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What direction is your wheel spinning?


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#21 Nicoletta

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 11:58 AM

Hi,

I started throwing two years ago; I am a lefty my first teacher said there was no big difference and she advised me to try throwing counter-clockwise. I tried for the first lessons but it wasn't working well, so I tried clockwise and things start going better. Now I taking a class with a different teacher and we had a discussion about it, one of the things she said was that she is going to have "problem" helping me because I going the "other way"...

I would like to have other opinions about it!

thanks



#22 Claypple

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 12:11 PM

Potter's wheels spin counter-clockwise for righties because this way, as the clay rotates it meets the soft (yet strong) palm of your dominant right hand first, then slips through to the fingertips. If the wheel spun clockwise, the clay would encounter more resistance and more variables (and be more likely to catch) as it hit your fingertips first. Ever try throwing with the wheel reversed? It's hard, even for a seasoned potter!

This is true, but only true while you are throwing. When you are trimming, it is easier for right handed to do it clockwise. At least it is easier for me and makes more sense. Even the lighting makes more sense if you trim on the left side of the wheel. .... Chris Campbell recently suggested a new topic: "the most outrageous, false pottery rule you ever heard". I think the trimming on the counter-clockwise wheel fits under that category. 

 

Nicoletta, if that teacher cannot help you, leave her! You cannot change yourself. She should be able to take a little effort and reverse the image in her head to help you. If she is not willing to do so, there are a lot of youtube videos that are great fro the beginners and even for pros. 



#23 jrgpots

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 05:19 PM

I'm curious about the wheel directional spin. If it were a news station, would it spin to the left or the right? If it had a political opinion would it tend to left or right? And finally, considering the movie "Ghost" and the wheel's orientation, would it swing one way or the other, and what are the ramifications of the switch that allows it to go both ways???

#24 Biglou13

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:08 PM

since this post orginally started I've been going both ways(pottery wise) 

and since i have wheel at home i've been "experimenting" more and more

but an instructor was watching me work and suggested i try counter...

but i find myself switch hitting more frequently  when in comes to trimming. 

but right know im better at wheel clock wise since i've been practicing that way.

but alot things feel very natural going left.....

I think im a lefty  trapped in a righty body........

 

does the wheel get jealous...... when you hand build?


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#25 TJR

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:19 PM

 

Clayppl;
Don't be switching your wheel to clockwise and training yourself to throw that way. If you do this, no one will be able to help you with techniques.
TJR.


As a lefty who throws with the wheel going clockwise, I disagree slightly with this. I have no problem learning from others who throw counter-clockwise--the key for me at least is to just sit opposite them to watch. But then, like most leftys, I am very very used to living in a right-handed world, and forcing myself to translate techniques, etc., on a daily basis. translating throwing techniques is NOTHING compared to fighting with a 3-ring binder.

 

I am left-handed. I throw counter-clockwise. As I have said before, this one of the few areas where being left-handed is an advantage. The left hand is the forming hand-e.g. the inside of bowls. Sometimes I trim pots right-handed, but mainly, I do everything left-handed. You would be surprised as to how many artists/musicians are lefties. It's a brain thing.

TJR.



#26 Pres

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:33 PM

I center with lft braced to body/thigh, but rt rides on top pushing down in locked position with lft. When centering large amounts(>20#),I use rt arm with elbow at wheel head and balled fist hooked over top.

When talking about dominance there is another type-eye dominance. Most folks dominant eye is the same as hand. Some of us, including I are contrary, opposite eye hand dominance.

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#27 Benzine

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:46 PM

I'm left handed, and my wheel goes counter clockwise, but I actually catch the clay with my right hand.  I think it is because, the wheels I learned on, could go either direction, and I got accustomed to clockwise.  However, once I got in my classroom(s), all the wheels go counter clockwise, and I've just kept using my right hand to catch.  I would honestly stop doing it, if it didn't work.


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#28 Claypple

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:47 PM

 

 

 

I am left-handed. I throw counter-clockwise. As I have said before, this one of the few areas where being left-handed is an advantage. The left hand is the forming hand-e.g. the inside of bowls. Sometimes I trim pots right-handed, but mainly, I do everything left-handed. You would be surprised as to how many artists/musicians are lefties. It's a brain thing.

TJR.

 

Lindajb, this is how your theory completely fails!  All the righty has to do when throwing clockwise, push with the dominant hand and let the clay slip between your left hand. If the left handed potter feels more comfortable with the counter-clockwise spinning (and this only confirms my theory), then the righties should try the opposite rotation. The majorities of right-handed were just taught the wrong way, that is why they are protecting the routine. Thank you TJR!



#29 S. Dean

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:54 AM

[snip]...When talking about dominance there is another type-eye dominance. Most folks dominant eye is the same as hand. Some of us, including I are contrary, opposite eye hand dominance.

