And then you just line that up, make sure it's gonna look really good on. And then what? You're gonna dio ISS? You're going to score the surface scoring just me and you cut little lines into its just. Teoh adds some texture because this texture is kind of kind of work as teeth toe. Hold it to your mug along with some slip that we're gonna use, which is essentially gonna work like glue. So we've got lined up. Now, if you have a very dry pot, you can actually rehydrate a little bit by gloving some slip on there while you're working on your handle and letting it sit. Now, this is a pretty soft mugs, so I don't I don't need to do this, but you'll notice if you have a dryer mug. Just having that slip on there for about five minutes will make it. It'll dry off and all the moisture from that slip will soak into your pot, which is a good thing that's helpful. And then you would just come back and you just scrape that off once it's dry. In this case, like I say, my mug is pretty damp, so it doesn't need that process. I've got everything lined up so I could see where the handle is gonna be attached. And then I'm gonna also score the mug. So you just put little hash marks in there. You can be fairly aggressive with this because you want to have plenty of good teeth there for them to match up. Okay, Now, I'm gonna put some brand new fresh lipped and this is just slipped leftover that I saved from when I was throwing the mug body. And you're just gonna dab that on their generously, and it's just basically your glue. If you don't have that, you can kind of make it. I just mashing up some clay with water, dab it on their pretty generously and then clean off your hands. Good. It's always nice to have this sponge right here. Just get your hands nice and clean. I'll get a better angle here so you can see what we're doing. And then I'm just gonna support the inside of the wall. I'm gonna gently wiggle that handle on there, and I'm not squeezing it hard enough to mash it. But I am pressing into that pretty hard into the clay body into the mug body and get a little wiggle. Just that just like in meshes the teeth together from the scoring and makes it a stronger attachment. Okay, And then you're just gonna look at it from different angles to make sure that straight to make sure that both of the attachments are aligned. Sometimes you get the bottom one is off to the left or the right, and it'll look really weird if you let it dry that way so you can have toe Be careful and just double check it. And then now I'm gonna grab a brush. And this is one of my favorite little techniques. They just have a little bit of water in here and a sponge, and I'm just gonna brush around this and what that does using the needle. Sorry I went off screen there. I'm just using the needle to scrape off any big chunks that have already dried. And then I'm using a very lightly damp brush. You don't want a wet and dripping down your pot, but it's just damp enough to kind of rehydrate. Or to wipe away the extra slip and you'll notice. As I go, you can almost do a little scrubbing. It's a pretty soft brush. You want a soft brush, Otherwise it will actually like scratch into the sides. But I'm just working around these edges. It's just a really good way to smooth, but you notice I depth dip it in the water. That was too much water. I got a little drip there, but I dab it off on the sponge, and that kind of keeps it a little cleaner and a little less wet. Just really keep working. It you can see how it's coming together already. That's just such a really easy and kind of effective way to create really nice transitions between your handle and your pot. I'm even working into some of the grooves to get this slip out just to make it look really good. You can do this with your hands to, or sometimes even with a sponge. But this brush is just so much better because once you do this a little bit, everything will just be it'll just look really professional. Eso just put a couple little finishing touches along the edges here, and you kind of go for a drier and drier brushes together to keep kind of dabbing it off if you need to go. If you haven't cracks down the outside of the mug handle, sometimes that will happen. You can cruise down those gently like this, and that'll just kind of smoothed them up. Fill in the cracks and, by the way, in case I don't say this later, it's really important. Once you've finished your mug like this, you're going to dry it not only upside down, because that will help it drive better, but you're also going to wrap it in plastic for a while. Uh, ideally, if you can leave it wrapped for, like, five days or a week that it's going to ensure that that handle doesn't crack off because the worst thing that could happen is your handle cracking off. But before you do that, you want to kind of tweak it a little bit. If you want it to be a little more year shaped, you can do that. Or if you want to see shape, you just shape it how you want it. And then you're gonna dry it upside down like this and again wrapped in plastic for about a week. Ideally, you can get away with less. But the longer you leave it wrapped in plastic, the mawr the moisture is gonna equalize between the handle in the mug, and you're gonna have much less chance of that handle cracking off. Okay, so that's that's it. That's how to make your mug. And then, of course, you're gonna biscuit, fire it and glaze it however you like, and you're gonna have a really awesome look. Thanks so much for watching. I hope you enjoy this, and I hope you'll run out and practice on your own