Congratulations, WUVIE, you are now on the road to a lifetime addiction! Once you get the hang of it, throwing will soon blot out many other thoughts, and you may forget to eat, sleep, bathe. This is normal, and desired.
You WILL get the hang of it, but it will take work. Just like playing an instrument well takes work and time, or learning to speak a foreign language takes work and time.
It would be easy for me to say 'don't be discouraged', but while learning to throw, I was often discouraged. I am STILL often discouraged, and I have made some progress. It is not, as some would have you believe, 'fun fun fun' all the time. You are going to get discouraged. You are going to feel like you are wasting your time. You will mope. You will sulk, and you will wonder what the hell you are doing.
Whatever you do to get through the rough spots in doing things, you must do with throwing. And if I HAVE to use a cliche, it would be 'get back on that horse.' You've got to get back on the stool and plop that ball of clay down on the wheelhead, and try again. All of a sudden, you will get it. It will happen, and you might not be aware of how you did it, but whatever you are trying to do, center, throw a cylinder, a wider bowl, it will happen if you stick with it.
I gave up many times, only to find myself back at the wheel the next day or week; I couldn't stay away.
As way of illustration, I kept one of my earliest 'acceptable' pieces, which is pictured below, on the left. I put an American quarter in the pic for reference.
At the time, I thought this little bowl was big, and fantastic. I couldn't believe how great I thought it was!
That was in 2006.
In 2008, I made the jar on the right, which is about 16" high and 11" wide, burnished, smoked (sorry, no quarter in the pic - it was a show application picture). It turned out well enough that I sold it to a woman for $85 at a show.
I post these pictures not to brag, but to show that I was once in your spot, as everyone here was.
YOU CAN DO IT!
As a practical tip, I would say try throwing with slip, instead of clean water. I have found you can get by with less liquid that way, and the clay will behave better for you.
Go go go!
Thanks. I thought it might be that for the school bus--it looked odd when it came out but the Bailey's looked fine. I am in a community studio and I have no control over the firing. Recently I had a plate that was obviously underfired and they decided there was a cold spot in the kiln and won't load there anymore. We have a ceramic sale coming up and now I'm concerned about selling pieces that are not food safe. Fortunately I did not like how the school bus looked and stopped using it. Is there anyway to tell if a piece is underfired if it's not obvious? I've been testing the Woo Blue glaze but there is only so much wine I can drink. ;-)