 

I agree that this can make a difference.  I am left handed and right eye dominant. Although I write and throw a baseball left handed I do many things right handed, including cutting with scissors and hitting a baseball.   I explain my "suckiness" at billiards because I shoot left and have a dominant dominant right eye which causes me to look across the end of the cue stick.

 

Throwing counter-clockwise on the pottery wheel feels natural to me.  I use my stronger left hand for centering and do a lot of finishing with my right hand.  My first pulls after opening are usually with a "claw" technique using my left hand.  Long story short, I would encourage folks to experiment and find out what direction works best for them and then adapt their throwing techniques to their particular strengths/comfort.  

 

-SD



#30 oldlady

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 01:38 PM

i knew there must have been a reason i never learned my right hand from my left!   don't ask me for driving directions unless you want to hear " just go around the shell gas station and down the road until you see the library".


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#31 ayjay

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 01:57 PM

There does seem to be an abundance of lefties here, (and I'm another one) my wheel can go both ways but I stick to counter-clockwise for both throwing and trimming, I do however use my trimming tools in either hand, I'm a carpenter (when I'm not able to get out of working - not lazy, just nearly retired)  and as such often have to use my tools in the wrong hand (but never a hammer or a saw - just can't do it) so it doesn't seem odd using trimming tools in either hand.

 

I'd like to say that sometime I'll give it a go the *wrong* way, but I seriously doubt I ever will.



#32 Mark C.

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:32 PM

My 4 wheels spin counter clockwise.

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#33 Pres

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:34 PM

[snip]...When talking about dominance there is another type-eye dominance. Most folks dominant eye is the same as hand. Some of us, including I are contrary, opposite eye hand dominance.

 
I agree that this can make a difference.  I am left handed and right eye dominant. Although I write and throw a baseball left handed I do many things right handed, including cutting with scissors and hitting a baseball.   I explain my "suckiness" at billiards because I shoot left and have a dominant dominant right eye which causes me to look across the end of the cue stick.
 
Throwing counter-clockwise on the pottery wheel feels natural to me.  I use my stronger left hand for centering and do a lot of finishing with my right hand.  My first pulls after opening are usually with a "claw" technique using my left hand.  Long story short, I would encourage folks to experiment and find out what direction works best for them and then adapt their throwing techniques to their particular strengths/comfort.  
 
-SD
Try hunting with a scoped rifle with this mix, right eye is not nearly as good as left.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#34 Sheilac

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:56 AM

I agree with jbo. i was taught to throw left handed (clockwise) by a right handed potter who thought it would be easier for me.  All her demos were on a wheel spinning counterclockwise -  i never had a problem learning from her or any other righties who have shared their techniques with me over the years.  As for all the other adaptations we lefties have to contend with - beside 3-ring binders - don't get me started!  Ever think about a pair of scissors?



#35 Mart

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 01:08 PM

What do you mean "spinning"? Wheel stands still and you have to run around it.

#36 Brooke•Millecchia

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 01:09 PM

I've been teaching ceramics at local craft schools for 11 years.  Sometimes a student will some along and just not grasp centering and pulling up in the usual time frame or will keep trying to pull up on the left side of the wheel.  Often, I find that the person is left handed.  When this happens, we move to the clockwise rotation.  As the instructor, I am very hands on and will more than likely grab on to hands so they can feel the pressure.  When a left handed, clockwise student comes along, this becomes much harder.  Although my ability to help dwindles, the student's ability to throw usually jumps up a notch or two, making the switch worth it!






#37 Benzine

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 02:40 PM

I've been teaching ceramics at local craft schools for 11 years.  Sometimes a student will some along and just not grasp centering and pulling up in the usual time frame or will keep trying to pull up on the left side of the wheel.  Often, I find that the person is left handed.  When this happens, we move to the clockwise rotation.  As the instructor, I am very hands on and will more than likely grab on to hands so they can feel the pressure.  When a left handed, clockwise student comes along, this becomes much harder.  Although my ability to help dwindles, the student's ability to throw usually jumps up a notch or two, making the switch worth it!

Three of the wheels in my classroom, can spin either way.  Sometimes, a student will ask for help, I'll come up to help, and struggle a bit.  It then dawns on me, that they have the wheel going clockwise.  I never seem to notice initially.


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#38 emptynester

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:10 PM

I'm a righty. When I took my first pottery class I was having limited success. I made several soggy lumps of clay then switched to hand building just to have something to fire. One night I suddenly was able to center and pull up a cylinder. I was elated and as the instructor came around I proudly showed her my results. She noticed right away that I had the wheel going "the wrong way". I have been throwing clock wise ever since. I have no trouble watching and learning from counter-clockwise instruction. My instructor has not tried to "correct" my backwardness.




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