Wheel Throwing Video: How to Make a Little Teapot (Short and Stout) on the Pottery Wheel

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We get a lot of requests for videos demonstrating how to make a teapot here at Ceramic Arts Daily, and it has always been a difficult request to fulfill because teapots are pretty involved little projects. But I finally found a teapot video that is about as succinct as they come - roughly 12 minutes (not bad, considering the process). And the great thing is, it doesn't sacrifice detail and good advice. So, sit back and watch this excerpt from Stephen Jepson's Advanced Throwing Projects and Techniques. When you're done, you should have a darn good foundation for making your own little teapot. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

 


 

 

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This clip was excerpted from Advanced Throwing Projects and Techniques with Stephen Jepson, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore!

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jepson_teapot_finished-150x144To learn more about Stephen Jepson, visit http://jepsonpottery.com

 

 

 


 

Comments
  • Congratulations for finding this upbeat potter who is so knowledgeable! His movements are deft and the well-informed chatter is so encouraging. Immediately, if not sooner, I’m going to the wheel to try out his techniques. Have always shied away from the ‘dreaded teapot’….I won’t bore you with why. But Stephen just makes attempts doable, i.e. his ‘5 o’clock spout to correct the kiln aberration’ is genius.

    Thank you.

  • My Advanced Ceramics students and I are currently watching this video. These are great tips and techniques and I encourage my students to try and make many of the pieces they have seen in the video. I learn something new every time I watch the video.

  • My husband and I love Stephen Jepson….his personality is so uplifting, and encouraging. His confidence is so evident…and best of all you can tell he just loves being a potter, and has passion for his work!

  • The 5 o’clock trick is so cool!!!!! I’m directionally challenged and I can’t tell you how many spouts lean left or right. I like his lids and am going to try them too!

  • what is kiln aberration? does the clay do something besides harden in the kiln? please forgive, i’m very new to ceramics.

  • I have seen many videos for teapots and this is the first time anyone explained why you cut the spout at an angle. Thanks so much

  • Enjoyed the video. Lots of tips. Would like to have seen more close-ups.

  • Great information. I’m confused about the 5 oclock thing can anyone explain?

  • I’m confused about the 5 o’clock thing, too. I’m glad that other people have commented their confusion. I really like this guy, though. I wish the video showed more close-ups. It was hard to see exactly what he was doing. People new to pottery or, like me, need all the visuals we can get, need to see the work close up.

  • Video work is not good. Not enough close-ups, more detail needed.

  • When the teapot is fired, the spout will unwind slightly. This effect is due to the spout being thrown on the wheel. You would not have the same problem with a handbuilt or pulled spout. He was cutting the spout at 5 o’clock to make up for the amount the clay will shift in firing. After firing, he said it would be straight up and down, no longer at 5 o’clock but shifted over to 6 o’clock.

  • What a treat this video was. Keep them coming, they are very inspiring : )

  • Still don’t understand how you cut the spout at 5 o’clock and close-ups are needed. I don’t have to look at him but need the camera to concentrate on the pot.

  • If I only watched this video for the explanation on the spout I would have felt satisfied that it was time well spent. Watching a potter that works standing up was also interesting as I have often wondered how the body mechanics and wheel speed manipulation worked. The artist was informative and obviously quite skilled. It would be good to see more demos from him like some of the pieces he had in the background during this shoot. He has some monster pots back there!! Thanks again CAD for sharing this great video.

  • This is one of the best teapot videos I have found. If you maybe purchased the DVD, you’d find the video quality to be better and have less of a need for huge close ups since you won’t be viewing it through a 4 inch window. Less whining and more potting, please.

    Thanks CAM, this will help me try the teapot challenge!

  • Great to see the whole process, but I wanted to see the details close-up, not 6-10 ft away! I would suggest he do it again only have the camera much closer. Still a decent video segment, but the quality doesn’t make me want to buy the video. I always learn something though. Thanks for the effort.

  • if the spout is cut and it is an oval shape it will twist slightly in the fireing and will be croked on the finished pot. Round spouts don’t show this twist. But by putting it a 5 oclock in the first place as it unwindes in the fireing it becomes straight. Great tip.

  • It’s not whining Andrew it’s adult conversation of truth, no offense needs to be taken by anyone….
    Craig & Tracy, thanks for the “oval vs. round” explanation it was helpful.

  • I originally learned to throw from Stephen Jepson videos and spent a couple of weeks at his pottery school one summer many moons ago. The cut-off spout is hard to explain in words. The thing is, whenever you throw anything on the wheel, it develops a kind of tension. That tension will cause it to unwind during firing.

