The first thing you learn to make in a beginner’s wheel throwing class is a small bowl.  Let’s be honest, the first few are thick, ugly things.  That’s ok though, because you can trim them down, sand them smooth, and hide your sins with glaze.  I love this one, called Matt’s Flambe.

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Don’t be fooled by the photo – this little bowl ended up about 3.25 inches wide.  They shrink throughout the process as the clay loses moisture in drying, trimming, and firing.  Instead of trimming everything away, you can carve different patterns in for the glazes to interact with.  This one is also from the first class and is about the same size.

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I wasn’t expecting it to stop and pool at the first ridge.  Interesting.  Eventually, they got bigger and thinner, with less waste trimmed off.  This bowl was made from the same amount of starting clay!

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Better yet, you can make little animals to distract people from the imperfections.  Behold, a lumpy giraffe! Great for rings and hair clips.  Hand building these little critters is a lot of fun.  I make and glaze the animals separately, and they fuse to the plate when fired.

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Watch out for that whale in the cereal bowl!  The spots in the glaze come from trace metal in the clay but it’s all food-safe.

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Eating around this goose is also fun.  Cleaning under them is less fun, but they’re dishwasher safe too, so actually not too bad.

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Categories: Pottery, Projects

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