How to Throw a Berry Bowl with a Textured Saucer on the Pottery Wheel

Berry season is long gone in my neck of the woods, but I couldn’t wait until next summer to share this project. And, of course, there are many places in the world where berries are in season.

Today’s video is an excerpt from Wheel Throwing with Nan Rothwell, the next installment in the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents video series (which is coming soon to a Ceramic Arts Daily Shop near you!). I am super excited about this forthcoming DVD, which is packed with clear, step-by-step demonstrations, from simple cylinders to more complex multi-part forms — and it’s all delivered in the the friendly, low-key, and practical teaching style we’ve come to appreciate from Nan. Enjoy! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.





This clip was excerpted from Wheel Throwing with Nan Rothwell, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Shop!

berrybowlTo learn more about Nan Rothwell or see more images of her work, visit

  • Subscriber T.

    never thought of a drill! great tip and the foot was very nice. Thanks!

  • Hello Nan,
    I just checked out your site, and your credit card uses video was brilliant!! Shame it didn’t make the cut, I found it very useful and educational.

  • Marian C.

    Nan: the drill vs the berry bowl is just great fun. Works like a champ. Thanks – love your demonstration method.
    Maribeth, Bend, OR

  • Thanks for your video that is a good idea and that make me to thinking use a different tools.

  • Janice W.

    Great video with clear instructions. I have thought about making these in the past and now inspired to do so. Thank you.
    Oh and hi to Natalie, my not so close neighbour in Perth W.A.
    Jan in NSW Australia

  • Wow! Thanks for all the comments.

    To answer your questions:

    Kathleen, I use Bison trimming tools made by Phil Poburka. His website is His tools are expensive and if you drop them, they break. But that said, they are wonderful to use!

    Shawn — take a look at the pots in my gallery at and then let me know where you think they fall on your “crafty” scale. I’m curious how they look to you…

    Lynne — When I make berry bowls for the salt kiln, I raw glaze the insides when the pots are leather hard and then drill through the glaze. The outside gets glazed during the firing, due to the salt. But when I am making them for stoneware, there are sometimes problems with glaze clogging the holes. Using a countersink helps make the holes look tidy and more importantly helps prevent glaze from clogging them up.

    Thanks all of you for your kind comments.
    Nan Rothwell

  • I’ve always had problems whenever I tried to make collander-and-bowl sets – they never drained properly, and I finally gave up. This vid taught me two things: 1) using a power drill instead of a hole making tool, and 2) I noticed that the drill was held angled towards the base, which would make drainage far more successful than the right-angled holes I was making. Also, the countersink would help facilitate drainage. Now I’m eager to try again! Thanks for this.

  • Denise M.

    nice idea to use drill for holes – never thought of that before, and liked the use of the twisted wire on the plate (never heard it called wiggle wire before – like it).

  • At least there was somewhat of a finished product half way through the video. Curios if the final product ended up real ” crafty”

  • Been throwing for years… Yet, never fail to learn something new and interesting or to be more efficient by watching another potter. Love your video and your teaching ease.

  • Heather F.

    Great video, enjoyed very much – makes me want to pot!!!

  • It is wonderful & easy to make holes using a drill on clay.

  • Very interesting video and never thought about using a drill for the holes, but will do so in future………Thanks very much for sharing your information

    Natalie in Perth W.A.

  • Nice video. Coincidentally, I just made my first four berry bowls and underplates this past weekend. Mine are smaller–hold about a pint of berries. I used a hole punch tool. I’ll have to try using a drill next time. I loved the creative use of the wiggle wire. I’ve had fun with the one I just bought about a month ago.

  • Elisabeth M.

    Oh yea, I would’ve loved to see a pic of the finished product.

  • Elisabeth M.

    Loved the technique of using the wiggle wire in the center of the plate! Can’t wait to try it.

  • Nan, thanks for the great videos I wish we lived closer.Steve

  • Kathleen R.

    Loved your video. You are a great teacher! What is the type of tool you said you like for it retaining sharpness? Thanks so much!

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