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Wheel Thrown Sinks

  Throwing
I wonder why this traditional clay working process is called throwing. The technique is chiefly characterized by one’s ability to keep a lump of clay precisely centered on a revolving wheel head.

I think most people are successful in throwing because they have an intuitive sense of how to use hand and eye without actually thinking about what they are doing. The process is somewhat like riding a bike or dancing or singing – difficult to do if you think too much about how you are going to do it. In this case the skill of precise tactile feedback from one’s fingers and hands is essential. Most of what is done is felt movement within some careful sense of geometric three dimensional space.

The ability to create and determine fair line or curve is also fundamental to creating a pleasing form on the wheel. One must see parts of the form and imagine how the seen integrates with the unseen. It is actually more difficult to describe than it is difficult to do. The key seems to be a latent aptitude and a willingness to persevere until one has practiced enough to be proficient.
 
Centering Clay   Opening Clay
Throwing a sink on the potters wheel begins with centering 30 lbs of soft clay on the wheel head. With my left foot controlling the motor driven wheel head the centered clay is opened to begin the bowl.
Opening Clay   Pulling Clay
The centered ball of clay is pulled outward to form the rough shape of the expanding sink form. The soft lump is worked gradually without drawing the clay from its centered position on the wheel head.
Throwing Sink   Removing Sink
As the clay is pulled outward the sink walls are thinned as the rim and bowl are shaped and formed by eye. The wet bowl is then wire cut from the removable wheel head batt that supports it for moving and drying.
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