Perfecting Mugs and Bowls on the Wheel with Sam Scott

Mugs and bowls are a potter's bread and butter and perfecting these forms and making them efficiently is essential. In this video, the first in a three-part series, Sam Scott shares tips and techniques he uses to ... (Scroll down for more!)


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Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes

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… streamline processes without sacrificing quality. From throwing off the hump, to trimming to perfection using chucks and chums, these techniques will help you increase your productivity and allow more time for creativity.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Throw off the hump to keep the throwing process flowing
  • Make an adjustable size gauge to make consistently sized mugs
  • How to attach a bat with a patty of clay to accommodate different sized bats
  • How to make trimming disks with laminate
  • How to perfect your forms and surfaces in the trimming process
  • How to trim using foam bats and chums
  • And much more!

Go With the Flow!

Learning to throw off the hump is a great way to not only help you speed up your throwing, but it also helps you create a muscle memory to throw consistent shapes and sizes. Sam demystifies this process and also shares a great tool made from a ruler and popsicle sticks to help you measure the depth and width of your pots.

Throwing Strategies for Big and Small Pieces!

Sam also shares his approach to making both low and wide serving bowls and tall bowls. He covers various strategies that will help you achieve success with vertical and horizontal pieces. You’ll learn how to use clay to mount a bat on the wheel head to prevent “wobbly bats” and enable the use of smaller, custom-sized bats.

Trimming to Perfection

Sam has three distinct bodies of work and all three require a very smooth surface. He accomplishes most of this in the trimming stage. By trimming on chucks and chums, both on the inside and outside of his pieces, Sam is able to achieve this smoothness. If you ever told yourself that trimming the inside of pots was off limits, think again!

Tools to Get the Job(s) Done!

Sam has created a number of specialized tools from materials most of us have on hand. Homemade tools like these are great because they can be adapted to your specific needs. Sam shares all of his great ideas for tools so you can take them and adapt them to your needs.

With Sam’s tool tips along with his expert throwing advice, you’ll pick up the skills to make your wheel throwing more precise, productive, and successful. Look for part 2 and 3 in this series in Summer and Fall of 2020!

About Sam Scott

Sams Scott’s interest in ceramics began in high school with a pottery class in 1968. He graduated in 1975 with a BFA from the University of Washington. Scotts work has been featured in books and magazines as well as galleries, most notably at the Bellevue Art Museum and the Smithsonian Institution. To learn more about Sam Scott and see more images of his work, please visit

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