You learn the techniques of throw wheel in different way: coil build, slip casting, engobbe, slab clay, etc. from easy shape to complex shape, clay sculpture. We use all clays for low firing to high firing, red clay, porcelain, stoneware, etc.
Start with a dry wheelhead and place the ball of clay firmly in the middle of it, ready for centring. By applying firm pressure to the clay we can centre it against the force of it being thrown outwards as the wheel turns.
While you’re centring the clay, the wheel needs to revolve at speed. Both hands are involved in shaping and manipulating the clay: it is squeezed upwards to create a spiral movement. The top of the mass of clay is hollowed out so that the thumb can be inserted for opening the clay out. The right hand is supported by the left as the thumb is is pushed outwards from the center of the clay to form the inside base of the pot. When the clay has been opened up it is lifted up to form the walls of the pot. The process where the clay is lifted and thinned into a cylinder to be done twice so that the clay is thinned sufficiently flat to commence shaping the pot. The top of the vase is collared to increase the narrowness of the neck before further shaping with the fingertips. Last step: we cut the base of the pot with steel wire and put the pot on the wood shell.