The Pottery Wheel Has Changed How We DIY

The practice of pottery has spanned centuries, thanks to the olden-day ceramicists who invented the pottery wheel and transformed the art forever

Creativity 5 min read Jul 09, 2024
The Pottery Wheel Has Changed How We DIY

Pottery has surged in popularity here in Australia in recent years. It has certainly come a long way since the ancient Mesopotamians, who invented the pottery wheel, made it more accessible to beginner potters. The wheel throwing process has changed little since then and today, the pottery wheel remains one of the more common ways to create intricate and well-crafted vessels out of clay.

Wheel throwing is popular because it is relatively easy to learn. If you have never thrown before then your first step should be to find a local pottery club or studio that offers classes. You will need access to a wheel, clay and firing facilities as well as some guidance in how to throw properly so that you don’t damage your back! In fact, the basic principles of centering and opening are simple techniques that can be taught in one afternoon. With more practice, you can make larger pieces with less effort.

Different things you can do with the pottery wheel

Anyone with some basic hand-eye coordination can use a pottery wheel to create beautiful pieces of pottery. A relatively simple machine, it can be used to make a wide variety of sizes and shapes that are both functional and decorative, including stone vessels, clayware, and porcelain.

Stone vessels

Stone vessels, one of the oldest types of pottery, are made from a single piece of stone. Designs can be simple or complex, and can range in size from small cups to large bowls. Such vessels are a popular choice for outdoor cooking because they are very durable and can withstand extreme heat and cold.

Stoneware, on the other hand, is made from two or more pieces of clay that are then shaped into a vessel. It is usually more complex than stone vessels and typically has decorative patterns or features on the surface.


Pots, pans, cups and plates are common pieces of clayware made using the pottery wheel. Earthenware is the simplest type of clayware to make, using a mixture of clays that has been dried out until it hardens. The clays are then shaped into pots or pans using a pottery wheel and then fired in an oven. Earthenware is good for dishes that will be used outdoors because it does not break easily.


Porcelain, another type of pottery made on a wheel, is made from fine white clay and is very durable. The most famous type of porcelain is china, which can be decorated in many different ways including painting, firing and glazing. It is very light in weight and can be decorated with a variety of different motifs.

How the wheel has changed the art of pottery

The pottery wheel has been a staple in the art world for centuries. While it may seem like a daunting task to start throwing on the wheel, it is now within reach for artists of all levels.

Pottery is now more accessible to all

With just a few simple steps and some clay in your hands, you can create beautiful pieces of pottery that are sure to impress. So if you’re interested in learning how to make your own pots using a pottery wheel but don’t have any experience working with clay, don’t worry! With the right teacher you can learn all things pottery, from the basics of using a clay roller to creating more complex designs with glazes and firing methods.

Creating intricate designs is easier

In the past, clay was typically shaped by hand, which was time consuming. Using the pottery wheel, even beginners can make intricate designs and patterns that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to create using other methods.

The wheel is not as challenging as other methods and yet, it produces results that are consistent. By following some simple guidelines, pottery beginners can create intricate designs and patterns.

Clay artists have more control over their work

Working on a pottery wheel allows for a degree of precision that was previously unavailable. The wheel itself is a simple device consisting of a large circle of clay resting on two small wheels that spin around the outer edge of the larger wheel. Once broken up into tiny bits, the clay can be molded and shaped by hand.

Common misconceptions about the pottery wheel

Many people believe that the pottery wheel is a difficult and time-consuming tool to use. In reality, it is actually quite the opposite, and projects can be completed on it in just minutes.

First, the wheel is connected to a motor that spins the wheel and an electric drill with a small bit attached. The drill is used to carve out the shapes needed for the pottery, after which the potter uses their hands to shape, sand, and paint the piece of clay.

Another misconception is that you need to be skilled in pottery to use a pottery wheel. While it’s a good idea to practice with some basic hand-building techniques before you start wheeling, practically anyone can use a pottery wheel, regardless of their skill level. All you need is some patience and practice!

One more argument is that using a pottery wheel results in uneven pieces of ceramic ware. This isn’t always the case; in fact, using the pottery wheel can result in perfectly even pieces of ceramic ware. Using a pottery wheel is just like working with clay. You need to make sure you’re using the right tools and working at the right temperature.

The pottery wheel has been a staple in the art of pottery for centuries. It has made ceramic making more accessible to beginners, helping them design in more intricate detail and gain more control over their work. With a little bit of practice, anyone can create beautiful pottery pieces that they can be proud of. Once you have mastered the basics then you can continue at home by buying a pottery wheel and maybe even setting up your own small studio!

Interested in trying your hand at wheel throwing? Be sure to check out one of our pottery classes near you!

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