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hankyknot

Throwing order for beginners

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As a new potter I'm keen to build my skills so I'm wondering if there is a good order in which to learn how to throw different things. I'm watching lots of videos but there isn't obvious path to follow. Does anyone have any tips on which things I should learn to throw and the order I should learn them in (small bowl>big bowl>cylinder>mug>vase>bottle etc)?

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i hate to repeat this so everyone except hankyknot look at something else.

one of the best,  IMO of course,  beginner books, yes, a written book, is by charles counts and was written in about the 1970s.  the title is Pottery Workshop.  read it and follow the steps.  you will find it logically takes you from small cylinders to lidded jars and lots of decoration techniques.  maybe it is in your local library or they can get it for you.  

youtube is great if you already know what to watch and can discriminate good from bad.

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1 hour ago, hankyknot said:

  ...  Does anyone have any tips on which things I should learn to throw and the order I should learn them in (small bowl>big bowl>cylinder>mug>vase>bottle etc)?

These are steps used where I am a student:
Handbuilding is the first 'making' technique taught.  Pinch pots, coil pots, slab build pots.  Pots are generally bowls and cylinder forms.
wheel work comes after learning to join clay parts and learning about the different stages of wet, soft leather hard, stiff leather hard, and bone dry states of clay.
1. Coning and centering a softball size lump of clay.  This is enough clay to make a coffee cup sized drinking vessel.
2. Making a centered "hockey puck" from the same lump of clay.
3. Opening the centered "hockey puck" and compressing the bottom.
4. Making a cylinder of the opened hockey puck with vertical walls of uniform thickness.
5. making multiple cylinders from multiple lumps of clay.
6. Making bowls from a lump of clay.
7. making larger objects from larger lumps of clay.
Reading books, watching live demonstrations, watching videos are supportive.
The book you have is better than the book you do no yet have;  start using what you have. The only way to learn is to practice with clay on a wheel.  Master each step before going to the next step.  Recycle everything until you are sure that you can make the object without struggling.
LT
Edited by Magnolia Mud Research
fix grammar and spelling

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In the classes I have taken, we followed the same steps Magnolia puts forward here. The teacher was particularly adamant that we get good at throwing cylinders before moving to anything else.

I bought the Charles Counts book some time ago on Old Lady's recommendation and find it useful.

Min on her site has a sequence of lessons as well, the first of which is free to watch. You can see from it how she starts with her students.

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In terms of learning forms on the wheel, my first college throwing class went:

week 1: 10 x 2 lb cylinders, to be cut in half

week 2: 20 X 1 lb cylinders, to be cut in half

week 3: 20 mugs (glorified cylinder with a handle)

week 4:  pitchers (can't remember how many, but I think at least 2 different sizes)

week 5: bowls and trimming. This was deliberately left until we had a good handle on cylinders so that we were actually controlling our clay, rather than letting things flare out by accident. We worked with 1, 2 and 5 lb weights, but I cannot recall quantities.

week 6: plates and platters (3 each of 1, 3 and 5 lb weight).

week 7: throwing and altering forms 

week 8: 10 lidded jars

week 8:  3 teapots

week 10: re-visit any previous project of your choice.

Edit: it's not identical, but it's pretty close to the order that's followed in Clary Illian's "A Potter's Workbook."

Edited by Callie Beller Diesel
Added

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My first class had a simple throwing mastery requirement: throw a 9 inch cylinder using 3# of clay. Nothing could be kept from wheel work until the prof viewed this feat. This is probably why over half of the class had nothing to show for their potters wheel efforts, but enough to place a good grade with hand built work. At the same time very little in the way of A's were given for someone who did not score the throwing requirement.

college in the 70's. . . 

best,

Pres

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My Ceramics II students at the high school had the same test, and before they were able to keep a piece off the wheel they had to throw the cylinder. Usually this took them about one marking period, then they had to "master" on a form from the wheel. Their final project/exam was a teapot off of the wheel. I have a handout that they received to help them out, and I had them throw multiple pieces to assemble from, so that they could get one good teapot. Lots of fun for me, and for them. They would often try to come up with some form that they had not seen me throw for their "master" hoping that I could not do it. Smart, but with all of my library, and a little experience/practice after school, never caught me. 

 

best,

Pres

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