Pottery can be a therapeutic hobby and at the same time, very frustrating especially if you are a beginner at throwing. Having a durable and smooth pottery wheel plays a big role in determining your learning curve as well as the outcome of your work. The problem is, there are very few reliable wheels available in the market. The even bigger problem; being able to determine the best one for your needs and level of experience. Don’t worry, Surf’n’Buy got your back on all those things. But first a little introduction into pottery wheels!
A pottery wheel is a machine that is used in the process of throwing which is the shaping of round ceramic ware (but you knew that already). What most people don’t know is that it can also be used in trimming the excess body from dried ceramic ware so as to acquire and maintain the desired shape of the ceramic. In cases where you may also feel the need to apply some incised decorations onto the ceramic ware, the pottery ring is what you should use. The pottery wheel can be traced back to the 3000 BC when it appeared in the market and has since been rendered useful in the molding industry. Back then, the pottery wheel was seen as pieces of disks that were mounted on pivots or axles and rotated by hand, unlike today.
Once you master the delicate art of throwing, the possibilities of making earthenware in all kinds of shapes and designs lie entirely in our hands (in every sense of the word). The beauty of pottery is that it can be both a leisure and income generating activity, like selling handmade ceramic arts on Etsy. The only thing lying between you and your throwing dreams is a good wheel.
Now let’s go through the top five pottery wheels in 2019.
Top 5 Pottery Wheels
1. Speedball Clay Boss Pottery Wheel
- 1/2 horsepower industrial motor
- 100lb centering capacity
- 14 inch wheel head
- Foot pedal with smooth variable speed control
- Reversing plug allows for quick change of wheel head direction
This wheel head is endowed with 100 lb. centering capacity at a time. It has a wheel head that is of 14-inch in diameter. This wheel also consists of a foot pedal that has smooth and variable speed control. The foot pedal is also highly sensitive to pressure and therefore can help in stopping the wheel whenever the pressure is withdrawn. The wheel also has a half horsepower industrial motor that is powerful enough to run it.
There is a reversing plug that is present and which allows for quick change of the wheel head direction. This, therefore, means that the wheel can accommodate both right-handed and left-handed throwers. The Speedball Clay Boss Pottery Wheel is also accompanied by two free bats that aid in the throwing process. An instructional DVD that will take you through the installation steps of the wheel are also available. Additionally, there is a five-year warranty that you are awarded as a proof of confidence of the Boss products
There are adjustable height feet that ensure that the wheel is suitable for use by people of different heights as well. This also ensures that you are able to throw from a stand or sit position. There is a splash pan that comes with this wheel and it ensures easy cleaning and maintenance of the wheel during and after use.
- The Speedball Clay Boss Pottery Wheel comes with a splash pan that serves to ensure easy cleaning as it collects wastes that would have otherwise landed on the floor.
- A highly sensitive foot pedal to pressure which serves to help in stopping the wheel easily.
- The adjustable height feet ensure that the wheel can be operated from both standing and sitting positions as well as by people of different heights without limitations.
- The five-year warranty ensures you can enjoy free servicing of your wheel within the five years of purchase.
- The presence of a reversing plug ensures a quick change of the direction of the wheel head. This also ensures that both a left and a right-handed person can operate it freely.
- The wheel is powerful and durable enough as it contains a powerful half horsepower industrial motor.
- Easy to assemble.
- Has a quiet and smooth operation.
- It is affordable and the price matches the value that you will receive.
- Some of their splash pans may be prone to breaking after use for a few months.
- Accommodates smaller amounts of clay as compared to other wheels therefore not suitable for large-scale potters.
- Not suitable for making larger pieces of pottery.
The Speedball Clay Boss Pottery Wheel is equipped with a splash pan that makes the maintenance and cleaning of the wheel easier. Also, its foot pedal ensures that stopping of the wheel is easily done because it is highly sensitive to pressure and once the pressure of the foot is withdrawn, it stops. Moreover, the adjustable height feet ensure that it can be operated from both standing and sitting positions and is suitable for all people despite their heights.
