Since I haven’t had the opportunity to work on any ceramics yet this summer, I decided to write a post about some of the techniques used to make pottery! One of the crucial steps in pottery is trimming. Trimming is a process to remove excess clay and weight, as well as create a “foot” on a piece. This is often the last step done before a piece is finished and ready to be bisqued. A piece is trimmed once it is leather hard, and you have to find the sweet spot in the dryness of the clay. If the pot is still too wet, you could easily dent the pot or take off too much clay and rip through the bottom. If the pot is too dry, it is even more fragile and extremely difficult to trim. I have always struggled with patience, which is a key part of pottery. You must wait for the perfect time to trim a pot, even if that means coming right after a 6 hour day of classes, or in the middle of the night.
Not only do you have to do this process at the right time, you also have to put quite a bit of attention into this ordeal. You must trim your pot on center, just like when you throw the pot. Otherwise the piece will be off balance in more ways then one. There are a few ways to make sure your pot is on center, I usually “eye” it and spin the wheel to make sure it’s in the middle. They also have this awesome tool called a giffin grip, and it centers your pot for you!
Attached is a short video of me trimming a bowl, check it out and see what you think! Trimming is so satisfying to me, it really makes a piece look more sophisticated and adds an insane amount of quality to your pot.