Wheel Throwing Video: How to Throw Teabowls Off the Hump on the Pottery Wheel

I have gotten a lot of requests for videos showing the "off-the-hump" method of throwing repeat forms on the pottery wheel and I have finally found a very good clip of this technique to share with you!

This video comes from Jerry Horning's DVD Making Pots on the Wheel. Throwing off-the-hump is a very helpful technique if you are making a series of a form. You only have to center once so you can really get into a rhythm, which makes it easier to repeat the same size and shape. But as Jerry points out, it is also a fun exercise for experimenting with variations on a form. And don't be discouraged if you don't have the muscle to center the large amount of clay that Jerry centers in the video. You can still use this technique with a lot less clay. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


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This clip was excerpted from Making Pots on the Wheel With Jerry Horning, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore.

  • It’s great to see you throw teabowls like that, Jerry ! It just seems so easy 😉
    Hope I’ll be able to do the same on my wheel !
    Thanks a lot, it’s inspiring and motivating.

  • Thanks for the concise method of teaching! Too bad I have to wait until pottery class starts up again in April to try this….

  • How far down do you open the clay?

  • Thanks for posting this video. I just finished up making teapots, throwing the spouts and lids off the hump. I’m going to try some tea bowls and mugs next time.

  • thanks Jerry, I do well throwing hollow forms off the hump but am plagued by S cracks on anything with a bottom. Any tips?? I trim when the pots are firm so i am getting decent compression then… Miranda

  • This is a great technique and a wonderful way to practice making smaller pieces. I have the whole DVD series and have learned a great deal from Jerry Horning. His easy going manner and utter patience about working with clay help to “center” me. Suggestion for the S cracks, even though you are throwing off the hump you still need to compress the bottom of the bowl, just like you would do if throwing from a single piece of clay.

  • Very nicely produced video!
    Like to see more of this potter’s work.

  • Your video reminded me of throwing off the hump, something I haven’t thought of for a long time. You have a great way of showing and talking about the process. Thank you!

  • I enjoyed watching your video. I’m going to try this.
    Thank you.

  • What a great teaching video. It is helpful to see techniques in throwing up close…thank you.

  • It is always good to get to watch someone who has mastered a skill do it so well! I think he mentioned squeezing the bottom in will help prevent “S” cracks in the bottom.
    I would like to disagree with Jennifer’s comment about needing to center the large amount of clay though. I have found that you don’t need to center the whole thing well. Just get it adhered to the wheel and vaguely centered, then center the top small amount you are working with each time. I have arthritis so can’t center large amounts, but can throw off the hump this way. (Maybe I’d do better if I could center the whole thing, but no one should let not being able to center large amts. of clay deter them from trying this technique.)

  • Patti, I agree. Judging by Jerry’s commentary, he was planning on making a large bowl and therefore centering the whole lump. He does mention later that only the top lump needs to be centered if you’re throwing off the hump.
    BTW, centering large amounts of clay doesn’t have to take a lot of muscle power if you use the energy of the wheel. It can even be done with just one hand. Mo Jupp taught me the trick, years ago, when I smashed an elbow only months away from my degree show. The trick is to lean on the clay, at the bottom of the lump, aiming to push just beyond the center. The wheel winds the clay up, like an electric drill screwing a screw in, and if you then lean the clay over at the top, again just past the center, the wheel winds it down again, as if you’d switched the direction of the drill. As long as there’s a still point for it to come down to, it will find the center easily since that’s the place of least resistance. Magic!

  • Nikki- It’d be awesome if you made a video of your technique and sent it to CM daily or posted it on Youtube ….it sounds intriguing and would help a lot of potters — pls let me know if you do ….

  • I would like to see this centering technique too

  • děkuji moc už dlouho jsem netočil je to inspirace Jarda

  • dÄ›kuji moc už dlouho jsem netočil je to inspirace Jarda

  • Wonderful demonstartion! You do it with such craftsmanship and explained it so clearly.

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