Also, it is easy to assemble and use while providing a quiet and smooth operation. The additional reversing plug ensures that both the right and left-handed can operate this wheel comfortably without strain. Its affordability and therefore ability to fit into your budget cannot be overlooked. The five-year warranty boosts the confidence of the durability of this wheel as well. The fact that it is not suitable for making larger pieces of pottery does not make it less productive. This is a good choice if you want to undertake pottery as a hobby.
2. Speedball Portable Artista Pottery Wheel
- For standup throwing or can be placed on a tabletop for sit-down use
- 11 inch aluminum wheel head and a two part splash pan
- High impact plastic and steel construction holds 25 lbs of clay
- Uses industrial quality materials for rugged dependability
- Convenient where space or storage is at a premium
This pottery wheel is made of a sleek design that ensures it can be used for both stand up and sit down postures. In the case where you may need to use it in a sit-down position, there is a table top that is made to serve this purpose. The Speedball Portable Artista Pottery Wheel has an 11-inch aluminum wheel head that is used to hold bats and bat pins that aid in the throwing process. The aluminum wheel is also resistant to rust and therefore making it durable enough. There is also a two-part splash pan which is used to reduce the mess that may occur during the throwing process. This also acts to make the cleaning and maintenance task of the workspace as well as the wheel itself easy.
The construction of the wheel uses high impact steel and plastic. This makes it able to handle up to 25 lbs. of clay at a time. This also ensures that it is durable enough to last you quite a long time before you can start dealing with possible wear and tear. The wheel is of an appropriate size that is meant to fit in a small or premium space. It has a motor that operates in a quiet and smooth manner. The motor has variable speed hand control and can, therefore, be made to work in a manner that favors your needs.
It contains a high-impact plastic and steel frame that is durable and can be able to withstand external forces. A two-year warranty accompanies the wheel on the purchase and this is an additional sign of the confidence that is associated with the wheel. Additionally, there are two 2.5qt. buckets that accompany the pottery wheel. Also, it is accompanied with a splash pad, two bats that aid in throwing as well as speedball glazes samples. There are also optional plug-in foot pedals as well as left-handed wheels that are available for left-handed people.
- It caters for left-handed people with the left-handed wheel heads that are available.
- The accompaniment of a two-year warranty.
- The small size of the wheel that takes into account its use in premium space.
- It is portable and can be carried from one place to another.
- It has a motor that provides smooth and quiet operation.
- The durability of the Speedball Portable Artista Pottery Wheel is ensured by the aluminum material used in the construction of the heel head.
- The belt easily comes off and taking it back to place is tedious.
- Not suitable for use with electric circuits.
- Could be hard to assemble.
The Speedball Portable Artista Pottery Wheel is a great choice in a case where you are planning to use it in premium space. It is also lightweight and therefore easily portable. Moreover, the aluminum that is used in the construction of the pottery wheel head makes it strong and durable as well as sturdy. You will be sure to encounter a smooth and quiet operation during the throwing process. Additionally, you can operate the wheel from a sitting or standing position. The two-year warranty that accompanies the purchase of this wheel is proof of the confidence that the manufacturers have associated with it. Despite the fact that it may be hard to assemble and use with electric circuits, it is a perfect wheel to purchase. This is because you can put it into operation under any small space that is available.
3. Potter’s Pottery Wheel by Brent, Model IE
- Centers 75 lbs. of clay
- Has a powerful 1/4 hp motor with speed control
- Adjustable for either floor or table height
- Heavy-duty frame, top and wheel head
- 5 year warranty from a top name in potters supplies
The pottery wheel has a sturdy posture that ensures it remains stable when put into use. The stability ensures that you will have an easy time when the process of throwing clay using this wheel commences. The wheel is able to handle a lot of clay at a time. It is made to handle up to 75 lbs. of clay for throwing. The wheel has a 12-inch diameter as well which aids in the accommodation of more clay than other available wheels can accommodate. The wheel’s body is made of an iron frame that holds a high-density poly table that has a laminate surface. The wheel is made of an aluminum wheel head that houses removable bat pins as well as a plastic bat. The aluminum material is durable enough to resist outside forces that may bring about rusting and other damage.
