Video of the Week: How to Whack Your Wheel Thrown Pottery into Shape

Everyone who is learning to throw on the pottery wheel has probably had moments when they wanted to give the clay a whack (or throw it across the room). But this doesn’t necessarily have to be a result of frustration. A good thwack can actually be a nice aesthetic touch.


In today’s video, Robin Hopper demonstrates how to throw a bowl and then square it off with a paddle to make a great surface for decorating. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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This clip was excerpted from Form and Function, available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore!

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To learn more about Robin Hopper or to see more images of his work, please visit

For fabulous wheel throwing techniques, be sure to download your free copy of Five Great Pottery Wheel Throwing Techniques: Tips on Throwing Complex Pottery Forms Using Basic Throwing Skills!

  • I always like to see Robin Hopper in his videos. I’m so glad that his excellent teachings and techniques are here for us to watch over and over…quite the gift to us potters…

  • Hi My name is Teri Cleverly. Over the years, I have been a sometime potter and full time painter. In our small community, the village purchased a full studio for pottery minus a couple more wheels we will need. As one of the driving forces for The Elkford Art Studio, needless to say, my learning curve is huge, especially with respect to glazes, clay and glaze compatibility. So, my first question is, right now, we are using thehigh school kiln until ours is installed this summer. I purchsed mid range clay and the glazes are for the most part cone 06. Can you please tell me which stoneware clay you would recommend for functional pieces for food. Also, please recommend any books that you might think would be valuable tools. It’s been quite an adventure and I am enjoying every bit of it, even the mistakes. Thanks,Teri

  • Such an “unencumbered” way of making something ARTISTIC out of a colorbook form. I LOVE Ceramic Arts. I teach Jr. and Sr. Hi, and we now have 4 wheels and 2 kilns. My students LOVE ceramics, and I am always looking for new and easily understood ways of making beautiful forms that satisfy the students as well as the teacher. My sincere THANK YOU, to my sole ceramics teacher, Dick Edie, in the late 60’s at SDSU.

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