Centering the ball of clay


Grab a lump of clay and let's get started . . .



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It takes just a few tries to learn how to make a simple bowl, and it satisfies for a lifetime because

every time you make one piece, you learn something you want to try in the next piece.

Grab a lump of clay and shape it into a ball. The first thing to learn is how to center the ball of clay on the wheel so it won't spin off onto the floor, walls and your friends.

Press down in the center and open up the ball of clay. Continue to work the clay walls out and press   the bottom down. Let your fingers guide the clay into the shape you want.

Draw the lump of clay into a taller cylinder and then shape the desired profile into the sides and rim.

 Will it be a bowl? - a vase? - a flowerpot?

Of course not everything is made on a wheel. Many potters like to roll clay out flat with a slab roller and then shape it into forms simply not possible on a wheel. Your imagination will open up visions of new images to try.

And don't worry too much that your first pieces will look like things you never imagined at all - in fact your first pieces will most likely look just like everybody else's first pieces.

But as sure as night turns into day, your next pieces will be better and better, and pretty soon you will be on your way.

But you're just beginning . . .

Decorations and glaze open up an entire new world of possibilities - solid color, mixed colors, brushed-on decorations, slip trailing, embossing and more.

Whatever you make, it will reflect your own unique personality, an extension of your mind and eyes through your hands and fingers.


Opening the ball
The bowl takes shape
Pulling up to achieve proper wall thickness
Rim is developed
Final shaping