A Day of Bowling

Please excuse the pun in my title, I couldn’t help myself! About a week or so ago I had a great day in the studio and threw a handful of bowls i.e. bowling! My aunt requested two serving bowls to give as gifts for the upcoming holidays, so when I got back from Thanksgiving Break I got down to business! Last time I did a “demo” video I received great responses, so I figured I’d do the same for a bowl! This video is a time-lapse, so it’s sped up quite a bit but I’ll make sure the instructions are detailed!

  1. Centering. For this serving bowl, I used 4 lb. of clay. Personally, centering this amount of clay is easiest for me. Throw the clay against the wheel head, as close to center as possible. Prior to starting the wheel you can “dry-center” a bit and pat it closer to the middle. Start the wheel, wet your hands and go for it. (See previous demo post for more details).
  2. Opening. Opening the center of the clay for a bowl is a tad different then opening for a mug. Use your pointer and ring finger and push into the center of the clay. As you apply more pressure, the clay should open in a “V” shape, slanted inward. For bowls, it is very important you don’t have a flat bottom, you wan’t to keep the curve of the bowl on the inside as well. Continue to open the clay until the bottom of the clay bowl to be is the width you desire.
  3. Pull. When throwing on the wheel, your body automatically wants to pull the clay out and away from the wheel, so this aids in making a bowl. Personally, I like to pull the walls straight up as if I’m making a tall cylinder. Another important thing to keep in mind with bowls is that you should keep some extra clay on the bottom of  a bowl, more than usual, maybe 1/2 an inch. This is because when you trim a bowl, it is important to give them a nice foot to sit on.
  4. Shape. Now it’s time to shape! Begin shaping the bowl by applying pressure with your inside hand, while making sure you use a steady pace, and steady pressure. I like to support the outside of my bowl with my other hand for more security. You may need to let the pot dry for a bit before you can stretch it more, in the video you’ll see I used a blow dryer to quicken the process. The silhouette of a bowl is very important, as well as the weight. I like my bowls to have a continuous curve, and feel like a feather when you pick them up. I’m happy to say I achieved that with the bowls I threw that day!



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