Pietro Madelena Demonstrating the Fundamentals of Throwing Pots

This is Pietro Madelena. Pietro is mad, quite clearly mad, but in the best way possible.
He started the Ceramics School, La Meridiana in 1981. Here is a link to the website: http://www.lameridiana.fi.it/. They run one and two week courses on all manner of ceramic practices, throughout the year.

On one of my last days at La Meridiana I asked Pietro to do a throwing demonstration. He obliged and here's the result. It cuts out at the end, as my memory disk ran out of space, but in the seven or so minutes Pietro covers the basics of centering, opening and pulling on a wheel.

His control of the clay is marvelous. In particular, the technique of using the webbing between his middle fingers, to keep the lip compressed and centered, is brilliant. Pietro told me this was a traditional Italian technique which has been in use for thousands of years. I have been practicing it myself and found it to be very useful.

Next up I will be posting a couple of videos of John Colbeck preparing clay for the wheel.