Wheel Throwing Video: It’s all in the Details – Design Considerations for Wheel Thrown Mugs, Cups, and Saucers

hopperformfunction400There are many design considerations to keep in mind when when making functional tableware. A lot of them may seem like minor details, but a comfortable handle, or a lip that is angled just right on a mug can separate the so-so from the super special. We all have our favorite mugs that we reach for ahead of all others in our cupboards, and if you stop to think about it, you’ll probably realize that it has to do with little details such as those mentioned above.It is easy to overlook these things, but if you can train yourself to really think through your design choices, you’ll probably see your pots improve. In today’s video, an excerpt from his DVD Form and Function: Ceramic Aesthetics and Design, Robin Hopper discusses the importance of good design on handmade pottery and demonstrates throwing a cup and saucer with these considerations in mind. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

 


 

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This clip was excerpted from Form and Function: Ceramic Aesthetics and Design
, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Shop!


To learn more about Robin Hopper or to see more image of his work, please visit chosinpottery.ca.

For more interesting throwing techniques, download your free copy of Five Great Pottery Wheel Throwing Techniques: Tips on Throwing Complex Pottery Forms Using Basic Throwing Skills.


Comments
  • the quality of this video is very poor. consequently it was difficult to follow

  • the quality of this video is very poor. consequently it was difficult to follow

  • Thank you for the wonderful demonstration. We are just learning how to make handles in my pottery class and your video came at just the right time.

  • Thank you for the wonderful demonstration. We are just learning how to make handles in my pottery class and your video came at just the right time.

  • As always, enjoyed the video this week. Good info to consider as I make my mugs/cups/saucers. Thank you for providing such valuable info each week! I look forward to it.

  • As always, enjoyed the video this week. Good info to consider as I make my mugs/cups/saucers. Thank you for providing such valuable info each week! I look forward to it.

  • I thought the video was educational. I need all the help I can get. I now want more detailed information. How did Robin make the handel?
    I assume he was triming at leather hard. What kind of clay does he use? Thank you Dee

  • I thought the video was educational. I need all the help I can get. I now want more detailed information. How did Robin make the handel?
    I assume he was triming at leather hard. What kind of clay does he use? Thank you Dee

  • Thank you for the great video.. my only complaint is that I want more… So much to consider.

  • Thank you for the great video.. my only complaint is that I want more… So much to consider.

  • The video quality was normal on my computer – no problems for me.
    Robin always amazes me with his ability to make perfectly matched sets, I can’t even get 2 cups to be the same size! lol
    Thank you, it gives me something to strive for.

  • The video quality was normal on my computer – no problems for me.
    Robin always amazes me with his ability to make perfectly matched sets, I can’t even get 2 cups to be the same size! lol
    Thank you, it gives me something to strive for.

  • I love the demo vids each week, and this is no exception.
    It’s always good to see how someone else does it.
    I’m having a bit of trouble with viewing this one, but will try again later. Sometimes it’s just a matter of how much ‘traffic’ is in the area.
    Thanks for the vids! Keep up the good work!

  • I love the demo vids each week, and this is no exception.
    It’s always good to see how someone else does it.
    I’m having a bit of trouble with viewing this one, but will try again later. Sometimes it’s just a matter of how much ‘traffic’ is in the area.
    Thanks for the vids! Keep up the good work!

  • There are some potters out there who think ahead, think about the practical aspects of caring for the pot–during the making of it! While making pots, I never considered how a deep foot would collect water in the dishwasher (or after handwashing as well), but it is indeed something that annoys me, since I don’t use the dry cycle on my dishwasher. I never connected the two, since they’re two different processes happening at two different times (making the pot, and washing it). It’s something I shall think about from now on! Thanks, Robin.

  • There are some potters out there who think ahead, think about the practical aspects of caring for the pot–during the making of it! While making pots, I never considered how a deep foot would collect water in the dishwasher (or after handwashing as well), but it is indeed something that annoys me, since I don’t use the dry cycle on my dishwasher. I never connected the two, since they’re two different processes happening at two different times (making the pot, and washing it). It’s something I shall think about from now on! Thanks, Robin.

  • This was great to watch, and I loved your commentary! I especially appreciated you sacrificing the two dishes to cut them in half, so I could see visually what you were explaining about the necessary balance for good stacking. I would love to see another video about how you make your handles, and perhaps glazing of the different footed pieces.