It has a powerful motor that is 0.25hp amp industrial grade. This means that the motor can be able to support the running of the pottery wheel for up to four hours a day for five days a week. This can happen for over five years before you can note any degradation in the service offered by the motor. Thereafter, the service can be restored by the use of a set of brushes which are easily installed.
This pottery wheel contains adjustable legs that are suitable to be used on table tops as well as while on the floor. This is one of the factors that increases the portability of the pottery wheel. There is an electronic controller that is used for the 0-240 RPM speed of the pottery wheel by the use of a cast aluminum foot pedal that is highly sensitive to pressure. The wheel as well consists of a belt that is used to control it. The poly belt is four groove and is designed to automatically tension itself with use.
Additionally, the wheel has a high-density propylene splash pan that is able to snap on and off, therefore, offering easy cleaning and maintenance options. The wheel has a five-year warranty that is attached to it on the purchase. This ensures that you can get it serviced freely for the first five years of its use. The wheel is made for use by the right hand only.
- The wheel head is made of a durable material that is long lasting and resistant to rust.
- The wheel is sturdy and reliable in the throwing process.
- It offers steady performance for a long time.
- It has an electronic controller that is used in controlling its speed. This makes its operation easy and simple enough to be conducted by a newbie.
- The adjustable legs ensure that the pottery wheel is portable enough in case you want to move it.
- It has a splash pan that is easy to clean and which prevents the wheel from causing messes on the floor or to its workspace.
- The wheel is suitable for use both on a table and on the floor and therefore provides convenience to a potter.
- The wheel is expensive as compared to other wheels in the market
- It is suitable for only right-handed people and therefore cannot be used by left-handed artists.
- The splash pan may cause limitations to the throwing process.
- You may need additional brushes for the wheel head to continue functioning well after some time.
The Potter's Pottery Wheel by Brent Model IE is made of durable material and this means that it will last long while serving you. The fact that it is steady and stable ensures that it remains reliable during the throwing process. The wheel is portable and contains adjustable legs which make it suitable for use both when on the floor and on the table. The key con of this wheel is the fact that it is only suitable for right-handed people. However, it remains a good choice for an artist.
4. Shimpo VL-Whisper Pottery Wheel
- Brushless DC Motor - Smooth, quiet, powerful, no maintenance
- Electronic Controller - Maintains desired speed under all load conditions
- Motor is protected from overload - Built-in Breaker
- Wheel-head Turns Freely At 0 RPM - 14" light alloy casting, drilled for bat-pins
- 5-year Warranty
This wheel consists of a brushless DC motor that is used during its operation. The motor operates in a quiet and smooth manner thus producing no noise. It is endowed with an electronic controller that helps in the maintenance of desired speed according to your needs. The controller is able to maintain a constant speed under all load conditions. The motor of this wheel has an inbuilt breaker that acts to protect the motor from any overloads.
It has a wheel head that has been allowed to turn freely at 0RPM. The wheel head also contains a fourteen-inch light alloy casting that is drilled to accommodate bat pins when needed. The purchase of this wheel is accompanied with a five-year warranty that also guarantees the high quality of the wheel. It has a remote foot pedal that is sensitive to high pressure and therefore aids in speed control of the motor as well. The wheel head of this wheel can be able to center up to 100lbs. of clay at a time making it a heavyweight pottery wheel. It is therefore suitable for making larger pieces of pottery including pots and bowls.
- It provides a quiet and smooth operation.
- It is a high-quality wheel that is durable enough and therefore recommended for a long-term potter.
- There are lots of operation power that has been associated with this pottery wheel.
- There is no maintenance that is needed for this pottery wheel. Once it is in operation, you can be able to use it for as long as you may wish.
- This pottery wheel comes with a warranty that ensures your wheel can be freely serviced for the amount of time as indicated in the warranty in case there are any problems that are detected.
- The ability to maintain constant as well as the desired speed under all load conditions.
- The fact that the direction switch shows the standard American anti-clockwise wheel motion as reverse may be confusing.
