double-walled forms

After making lots of vessels on your potters wheel it can begin to get sort of tunnel vision-esq. Maybe you sit down ready to make something new and no new ideas come to your head because you feel like you’ve at least tried a version of all the forms you can think of. Open forms, closed forms, bowls, cups, bottles, jars you name it.

One thing that might not be an obvious conclusion is that you don’t have to make something with only one wall.. You can split your centered clay down the middle and pull up two walls at once to create double-walled forms. A common example of this is the “donut” vase.

By looking at it you can start to see how it was made. I started off with a normal ball of clay centered on my wheel head, and opened it up. Instead of leaving a bit of clay for the bottom of the pot, however, I opened the clay until my fingers got to the bare wheel. You can pull the clay outward until the center opening looks about as big as you want it. In my process, I then take one of my fingers and while the wheel is spinning, find the rough middle of the ring of clay. Once I do, I begin pushing down to split the clay into two sections (this time making sure not to push all the way to the wheel). after you have your two sections opened up, just pull them each as usual and shape to your own desire. The only thing to make sure to do is to leave enough thickness at the top of the walls so you are able to collar them in and connect them in the end to close the form.

You can do all sorts of things with two walls on your forms and its definitely worth playing with just to see what happens.

Check out this short video which illustrates the process visually: Here

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