Wheel Throwing Video: A Simple Pottery Making Technique Turned Upside Down

Brace yourselves, Ceramic Arts Daily readers. Today’s video is going to turn your world upside down. And if it doesn’t turn your world upside down, it will most likely turn your platters upside down. Potter Mark Peters is back with another great wheel throwing video in which he takes a basic pottery making technique and turns it on its head. As usual, the method results in the cool surface effects for which Mark is known (and which he will teach  at the upcoming Potters Council workshop Expressive Surfaces in Kansas City, Missouri). If you are one who dreads trimming pottery, this technique is for you! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
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Want to learn from Mark Peters in person?

Don’t miss the upcoming Potters Council workshop Expressive Surfaces,
October 23-25, 2009, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Register before September 18, 2009, and save $50!

  • Truely amazing! I especially like the coil spring design. Well, really, I like all of it. And, I hate throwing platters!

  • I couldn’t figure out where you were going with that. What a pleasant surprise. Thanks for an excellent video.

  • Makes you want to say.. “why didn’t I think if that” Great idea. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Fun! I’ve done this, too…..but, never with your cute little back-and-forth wiggle with the spring cutting wire. The resulting waves are beautiful! Wish you’d have ended the video with a peek at how the platter looked glazed and fired.

  • Wonderful idea… Thank you for sharing this. I’ll try.

  • Wish you would indicate the length of the videos, so we would know how long it would take on a slow land line to download.

  • thanks for the video – great idea, great demonstration. would have liked to see how the upside down platters look when complete.

  • Many Thanks. Great video. A truly artist, so economic with movements. Love it.

  • Superb, and the music just put me in the mood for some throwing too!

  • I look forward to Friday afternoons @ work cause I always get a sanity break and watch the weekly video!! Id gets me through till the 5 ocloack bell and sets the mood to “Get Dirty” in the studio. My only suggestion (I see others feel the same way) is that the artist show us a finished product ant the end of the video so that we can appreciate their beautiful piece!!

  • Surely the ribs are going to be awkward if the platter is actually used for food… Or will the glaze actually fill in the spaces??? I agree that it would be nice to see the finished piece!

  • I first used coil spring patterns 17/18 years ago. Love the marks on the bat tho!

  • Hola, hermosa técnica!!!!!!!!
    Please, give me de secret. How do you do to take off de plate from de texturated superficie?

  • Hola, hermosa técnica!!!!!!!!
    Please, give me de secret. How do you do to take off de plate from de texturated superficie?

  • This is a wonderful and great idea for textured surfaces.

  • Thanks, Mark,

    I agree with all the above comments..why didn’t I think of that…so logical…etc. I really like the minimal trimming….literally no mess to clean up!

  • wonderful. thanks for the neat video, can/t wait to try it

  • Mark, WOW!! so cool.
    How thick do you leave the center when you open it up to make the foot? Is that the eventual thickness of the rim? Thanks for sharing this,

    Could you cut it off smooth and when it’s flipped make the center smooth with a decorated rim, or would the center just fall to the bat when pressed?

  • I just want to know who played the music on the video!! I want that CD!

    Ben Seymour

  • i like the video and the technique. I’ll try to do it… and i’ll hope. =)!

  • What a wonderful idea — how did you know that so many potters hate to trim pots to make feet. Thanks for thinking outside the box.

  • I do enjoy watching your video and watch ur fingure doing the work at throwing. For me to make the centre of it i waste alot of clay until no more left. Any way I am very new in ceramic . from malaysia

  • Great video keep up the possibilities. Have not worked with clay for forty years and now I’m throwing more clay then I have in all my high school days> thanks for the inspiration. Darrel

  • I love to trim – it’s my annal side. But I love the spring so much and the surface that it creates I’ll have to try this. Wish I could make KC in October. Might have to work on that.

  • Thanks for the great comments!
    I try to include photos of finished pieces in my videos but unfortunately I don’t have one from this technique 🙁
    There are a lot of variations to this. Try different sized springs or even a plain or braided wire.
    The middle of this platter was a little less than 1/4 inch. If you use a “finer” spring it could be thinner.
    Ben- The music was The Dave Grisman Quartet.
    Ginny- the texture is pretty deep, but I imagine this as a serving platter- bread, cookies, fruit etc. If it was a dinner plate I would use a different spring.
    Hope to see some of you in Kansas City!
    Mark Peters

  • Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Do you have to sand down the ridges a bit so it won’t be too sharp? I have that problem with my applique when I add my leaves with a layer of clay and they burn off. I would hope to try this out with my applique, so was also wondering if the platter separates easily if you use a fishing line or wire cut off instead of the sprung spring.
    Roberta, Grapevine studio, Santa Cruz CA

  • Thank you so much. I’m just getting back to potting after 15 years and this is an inspiration. I also hate trimming, and I avoid it as much as possible. Joan, Minnesota

  • That is a great idea that I can share with my students who might otherwise have trouble throwing a platter that size. Thanks for sharing the techniques.

  • Somebody give me a clue. I run the wire all the way through but when I invert it, the platter sticks to the original bat. What am I doing wrong.

  • I need a clue too. I have tried using 3 different clay types but it always sticks when using the wire. I have tried letting it sit, heating the rim to stiffen it. I know I am not compressing it back when I flip it. I have even tried the wire after flipping, still sticks. I did get it to work using twisted fishing line, made a great pattern but I want it to work with the spring. What gives?

  • If your platter has trouble releasing from the bat it’s probably one of 2 things.
    Either your clay is very wet to begin with or the bat is wet and the wire drags water with it as it cuts, sticking the platter right back down.
    First thing to do is to make sure you scrape all the water and slip from the bat even up into the rim. Use a pointy wooden tool to do this if you need to.
    Another solution might be to throw the platter then let it set up for a few hours before cutting and releasing. The exact amount of time varies of course.
    Mark Peters

  • All good suggestions, Mark. Thank you, I will give them a try.

  • I left the rim quite thick before undercutting and was then able to throw a smooth rim once I flipped the platter over, making a nice contrast to the textured interior. I also had success with the original shape having no “middle”, adding a smooth ( or differently textured!) slab for the bottom after flipped. This is a great technique for exploring contrast… Thank You Mark!

  • I have seen this great video before. When I tried to review it today it only showed the first minute and some seconds. I have tried to reload it in different ways but it stops at the same point. Help!

  • My high school students are going to love this. Thanks for sharing!

  • This video is the favorite of my Advanced Ceramics class here at Rogers Heritage High School’s Art Academy. On Fridays we deep clean the studio, then watch a video clip or two. This one had them dancing to the music, and excited about other possibilities in clay! Thank you so much!

  • Loved what you did. I’m new at this, just started pottery in Nov 2010, I’m going to try this tommorrow at my pottery guild. I’ve been told that I’m pretty good at the wheel for a begginer. Thank you for the idea. : )

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