- Too much pressure applied on clay may slow down the throwing process.
- There is a possibility that the white plastic will stain with the clay’s color which is more often red.
The Shimpo VL-Whisper Pottery Wheel is recommended for its powerful nature during operation. The fact that it operates in a quiet and smooth manner is an added advantage. Also, it is accompanied by a five-year warranty that is meant to boost the confidence that comes with the purchase of this wheel. It is also made of a durable and high-quality material that guarantees its durability. Also, there is no maintenance needed for the wheel to continue operating while in stable and good condition. The main con of this wheel is the fact that the available plastics may get stained with the clay thus giving the impression that they are dirty. Also, if too much pressure is applied on the clay, the entire throwing process might be slowed down however, these cons are less significant and the Shimpo remains a good option of wheel especially for a long-term potter.
5. U.S. Art Supply Pottery Wheel with LCD Display
- POWERFUL & DURABLE: Professional heavy duty portable table top pottery wheel with a powerful 3/4 hp motor, 11" wheel head and two part slash pan. Holds up to 25 lbs. of clay.
- LCD SPEED DISPLAY: Easy to use LCD Display that's adjustable by a variable speed control knob or with the foot pedal when it's attached. Max Speed: 300 RPM.
- INCLUDES FOOT PEDAL: Comes with a foot pedal for hand less operation. Also comes with a 11" plastic bat and a cup.
- REVERSIBLE SPIN DIRECTION: Adjust spin direction for left or right handed use.
- USE FOR ALL SKILL LEVELS: Our durable easy to use pottery is great for use by beginners, but professional also love it because of the power it has for a portable unit. Includes User Guide Manual.
It consists of a powerful three-quarter hp motor which is able to rum the wheel efficiently. Its eleven-inch wheel head has a two-part splash pan whose purpose is to tame the anticipated mess. It hosts the wastes that would have otherwise landed on the floor and made cleaning a harder task for you. It contains an easy to use LCD display that is adjustable by a variable speed control knob. The attached foot pedal can also serve this purpose. It can run at a maximum speed of approximately 300RPM. There is a foot pedal that ensures hand less operation of the wheel. Additionally, there are an eleven-inch plastic bat and a cup. The wheel has the ability to reverse the spin direction at any instance during throwing.
- The wheel is powerful as well as durable. This has been ensured by the powerful motor that it uses for operation. The material that has been used in the manufacture of this wheel is also strong and sturdy as well as resistant to rust and other harmful external factors.
- The wheel is able to hold up to 25 lbs. of clay at a given moment.
- The LCD Display that is present is easy to use and remains adjustable. It can be adjusted by a variable speed control knob that is also attached to the wheel.
- The foot pedal ensures that there is hand less operation. This ensures that there is efficiency and convenience during operation since hands may slow down the entire process.
- The presence of a reversible spin direction ensures that the spin direction can be adjusted to suit either the right or left handed people to use.
- The wheel is easy to use despite your skill level. This is so because it has a user guide manual that accompanies it on the purchase. Professionals would also love it due to the power that it contains for a portable unit.
- Its price is affordable and one that matches the value associated with the wheel.
- This wheel can be a good option for a child as it can be stopped fairly quickly by withdrawing pressure from the foot pedal.
- The wheel is sturdy enough to stay intact in one place during operation and there are no risks of it tipping and falling or moving from one place to another during throwing process.
- The splash pans are made to come apart easily hence making cleaning an easy task.
- It may be hard to find legs for it.
- Splash pan may be hard to assemble.
- Wheel may be off balance after long periods of use making it difficult to center the clay.
- The wheel is quite heavy and therefore less portable.
The U.S. Art Supply Pottery Wheel with LCD Display is among the most affordable wheel options in the market today. It can be used by both right and left-handed people and this is an advantage. Also, the fact that the wheel is easy to stop makes it suitable for both adults and children. Additionally, the wheel is stable enough to stay intact in your workspace until you feel the need to move it elsewhere. Its main disadvantage is the fact that it may not be easily portable and assembling the splash pan might be quite a task. Despite this, it is incredibly powerful for throwing while remaining durable. The U.S Art Supply Pottery Wheel is, therefore, a viable choice of pottery wheel for both newbies and advanced potters.
