It’s All About Cylinders

The most basic building block of any thrown piece is the cylinder. Everything can be made from a simply cylindrical shape, and once you master making these well, you could make almost anything.

example of a plain cylinder

Once you have the ability to craft cylinders of different sizes the trick is turning them into a more interesting shape. Shaping in general has to do with two things, bellying and collaring. Bellying a cylinder is like stretching it out, you run your inside hand up the walls and push outward to stretch the clay and widen the cylinder. Likewise, collaring a cylinder makes it narrower by squeezing the clay evenly around its circumference. Things can sound much easier than they are by just talking about them, but with practice a potter can create just about any shape they want with only a few movements.

The finished piece.

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