Here is a taste of the class I am currently teaching at the new Chatham Clay Studio in Pittsboro, NC. Its called “Wheel Throwing Intensive” and is all about throwing cylinders. The task is for everyone to make 108 cylinders before we move on to any other shapes.
The video below shows the eight steps to throwing a clay cylinder...
1) Cone up the ball of clay
2) Push the clay down into a hockey puck shape. (You can repeat steps 1 and 2 if the clay isn't feeling well wedged).
3) Make an opening.
4) Open up the ball of clay and compress the base.
5) Push in the edges to make a wide low cone shape.
6) Pull up the clay a little bit- a centering pull to establish a taller cone shape.
7) Do a proper pull, getting the clay up from the base.
8) Use a wooden rib to stretch the clay up a bit more and finish the sides of the cylinder.
If you follow these eight steps then you'll be making cylinders in no time! Cylinders are an essential skill to master as a potter, as they form the basis for most shapes: from jugs to pitchers to vases etc. I think its a good exersise for every aspiring potter to try out! Throwing 108 cylinders can be quite transformative! 1008 might be even more so (perhaps that should be the next class).