How to Distinguish a Quality Pottery Wheel from Cheap Ones
A quality pottery wheel will in most cases have the capability to accommodate your growing molding needs. This may include your long-term goals such as the need to become a large-scale potter. You should also concentrate on the material that is used in the manufacture of the pottery wheel. This is because the material of the wheel upfront may go a long way in determining the longevity of your pottery wheel. Additionally, most quality wheels are portable. This may not be the case with the cheap pottery wheels. This is because most cheap wheels are made of poor quality material resulting in excess weight. More so, portability increases your flexibility in cases where you frequently change workstations.
The wheel head configuration is another factor that you can use to distinguish a quality from a cheap pottery wheel. This is because there are different designs that are used in the manufacture of pottery wheel heads and each design has its associated pros and cons. It is good that you pay attention so as to get a design that will offer you a quality and a longer lasting pottery wheel.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Pottery Wheel
Choosing a perfect pottery wheel for your needs is never easy. To get the best value for your money, there are some things that should check out in the wheel you plan to buy. Some of the factors that will help you to choose one to invest in are discussed below.
The Time You Plan to Use the Wheel and Durability
When you are investing in your first pottery wheel, you might want to get one that is fit for beginners which is okay. However, how long you plan to use the wheel highly affects the type of wheel you ought to buy. While maintenance plays a big role in determining the type of wheel you buy, the type of wheel you go with also affects how long it’s going to be around. Electric wheels have an estimated 10-year lifespan while manual (kick wheels) can last forever.
The battle of which is better between the two has been a never-ending battle with people having varied opinions on both wheels. Many people, however, confess to having an easy time throwing and reshaping when on the electric wheel due to its ability to adjust to speed. This makes it easy for beginners. The excess effort required in “kicking” is another thing that makes most people shy away from manual wheels. While manual wheels take time to master, they will give you a very slow, exciting and therapeutic experience. It takes artists to the very basics of pottery hence most veterans will have this kind of wheel. If you are torn between the two, getting a manual wheel and later purchasing a motor will help you enjoy the best of both worlds!
It is important to decide whether you will need a portable wheel for your needs. This is so if you will be moving regularly or shifting workplaces. Ensure to choose a smaller and lighter wheel as these tend to make the wheels more portable when compared to their larger counterparts. If you are a teacher, then this might be a very important factor to consider when purchasing a pottery wheel as you will need to carry it to different classes for illustrations and teaching. Also in the cases where you would like to take your wheel with you when traveling, it is important that you choose an easily portable machine. In such a case, you should rethink getting a kickwheel as they tend to have more parts. Kick wheels also seem to be heavier than the electric wheels and will, therefore, adding to the portability challenges.
The Wheel Head Configuration
The wheel head is the part that revolves where your clay will be formed during the throwing process. This part is located at the center of the pottery wheel. Wheel heads also come in different sizes and shapes. However, the most popular ones are flat and circular with metal surfaces. You will be tasked with choosing the size of wheel head that will suit your intended use. For instance, it is advisable that you choose a large wheel head in the case where you will be having projects that deal with large pottery pieces. In the case where you do not intend to create pots and bowls of large sizes, a smaller wheel head configuration will be appropriate.
Bats and Bat Pins
The bats and bat pins that will fit in the wheel head are another configurations to look at in the purchase of a pottery wheel. Bats are used when you want to throw a piece that will have a hard time lifting the wheel head. Ensure that the bats you choose will fit into the wheel head of your wheel perfectly. This is because the pin configurations, numbers as well as distances from the center of the wheel may vary from one wheel to another.
Easily removable bat pins will ensure that you can trim the pieces directly on your wheel head. In cases where you foresee need to trim your ware easily while it is still in the wheel head, ensure that you invest in a pottery wheel that has easily removable pins. In cases where you will be working in humid and moist environments, it is advisable to invest in plaster bats as they help in removing water. This may necessitate that you look for a pottery wheel that has a bucket-style wheel head hence one that is not flat.
