Pottery Video of the Week: Great Tips for Throwing Great Plates on the Pottery Wheel

vangilder500A few weeks ago, a student of mine asked me if I could demonstrate throwing a plate for him. It had been a while since I threw a plate so I had to sort of refresh myself the process as I went along. Throwing plates came back to me fairly easily, but this week, after watching Bill van Gilder's Pottery Techniques DVD (which is available in the CAD Bookstore!), I picked up a few new plate throwing tips that it would have been nice to share with my student.

So, for this week's pottery video of the week, I have excerpted Bill's plate throwing demo from the DVD. If you are looking for a plate throwing refresher course, or are starting from scratch, this clip is an excellent reference! - Jennifer Harnetty, Editor



An Excellent Guide to Throwing Plates on the Pottery Wheel

by Bill van Gilder


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This clip was excerpted from Bill van Gilder's Pottery Techniques DVD
, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore!

Order online and get free shipping!
(Free shipping applies to U.S. orders only)



To learn more about Bill Van Gilder or see images of his work, please visit http://www.vangilderpottery.com.


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, .




  • Hello Bill it is nice to see you ! I was on a seminar in Gouda ( Holland) and you where there ! Thanks for the Video..Greetings Youre : Dutch Fan Nikki

  • I learned more from your video about throwing a plate than I did in 16 weeks of classes. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  • Roughly, what weight of clay do you use for a dinner plate?

  • Loved this video! Do you have the link for the bowl, and cup? Also, approximately how much clay is used for a plate? One pound or more? Do you have a video for trimming the foot of a plate? Thanks very much for creating this!

  • Hi Kathleen, I use about 600 grams which is a pound and a bit, for my small plates (about the size of a large side plate) and I use about 800 grams of clay for my dinner plates. cheers Kim

  • That was THE most explanatory video that you’ve shown, and you’ve shown some really good ones. Excellent.

  • It is great work and Thank you for sharing.

  • Have not been able to view the last 4 videos no link to start.Please advise

  • I have not been able to view the last few videos either.

  • Great video! What type of clay is Bill using?

  • Thank you very much for the gigantic A-HA! I’ve had successes and failures making plates, but this seems to have clarified which things were working and which were not. If I can add my own tip for what comes next, I put a foam disc about the size of the bottom of the plate before inverting the next morning, then leave it there while I trim it out. Less distortion, and less cracking when it dries more uniformly.

  • I also have not been able to view the last 4 videos. Has something changed? I can view previous videos with no problem.

  • Yep, I’ve had trouble with the video, too. Try letting the video load (which means play it through once without watching–go check out the forums and come back) Click on play again and there it is. I’ve only had to do this for the first time because ever after, no problems.

    For Laura, are you using stiff foam as a sort of chuck? When I trim, any plate over 8 inches gets two foot rings–one about 2″-3″ in the middle and an outer ring.

  • I’ve had trouble with the videos on my computer too – there doesn’t seem to be a link or play button to play the video – but they play beautifully on my iPad. I wonder if there is some software incompatability or something…

  • I, too, am unable to view the last four videos. What has changed??

  • To those having trouble seeing videos, most of the problems we’ve seen lately seem to be related to Internet Explorer 9. If you have Internet Explorer 9, please try the following:

    If it is blank where the video intro with the white arrow should be please try clicking on ‘Compatibility View’, which is an icon that looks like a torn piece of paper in the URL box at the upper left of the screen. The video should appear and run.

  • Is there a reason for getting the same video 2ce i thought there was something special when i got another video but it was only a bit on the history of this wonderfull mr Bill van Gilders life.there is no way anyone could make a mistake interperating his instructions.

  • I have been having the same problems viewing the videos. I just tried to find the ‘compatibility view’ link, but couldn’t. However, I pulled down the “tools” button on the menu bar and found the
    “combatibility view” and was able to see the video. It must be the Internet Explorer 9. thanks.

  • awesome, would like to see a platter thrown as I have difficulty when there’s so much clay.

    Many thanks for such another great video.

  • For those who are having trouble viewing the video, if you look up at the top of your screen at the box with the address, (ceramicartsdaily.org) To the right you will see some symbols, usually the third one in looks like a piece of paper torn across the middle.
    Put your cursor on it, it says; Compatibility View….., click on that.
    For the most part that will let your computer open the video’s.

  • Thank you for the video. I just started pottery in Nov 2011, and im hooked. I can’t wait to make my own plates. I’ve already made some pasta bowls already. Nancy

  • Is there a link where I can watch how a plate is trimmed? Thanks very much!

  • I really like the video and was wondering how I could download it? I like having the videos to watch when I’m at school before I go to my ceramics class.

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