    When you throw a teapot spout and attach it to the teapot body, it’s going to unwind. If you cut the end off at an angle or hand-form a lip at the bottom, that lip or point is going to twist around a little bit to the left (as you face the pot) as your pot is fired. Therefore, if you point it at 6:00 (straight down) when you put the pot together, it will be more like 7:00 when you’ve finished firing. Bummer! My mom still has a couple of pots like this that she rescued from my junk heap–good reason to keep a hammer handy–she thinks they’re cute.

    So, to try and combat this unwinding tendency, you point the spout not quite down, but slightly to the right (this will be opposite if you throw left-handed and spin the wheel the other direction). It’s not always going to be exactly 5:00, though. It can vary depending on your throwing technique, your clay, what stage of drying you put your spout on at, etc. Stephen’s gotten very good at getting them to point just right, but I gave up. I either hand build my spouts or I make them round at the tips. I like them very small at the tip so the tea will ark out of them. Nice.

  • Most excellent explanation! I get it now!
    Thanks a bunch 🙂

  • I agree more close ups were necessary. I do not throw only hand build but I still found the teaching excellent and informative. Thankyou.

  • Very good….. I also wished there were more close ups….
    Thank you..

  • thank you so much. we people in Turkey do not have workshops so you understand how much it means to us to see such wideos we hardly wait for the next one to come.I wish you could exept visacards so we could order DVD from states. No chance for us to send money. Or is there?

  • Good demo on the teapot, Stephen has a great up-beat style, and makes it look so easy! I’m going to try a “little teapot” next time on the wheel! Also, the spout cut at “5 o’clock” is brilliant! thanks for this lovely video. s

  • close ups? hmmmmm. be grateful people. nice video, great points.

  • Good Clip. Thanks CAD. I will have my advanced HS students watch this in addition to the Simon Leach videos on youtube. I keep encouraging the students to subscribe here. The more varieties of making tea pots they can see the better!

  • I the following comment will be giving away my age. On the Ed Sullivan Show, an ancient TV program, there was a ventriloquist by the name of Senior Winces. He had a dummy that would announce, “For you easy, for me difficult” with a Spanish dialect. Stephen is a throwing master so gifted and talented. He makes difficult things appear so easy. What I learned from this entertaining video is to leave teapots for the expert thrower. For me, very DIFFICULT!! 🙂

  • So good!!! Nice explanations and has helped to finally do it right. However, for next video, PLEASE focus more on the hands and clay and tools, it is really not helpful to listen to an explanation while not being able to see HOW and which tool is used. Would buy this and other videos if there were more close ups!!! Good anyway…

  • These videos were made probably 20 years ago–at least 15, which is when I first watched them. These guys (Ceramic Arts Daily) don’t make the videos; they just post bits to share with us. I agree it would be better to have close-ups, but they are what they are.

  • I have loved making teapots for many years and try to convey that love when I teach my students, but Stephen has simplified the process so now I may be able to convince my students that they needn’t “dread” the process.

  • Hello, thank you for the tip of the cut at 5 o’clock and I would like to see some close ups of details.

  • I am an 80 year old beginning potter. I thought this video was fantastic!! Thank you.
    Joan Douglass

  • This was such an up-lifting, encouraging session. Excellent pace, nice calm, succient demo from a teacher with a relaxed, easy manner. I am a long time lover of teapots, but I’ve never tried one! The only thing I was unsure of was the 5:00, but Cindy gave an excellent explanation -thanks, Cindy!

    Does everyone realize that there is a small square, with arrows pointing toward the center, in the bar directly under the video screen? Click on that and you will get a full screen video. You’ll see a whole lot better.

    This wonderful man can’t do everything in 12 minutes, guys! I’d give my right leg (I need both arms) to be a student of such a fine teacher.

    Thank you, Mr. Jepson!

  • thanks for your lovely videos,,, which i really enjoy! just one comment perhaps… it’s a shame that you dont zoom in much more… which is often a bit frustrating as one would want to see what is happening on the wheel much closer up…
    regards, vbs

  • i absotutely loved this video!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):):):):):):):)

  • I guess the 5 o’clock rule about the spout would be reversed at 7 o’clock if you throw your pots with the wheel turning clockwise, as we do in Japan. The 5 o’clock rule must be for people who throw with their wheel turning anticlockwise. Then it goes down to 6 o’clock during firing.

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