Some pottery wheels are basic in the sense that they have only wheel heads, frame and power sources. However, there are advanced and sophisticated wheels that come with additional parts including splash pans, attached work tables as well as other numerous accessories. You have to consider the available space in the place where you would wish to accommodate your pottery wheel so as to decide the size of wheel that you will purchase.
In cases where you already have a work table, there may be no need to get a larger wheel. Additionally, if you need a pottery wheel that provides all the services in one, the ones with attached workspaces are available in different sizes as well and you will, therefore, be free to make your choice. Another aspect pertaining the workspace is the cleanliness of the area where you plan to house the wheel. Some wheels are accompanied by splash pans that prevent clay and water from spilling on the floor of your house. If you want to invest in a wheel with splash pans, you will have to set aside a larger space for accommodation as well.
Choosing the Best Pottery Wheel for Your Needs
Choosing the best pottery wheel that will suit your needs is not easy. Mostly because there are limited options in terms of wheel designs and functioning. This is especially a challenge to newbies who have no experience and might have not yet established what they need on a pottery wheel. Below are guidelines that will ensure that you choose the right wheel that will suit and satisfy your needs.
The Throwing Surface
This is usually the flat spinning disk that is located at the top of the throwing wheel. Ensure that you get a wheel whose throwing surface is rigid enough such that the support it obtains from the center is enough. Additionally, it should also be in a position to support a load that will be distributed across its surface without bending which in most cases comprises a potter and their hands. Also, since this is the place where a lot of human interaction with the machine takes place, it is important that the surface to be free of obstacles that might be harmful. The surface should also be able to act as a good surface on which you can throw clay.
You should assess what kind of work you will need the wheel for. In the cases where you need the pottery wheel to make larger pieces of pottery, it is advisable that you get a wheel with a larger workspace. This also means that the storage space that you set aside for this equipment should be larger. If you need a pottery wheel that will be accompanied with additional accessories, then this means you will only have to cater for storage space as the workspace would have already been catered for.
The Size of the Motor
The size of the motor is directly proportional to the amount of clay that you can center at a time. Most of the wheels will center a maximum of 50lbs of clay. However, it is important to note that it may need a high level of expertise before you can be able to center such an amount of clay. Wheels with larger motors are recommended as they will stay cooler throughout the throwing process, unlike their counterparts. Also, the power does not degrade as you use such wheels. This will ensure that the wheel will be in a position to serve you optimally.
This is an accessory that is not present in all wheels. It is therefore important that you figure out whether you need splash pans in your pottery wheels or not. The importance of slash pans is to reduce the mess that you might have during throwing process. Some potters tend to consider them unnecessary as they interfere with the throwing process. The presence or absence of splash pans in your choice of wheels narrows down to personal preference and style. It is important to invest in wheels with the accessory in the case where you will be dealing with the production of smaller clay equipment.
The Type of Wheels
There are different types of wheels. There are budget wheels that will in most cases work out fine but with some noise being produced. Also, these wheels may not be as powerful as other wheels. The standard, as well as professional wheels, are suitable for most potters. You will be sure to use them for a lifetime to satisfy your needs without the need to have them replaced. Moreover, it is important to notice that the most expensive wheels might not necessarily be the best wheels for your needs as a potter. It is important that you balance the features in a wheel ranging from the prices and this will ensure durability and satisfaction for your needs.
The Best Pottery Wheels Brands
Getting the best brand of pottery wheels can be quite a task for newbies. Below is a list of the best brands that are based on extensive research. We hope that this guide will help you to choose the best brands that will be durable enough while giving you the best service.
These wheels were first manufactured in the United States. The Brent Company was founded by Robert Brent and therefore the brand name became Brent. The founder, Robert Brent was a pottery innovator who was dissatisfied by the available brands of wheels in the market. The Brent wheels are characterized by the fact that their speeds can be controlled electronically. Their DC motor has permanent magnets attached to it as well. The company produced the first wheel with such features. With time the company also manufactured a kick wheel into the market which made it the most popular as well as successful wheel company in the world. Their wheels have since then been cited as popular as well as long-lasting. They provide you with the convenience and efficiency of use.
