Words of Wisdom:

"some people come into our lives ...leave footprints in our hearts ....and we're never the same" - Xmisfitsx310

Shaping a Life

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 72.6 
  • Words: 1224
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Is it possible to craft a personality using only hands, water, and a few small tools?   Wheel throwing is much like raising a child; small mistakes can grow into larger ones, it is easy to become frustrated, and yet each pot is uniquely special.   Unlike childrearing, however, throwing a pot is done with a specific set of instructions that guarantee an enjoyable outcome when followed exactly.


The first step to making or throwing a pot is wedging.   Wedging the lump of clay properly will ensure ease when throwing.   To wedge clay, the potter must rhythmically knead the clay at least one hundred times.   The purpose of wedging is to remove air bubbles and thoroughly mix the clay into a workable mass.   Just as an infant would die without proper care, a pot without properly wedged clay will never endure.


Centering the clay is the most important part of wheel throwing.   Even the best-wedged lump will be nothing without proper centering.   Centering is done by lubricating the lump with water, and applying a firm but guiding hand to it.   The potter then practices coning, which is moving the clay up and down to make the clay more malleable.   A firm and guiding hand is needed to assist small children as they learn to make decisions.   Social standards and morals have not been fully comprehended yet, so it is easy for a small child to start off on the wrong foot here.


The potter now opens the centered mass rotating beneath his hands.   This is done by forming a depression in the top and inserting his thumbs down to one half inch of the bottom.   Then, the sides are pulled outward to the desired diameter.     The potter firms or re-centers the rim each step after opening, once again using a firm and guiding hand to ensure quality.   As the pot grows, less pressure is needed to keep the rim true if this was done correctly throughout the beginning stages.   A good parent will allow children to grow and learn on their own, but keep them on the proper path as they...

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