Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi

WHEEL (d) Foot and Electric

ca: TORN (d) de Peu i Elèctric.

es: TORNO (d) de Pie y Eléctrico.

Flywheel (on the right) is formed with a large disc of wood which is controlled by the foot turning it horizontally. From the center of this disc is a vertical pole, attached to the table which contains the wheel where the potter uses his two hands that are free to form his work. All the parts function together; so there must be a good equilibrium between them all.

Illustrations Flywheel a) Footrest, b) Seat, c) Drain, d) Wheel wall, e) Wheel head, f) Flywheel.

Electric wheel
Electricity is used as the force to turn and mechanically control the wheel. They are designed so that the speed can be set and also can be controlled by the pressure of your foot on the footrest.

Illustrations Electric wheel a) Seat, b) Footrest, c) Wheel wall d) Wheel.

They are both used to create round objects in soft clay, bowls, jars, plates and lids. A ball of clay is thrown onto the center of the wheel, then the movement of the wheel is started and as it rotates, by using pressure from both hands, the clay is centered and then the shape required is formed.

The wheels are metal, set in a plastic basin with a high wall to save all the thrown off clay. It has a drain so the watered down clay goes down into a bucket and can be used again. There are many styles of wheels with footrests and seats that can be separate or joined to the wheel.

Note: Small electric wheels to use for banding have been made but I have never been able to find one!
Read more about: Coiling – Coil Building