These wheels are known for their patented foot pedal that has made their operation smooth. This means that you will be likely to experience no noise when the wheel is in operation. The foot pedal is highly sensitive to pressure and this, therefore, increases the convenience of working with the wheel for throwing of clay. The controller used in operating the brand’s wheels is more expensive when compared to SCR controllers that are most commonly used for other brands. This makes the brand’s wheels capable of handling huge amounts of clay with ease.
The Shimpo industrial Company was started in 1952 in Japan and has grown over the years to produce one of the best quality pottery wheels that are available in the market. The brand produces wheels that have a very quiet operation. This means that there will be no noise produced during the operation of the wheel. Additionally, the company produces wheels that have good torque strength and this means that they can handle large amounts of clay at a given time. Moreover, the ease of use of the pottery wheel will be an added advantage if you choose these brand of wheels.
The Lockerbie Brand
This company was started in 1960-s. later, the company merged with Laguna Clay company that has since taken over the manufacture and marketing of the wheels. The wheels that are manufactured are lightweight and portability has been made a priority. In the case where you foresee the need to move from one place to another or travel with your wheel, this is the brand to look for. Additionally, the brand has improved the convenience and efficiency of their wheels as they are in a position to handle a good amount of clay for throwing at a time. The brand also produces a lighter-duty kick wheel that will help in the throwing of clay. The prices that have been associated with the brand’s products also match the value that is expected.
The company is well known for the production of high-quality electric wheels. The company merged with the Stuart pottery wheels company and has since then enhanced its wheel manufacture. The company aims at providing wheels that are durable enough to withstand harsh conditions. Also, the material used in the manufacture of the wheels is such that it can withstand high levels of friction.
The performance of these wheels has also been taken to another new level. There is the quiet operation of the wheels which is another advantage of this brand’s wheels. The company was the first one to manufacture and bring to the market the multi-sided hobby kilns. The company has since grown to pride itself in the production of ceramic as well as durable glass kilns. Also, it ventured into the production of both electric and kick wheels.
The above brands have therefore been ranked as the best in the market production and manufacture of quality, durable pottery wheels. We hope that the Surf’n’Buy guide will help you in making the decision of the brand from which to get your pottery wheel. The wheels from the above brands have been observed to offer ease of use as well as convenience and efficiency.
Pottery Wheels Parts and Accessories
There are various parts and accessories of the pottery wheels whose combined functions ensure the success of the throwing process. It is important to have knowledge on such parts such that in the cases where the wheels may not be working well, you can know how to troubleshoot it. Also, having knowledge helps in cases where such accessories may need to be replaced in cases of wear and tear or damage. Below are some of the parts and accessories of a pottery wheel that you may need to know.
The Splash Pan
This is one of the accessories that you may or may not need for your pottery wheel. It is used to prevent the mess where excess cay may spill onto the floor of the storage room or onto the rest of the workspace. However, some artists might find it not necessary as it may cause limitations to the throwing process. The splash pan may come in handy if you wish to throw smaller amounts of clay without messing the floor. This is subject to your preferences and style.
The Wheel Head
This is a revolving piece that has been mounted at the center of a pottery wheel. It forms the point at which your clay will form during the throwing process. Most of the wheel heads are flat with circular surfaces that are metallic. They are of different sizes ranging from eight to fourteen inches in diameter. The wheel head is the main determinant of the projects that your wheel will be able to handle. Larger wheel heads will give your pottery wheel the capability of throwing large pots and other pottery pieces that have wider bases. Smaller wheel heads will also make your wheel to throw smaller pieces of pottery work that may range from bowls to smaller pots.
Bats and Bat Pins
Bats can be described as thin disks that are made of plaster, wood or even plastic that are affixed to the wheel head using pins. The pins that fix bats to the wheel head are referred to as bat pins. Bats are used in circumstances where an artist is to throw a piece that seems too large to lift off the wheel head. Bats are of different dimensions and it is therefore advisable that you ensure to get those that will be a perfect fit for your chosen wheel head. It is also important to take time to choose the right dimension of bats since the pin configurations and numbers, as well as the distances from the center of the wheel heads, do vary.
