Wheel Throwing Video: How to Throw Really Large Bowls on the Pottery Wheel

Lately, I have been working on some large bowls for a wedding present for a friend (he’s not a potter so I don’t think he’ll read this!). I’ve been frustrated, though, because try as I might, I can’t seem to get past a certain size. And I really want this bowl to be bigger than this certain size. Part of my struggle has been centering enough clay to accommodate a big pot. My wrists have been killing me lately and it has been really tough to center large amounts of clay.


So, I watched the section on bowls in Stephen Jepson’s How to Throw Large Pots DVD and got a couple of helpful tips that I am excited to try when I go to the studio on Monday. I’m sharing them with you today!  – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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This clip was excerpted from How to Throw Large Pots with Stephen Jepson and Bill Gossman, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore.






  • Are the walls of this behemoth thicker than on a standard sized bowl? How is it that its sides don’t flop down or sag – because of the “vertical-ness” of the sides? In other words, if it would have been wider at the top as compared to the base, would the walls have had trouble standing up?

  • So now I know how I can throw bigger pots without doing battle with one giant ball of clay. thank you for showing us how it’s done!

  • Getting the cylinder up and controlling the moisture in the clay are key. Once the cylinder is up you can take your time and add little if any water as you go. I make the walls a little thicker, but not by much. There is a good YouTube video on making a big bowl by Cindy Clarke I found helpful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWDuc4cGDfQ

    I made one of those large ribs she uses out of a piece of wood base moulding; if you have access to wood working tools it’s pretty easy to do. It helps me having a larger tool for a larger bowl, but if you are steady you can use the method shown in this CAD video.

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