Four Inch Bowls, Step 3. Trimming.


A lot of people call this process turning. I have tried to use this as a term but trimming seems so much more appropriate. You are removing the excess clay on the base of the pot to tidy it up and ensure it sits properly. The bases should be leather hard at this stage. Again the time will vary upon air conditions so keep an eye on the pots; prod them every now and then to see!

First thing to do is throw a pad of clay.

Centre a handful of clay.

Compress the clay with a slow karate chop motion.

Pull out and press down with your finger tips


Finish the pad by flattening it with a stick/wooden tool.

Tear off a square of plastic, or even better thin wrapping paper.

Place it over the pad and rip off stray bits. Some people do not do this but it helps keep the rims clean.

Centre the pot and lightly press it down onto the pad.

Use a tiny piece of plastic (old credit card) as a resting position for your finger.

The plastic helps you avoid damaging the base with your finger/nail.

Start trimming! It is quite easy if your set up is correct.

If the clay is leather hard then you should see nice ribbons of clay stream off the pot.

You can trim all the way to the rim, or not, depending. The shape should be almost there from the throwing anyway.

When the sides are done think about the base. Sometimes the cut from the wire is clean enough to warrant no further attention.

This one was a little bumpy so I used a sponge to finish it. You don't have to do this.

Final touch is taking off the bottom edge. This is the band to be stamped.

The Winchcombe stamp.

Make sure to put it on the right way.

The trimmed article!

Other tips on trimming:
* Keep your tool sharp.
* Trim when the clay is ready; doing it too early or late can prove frustrating.

Here is the video to go along with this set of pictures:



Now leave the pots to rest a while longer till Step 4.