Additional Pottery Equipment
Pottery and Clay Sculpting Tools with Apron
Miniature Paint Brushes
Shimpo Nidec Adjustable Potters Stool
Tips and Tricks
This section is meant to equip you with the knowledge that you may need to ensure your wheel lasts longer. Also, there are tips and tricks that will help you so that you can be able to throw the best clay while using your pottery wheel. These are a combination of smart ways and techniques to go about your pottery.
Select the Clay That Works Best for You
There is no shortcut to finding the clay that will work best for you. The best approach is to experiment with the various clay types that are available until you find a clay body that works best for you. If you are throwing big, it is advisable that you use softer clay and throw it dry. This will help you to come up with what will work best for you. Throwing the clay when dry will ensure that degeneration of the clay does not occur during the throwing process.
The next step is to wedge using the weight and strength of your whole body while on a wedging table. Ensure that the table is of appropriate height from which you can work comfortably. It is advisable that the height of the table be equal to the distance between the fingertips and the floor. If this is not available, raise your body using an aerobics riser for that purpose.in most cases, twenty pounds are more manageable to wedge with. The hardest part of wedging is, however, getting the ram’s head started. Ensure not to wedge an overwhelming weight.
Assume a Good Throwing Posture
The posture at the wheel is important as it dictates whether you will be comfortable or not during the process. Ensure to sit at the level of the wheel head while staying as close to the wheel as you can get. Sit with back straight back to avoid back pains as an aftermath of the throwing process. Ensure that your arms are locked on your body as this is a healthy and safe posture that makes efficient use of bone, muscle as well as gravity.
In cases where it is hard to avoid the hunched-over side view to see over your pot, you can place a mirror in your front as it will guide your posture. However, you might try alternative throwing positions such as throwing while standing or an alternative seating position to throw. Such positions may include a raised seat or raised wheel. If you choose the standing position, you will notice that positioning your back against the wall will do the trick of providing more strength and brace. In order to minimize the stress that may be exerted on your legs, you can opt to stand on a foam rubber floor mat.
Press the Clay Onto the Bat and Use Firm Open Hands to Begin Centering
Centering in a smart way is most important during the throwing process. Most people would firmly slap a clap of clay to adhere it to the wheel head or bat. It is important to note that early centering can be achieved by the use of several early rotations and firm open-ended slaps that are always aimed in and downward.
Next, you should press the base of the rotating lump of clay using your fingers as this helps to fix the clay onto the wheel head. It can also aid centering with extra rotations. The final centering while in the standing position can involve bracing your elbows against your abdomen. In the case where you are in a seating position, ensure that you keep your thigh parallel to the wheel head while keeping it high enough to press your elbow against it. If you want to move your body, ensure you move it as a unit so you can have more leverage over the clay.
A pottery wheel is a machine that is used during the throwing process where clay is thrown to ensure that the ceramic is shaped into the desired shapes. It may also be used during the trimming process so the excess and dried ware are removed. The pottery wheel can also be used to ensure that the pieces of equipment that are molded have decorations on them. There are factors that have to be put into consideration when purchasing pottery wheels and they have been highlighted in the guide above.
The cost of the pottery wheel could be another factor to consider. It is good to ensure that you do not exceed the projected budget while getting the features that you are looking for in a wheel. Also, there are tips that have been highlighted that are aimed at ensuring that you get the best-suited pottery wheel for your needs. The tips and tricks section ensures that you are well equipped with how to keep your pottery wheel in a good condition for long while also ensuring that its service does not deteriorate.
There is no need to scratch your head while trying to figure out the pottery wheel to use. This Surf’n’Buy’s guide ensures to give detailed information on the different aspects of pottery wheels that you may want to know. As a newbie or advanced potter, we hope that this guide will help you to understand your pottery wheel well while also making you more knowledgeable.