Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi

CLAY (6) Opening.

ca: ARGILA (6) Obertura.

es: ARCILLA (6) Apertura

Clay – The methods of opening

a) This position controls horizontal centering, the hands do not touch the wheel.
b) The position is a variation of the one before, used for cones that are flatter.
c) Another variation which allows stronger pressure on the clay that is dryer or the cone is bigger.

There are different methods of opening, conditioned by the size and the amount of clay centered, but basically there are two openings, one for bowls and one for tubes. The bowls require a curved form and the sizes vary in relation to the shape of the bowl. A tube requires a base that is open and flat on the wheel head and the same thickness as the walls.

d) The beginning of the opening of the clay or the final centering.
e) A way of opening used with a smaller piece of clay.
f) Another way to open, which allows opening from the center, this movement can also be used as part of the one before.

The process of opening requires a good equilibrium force between the left hand, which opens with pressure from the center and the right hand which supports and steers to the center.
To open you can leave a small indent in the center, which holds your fingers when starting to open.

g) The base position for enlarging the opening. Open it leaving the clay base between 1 to 2 cm, depending on the size.
h) The way to open outwards is to combine turning the wheel with the movements of the hands.
i) Opening bowls horizontally by pressing steadily upwards and outwards at the same time.

Remember: The sections on throwing are explained under the name of the piece being made. These links take you to the first section, if it has more than one they are connected so you can see them easily.

Note: These are links to all the sections on throwing in alphabetical order. Bowl Throwing / Cylinder Throwing / Jars Throwing / Lids Throwing / Lids Cones / Lids-Knobs / Plate Throwing / Stack Throwing / Teapot Body / Throwing – with a tube