There are some common steps in every wheel project, and if you watch Youtube videos, look for these steps:

With the wheel stopped you slam the ball of clay into the centre and give it a good slap. You can gently move the clay closer to the centre to make things easier for you.

Take your hands off the clay, and use the foot pedal to spin up to high speed, make your hands very wet and place the left hand on top of the fight hand. Our wheels spin counterclockwise which works best for right handed potters, but being a leftie will work just fine. Keep your hands wet, this is crucial. If the clay loses its shine, the clay is dry and the friction goes up. Work the clay up into an even cone, perhaps 15 cm tall. 

Keep the hands well and use the edge of the left hand to press down vertically. The right hand must be rock-steady here, it’s literally a rock that you center against. You should now have a puck in the middle that doesn’t wobble. If not, make the hands wet and start again.

Once you master the centring, the real fun begins, you open up the puck with a thumb to set the thickness of the bottom, called the floor, and use two fingers to pull towards you to move the clay inside the puck to a donut shape. 

Slow the wheel to medium speed, and always keep the hands wet.

Now you can start pulling the donut upwards to create the walls, but not all at once. Three pulls is best. Two fingers of one hand inside, touching the floor, two fingers outside, pressing in, slightly below the two other fingers. Hook the inside thumb to the outside hand to steady it and keep the distance between the fingers. Keep the fingers wet, the speed even and the distance between the fingers the same when pulling up.

 

What does it cost?

For a clay handbuilding session in the studio where you’re free to sculpt anything a kilo of clay is $50 plus tax. This price includes everything all the way to the finished and painted items.

You come back to paint the items after we have baked the clay the first time so you get two events for the price of one.

Will you fire clay items that I’ve made with my own clay?

In some cases, yes. It depends on the circumstances at the time, like what kilns are available, how busy we are etc.

We only do cone 04 clay firings so the clay must be “low fire cone 04” clay. If it is “high fire” clay we cannot fire it sorry. 

For the firing, the rule of thumb is that you pay for the space you need. The following prices assume a cone 04 firing. Minimum space is the room taken up by four standard mugs next to each other, which will cost $35. Tall items may come with extra charges. A full kiln load is $100. Painting of the fired items is not included the price.

Can I store unfinished clay projects in the studio?

Sorry, it’s not possible for us to store work-in-progress in the studio. If your project is not finished, we’ll wrap it up safely in a box and you take it home where you can finish it before bringing it back for firing.

A clay project dries over the course of a day or so under cover, and if left too long it becomes too dry to work on, so it’s best to take it home to do detail carving etc.

Slime Science – gooey fun

Mad, mad multicoloured slime making science with glitter and colour. Each scientist get to make two batches of slime and take it home.

Learn more