  • This was great to watch, and I loved your commentary! I especially appreciated you sacrificing the two dishes to cut them in half, so I could see visually what you were explaining about the necessary balance for good stacking. I would love to see another video about how you make your handles, and perhaps glazing of the different footed pieces.

  • Robin Hopper was my 1st pottery instructor (via DVD that is ;). These videos and the others in his series REALLY helped me understand and work with clay without the benefit of in person teaching. Love, love, love the simplicity of his instruction. Thanks Robin!!

  • Robin Hopper was my 1st pottery instructor (via DVD that is ;). These videos and the others in his series REALLY helped me understand and work with clay without the benefit of in person teaching. Love, love, love the simplicity of his instruction. Thanks Robin!!

  • I love Robin’s videos. He is clear and concise in describing what he does and demonstrating the various techniques. This one was especially enjoyable for his understated, humorous commentary. I look forward to the next excerpt. Robin, keep up the great work!

  • I love Robin’s videos. He is clear and concise in describing what he does and demonstrating the various techniques. This one was especially enjoyable for his understated, humorous commentary. I look forward to the next excerpt. Robin, keep up the great work!

  • Now I know why I like the rounder cups and mugs! Great information in this video.

  • Now I know why I like the rounder cups and mugs! Great information in this video.

  • It’s always a pleasure to watch Robin Hopper demonstrate and to listen to his commentaries. Thank you.

  • It’s always a pleasure to watch Robin Hopper demonstrate and to listen to his commentaries. Thank you.

  • Hi all, Robin here!
    Being able to help people learn the complexities of the ceramic medium through books and videos has been a great source of satisfaction for me. Strange as it may seem, I have never met most of my “students” although I have been teaching for nearly fifty years. With the amazing help of Ceramic Arts Daily, they hail from all over the world. I started working with clay at age three and visiting museums, looking at pots, at age eight. This precocious activity led to a lifelong passion and obsession with this medium. I currently have 68 years of experience working with clay. It has been great to be able to pass on some of what I have learned over the years. Thanks for being a wonderful and appreciative audience.

  • Hi all, Robin here!
    Being able to help people learn the complexities of the ceramic medium through books and videos has been a great source of satisfaction for me. Strange as it may seem, I have never met most of my “students” although I have been teaching for nearly fifty years. With the amazing help of Ceramic Arts Daily, they hail from all over the world. I started working with clay at age three and visiting museums, looking at pots, at age eight. This precocious activity led to a lifelong passion and obsession with this medium. I currently have 68 years of experience working with clay. It has been great to be able to pass on some of what I have learned over the years. Thanks for being a wonderful and appreciative audience.

  • Hi Robin, Thank you for the great demonstartion. It gives great inspiration of how and what to think about going about doing mugs and cups. thank you.

  • Hi Robin, Thank you for the great demonstartion. It gives great inspiration of how and what to think about going about doing mugs and cups. thank you.

  • I too, enjoyed the video very much. One way to deal with the dishwasher problem is to cut a V-shaped piece out of the foot. This allows water to flow out of this region when the cup is in the dishwasher. I use this trick on all my pieces and have found that users really appreciate it. Keep demonstrating, Robin, you are a great teacher.

  • I too, enjoyed the video very much. One way to deal with the dishwasher problem is to cut a V-shaped piece out of the foot. This allows water to flow out of this region when the cup is in the dishwasher. I use this trick on all my pieces and have found that users really appreciate it. Keep demonstrating, Robin, you are a great teacher.

  • Hi Robin,
    Just wanted to thank you for your awesome videos and the excerpts of them on Ceramic Arts Daily. I have had many ceramics teachers over the past 20 years, but you are the only one who is as experienced, knowledgable and best of all generous. I guess it takes a a person who loves the medium and is as secure in it as you are to be able to “give” to your students and not hold anything back. You are a treasure! P. S. love your books too! I have learned so much from you.

  • Hi Robin,
    Just wanted to thank you for your awesome videos and the excerpts of them on Ceramic Arts Daily. I have had many ceramics teachers over the past 20 years, but you are the only one who is as experienced, knowledgable and best of all generous. I guess it takes a a person who loves the medium and is as secure in it as you are to be able to “give” to your students and not hold anything back. You are a treasure! P. S. love your books too! I have learned so much from you.

