Friday Video: How to Add Beauty While Enhancing Function on a Lid

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I know I say it a lot here on Ceramic Arts Daily: “consider every detail when making your work!” I’m sorry to be a nag, but it’s very important! It’s what separates a good pot from a super fantastic objet d’art.


Tom Turner considers every detail on his pots, even the underside of lids. Initially, He came up with the flange system he uses to act as a counterweight on teapot lids so they would stay put when pouring tea. But he considered every last detail and realized that these flanges could be enhanced with texture. Now he uses them on all of his lidded pots. In today’s post, an excerpt from his new DVD Tom Turner: Understanding Porcelain (now available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore), he shares his technique. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.



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This clip was excerpted from Tom Turner: Understanding Porcelain, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore!

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To learn more about Tom Turner or to see more images of his work, please visit

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


  • Ann R.

    Yes. Zooming in would be a great improvement. On another topic: Did he say “this is a piece of cloth with WD-40”? Why? Was he using it to dampen his stamps? Using a second hand crock-pot works great for having warm water. Thanks, Ann

  • Diane S.

    Lynne, If you want to see some of his jars with the lids go to the bookstore and click on DVDs, click on the link to purchase or download, scroll down to the bottom there are several finished pieces.

    I strongly agree with Tony’s comments about zooming in more on the actual work, if that is only 20% of what is on the screen it is very difficult to see the nuances of the potter’s work.

  • Lynne N.

    I am always delighted to see the creativity and inventiveness of artists! I would very much like to have seen the lid in place on the pot, though.

  • Carola L.

    Great ideas, thank you for sharing. It would have been nice to see how the lid sits on the pot. Please zoom in on the making process. It’s difficult to see when it’s so far away. Thanks Carola

  • Is that a crock pot you’re using for your throwing water? Looks like a good way to keep your hands warm.

  • Please ask your cameraman to zoom in on the work in progress instead of the studio and the artist. He’s talking about what is on the wheelhead and we’re missing most of it. Otherwise these are very helpful videos.
    thanks, tony

  • Ginny C.

    Wow! Tom Turner is such a good teacher! Two years ago I bought his 4 hour DVD, watched it twice, and leant it to someone. Never got it back!! I sure wish I knew who has it. Confession, anyone?? I love this new idea. Thanks, Jennifer!

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