  • Robin you are also my hero.amazing how you can teach such specific detail and skills in such an understanding way………when I watch your video I feel like I am in the room with you experiencing the clay myself. When I go my studio I am not always successful at first but then I watch again until I get it!
    Thanks for the love you have for your students!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Robin you are also my hero.amazing how you can teach such specific detail and skills in such an understanding way………when I watch your video I feel like I am in the room with you experiencing the clay myself. When I go my studio I am not always successful at first but then I watch again until I get it!
    Thanks for the love you have for your students!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ideally, I run everyday, mop my floor everyday, always-always-wear my respirator and latex gloves, meditate, do yoga, and get lots of sleep. Really, I try to walk to work and the store as much as I can, regularly stretch my kinked up wrists, shoulders, and back, do standing work on a soft ergonomic surface, take breaks, contain clay shavings in wet buckets, and get a massage about twice a year. As far as health insurance goes, thank you,

  • Ideally, I run everyday, mop my floor everyday, always-always-wear my respirator and latex gloves, meditate, do yoga, and get lots of sleep. Really, I try to walk to work and the store as much as I can, regularly stretch my kinked up wrists, shoulders, and back, do standing work on a soft ergonomic surface, take breaks, contain clay shavings in wet buckets, and get a massage about twice a year. As far as health insurance goes, thank you,

  • I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I would like to thanks Robin for this incredible video. Very clear, very simple, explained with great wisdom. Hope see more very soon, please.

  • I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I would like to thanks Robin for this incredible video. Very clear, very simple, explained with great wisdom. Hope see more very soon, please.

  • Thank you for that wonderful advice. very clearly explained. Hope you have many more videos for us.

  • Thank you for that wonderful advice. very clearly explained. Hope you have many more videos for us.

  • ROBIN, I HOPE YOU CAN READ THIS MESSAGE, I AM FROM CHILE AND I DO ENJOY VERY MUCH YOUR VIDEOS, THEY ARE QUITE CLEAR AND VERY HELPFUL, EVERY TIME I SEE THEM I START PRACTICING YOUR LESSONS, THANKS FOR YOUR GENEROSITY.

  • ROBIN, I HOPE YOU CAN READ THIS MESSAGE, I AM FROM CHILE AND I DO ENJOY VERY MUCH YOUR VIDEOS, THEY ARE QUITE CLEAR AND VERY HELPFUL, EVERY TIME I SEE THEM I START PRACTICING YOUR LESSONS, THANKS FOR YOUR GENEROSITY.

  • Really instructive and interesting.
    I’m so excited, I just started subscribing to Ceramic arts Daily, and I’ve just spent the last few hours sitting in front of my computer, watching different videos and working my way round the site. It’s going to be a great thing to refer to, get ideas, learn from etc…
    I’ve been doing ceramics for the last year and a half here in Brazil, and I’m loving it. My teacher is AMAZING – he’s a wonderful potter and an excellent teacher- you can access his site at http://www.janucapuano.com.
    Thanks for sharing your expertise. Look forward to more.

  • Really instructive and interesting.
    I’m so excited, I just started subscribing to Ceramic arts Daily, and I’ve just spent the last few hours sitting in front of my computer, watching different videos and working my way round the site. It’s going to be a great thing to refer to, get ideas, learn from etc…
    I’ve been doing ceramics for the last year and a half here in Brazil, and I’m loving it. My teacher is AMAZING – he’s a wonderful potter and an excellent teacher- you can access his site at http://www.janucapuano.com.
    Thanks for sharing your expertise. Look forward to more.

  • Thanks again for this. Robin’s books are the best analytical ones on the market.
    I wonder if you have a video where you talk about the relationship between the cup and saucer- size and shape? I find a lot of cups don’t seem to match their saucer, and have difficulty myself knowing how big to make them- you make it look so easy!

  • Thanks again for this. Robin’s books are the best analytical ones on the market.
    I wonder if you have a video where you talk about the relationship between the cup and saucer- size and shape? I find a lot of cups don’t seem to match their saucer, and have difficulty myself knowing how big to make them- you make it look so easy!

  • Hi, just found this great clip. So encouraging to have the discussion about the wider issues of cups and saucers ie stackability, consideration of the forms etc. Most helpful. Thanks a lot Janie in UK

  • Hi, just found this great clip. So encouraging to have the discussion about the wider issues of cups and saucers ie stackability, consideration of the forms etc. Most helpful. Thanks a lot Janie in UK

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