5/27/24 Beginning Wheel Throwing Pottery Class with Reese Nguyen (2024)

Get your hands dirty as you explore the art of wheel thrown pottery!

Join Reese Nguyen on Monday, May 27th from 5:30 to 8:30 as she teaches you how to center clay on a wheel, form a cylinder and ultimately how to make several small bowls or dishes.

This class helps the beginner learn about the process and techniques of wheel throwing; and provides potters of various levels more opportunity to master their skill.

Reese is a local artist, recently graduated from Queens University of Charlotte. She has a passion for making art and creating in different mediums as a form of self care. She will start a clay making internship with StarWorks in the summer and is currently interning with the Arts Council of Moore County.

Important Information About This Class

The following information is geared toward the absolute beginner and hope that the following information helps you to approach class with realistic expectations and a hopeful beginners mindset.

First, if you've never ever touched clay before, we highly recommend that you join us for one of our hand building classes prior to wheel throwing as it's very helpful to have a feel for the clay and the manners in which we manipulate it.

No one easily creates big beautiful bowls when they sit down at the wheel for the first time. It's a process, and it takes time to master it. The skills that you learn in each class will build on one another, and we encourage you to embrace this progress as a measure of your success.

Dress comfortably and casually as pottery throwing tends to be a messy endeavor. Bring an apron if you'd like to wear one.

Trim your fingernails before class. While short nails aren't required, we find that it's a bit easier to throw pottery with them.

Each wheel throwing class will last for 3 hours. This includes 2 1/2 hours of instruction and a 1/2 hour for cleanup. As potters in a community studio, we strive to leave our work spaces better than we found them.

No one easily creates big beautiful pottery bowls when they sit down at the wheel for the first time. (This one was worth mentioning twice! lol) And while we love the movie, Ghost, throwing pottery on the wheel is more challenging and less sexy than Demi and Patrick made it look.

You can expect to yield 2 - 4 miniature masterpieces from this class. These pieces tend to include tiny bowls, coasters, spoon rests, and other similarly sized forms. As your skills grow, the size of your thrown pieces will grow too.

After class, Reese will finish each piece that you create. They'll be trimmed, dried, fired in our kiln, glazed, dried, and fired in our kiln again. This entire process can take up to a month, depending on the humidity level, and the time that it takes your pottery to thoroughly dry between kiln firings. We'll update you by phone or text when your pottery is ready for pickup.

To allow the most individualized attention possible, class size is limited to 5 students, 1 per wheel.

The all inclusive price of this class includes supplies, tool usage, glaze selection, 2 kiln firings, and instruction.

But I Want More!

Two of the most common things that we hear at the end of a wheel throwing class are, "I was just getting the hang of it!" and "I don't want to stop throwing!", and we love this enthusiasm!

We have several solutions for this:

  • Enroll in another session with Reese to build on your newly established skills.
  • Enroll in Beth's Novice Class where she takes you through the process throwing to glaze and firing. To maximize your chances for success, we recommend that you previously attended at least two beginner classes
  • Apply for a Pottery Membership at ARTworks Vass. Click here to learn more.

Other Important Information:

  • Registration allows for 1 person per class.Only those who have registered may participate.
  • Registrations are non-refundable.
  • For all of our classes, we have a "No Refund No Credit Policy". For Wheel Throwing Pottery Classes specifically, because there are only 5 Students in each class, if you don't attend for any reason we'll provide you with 2 tiny pottery bowls created by one of our instructors. These will be of the "sauce size" typically created in class.
  • Dress to mess and/or bring an apron!
  • Class starts promptly, so be sure to arrive on time.
  • At ARTworks Vass, you're always welcome to bring your own Nibbles and Sips to class.
  • Clickhereto read theARTworks Vass Disclosure and Liability Waiver for All Classes and Events

Register online here or call us at 910-245-4129 to save your space in class.

Clickhereto request more information on scheduling a private class for a group of 5.

5/27/24  Beginning Wheel Throwing Pottery Class with Reese Nguyen (2024)


What is the first step to wheel throwing called? ›

Before clay can be thrown, it must first be worked in a method called wedging, which reduces the number of air pockets in the clay and creates a uniform texture (2). The wet clay is then thrown onto the center of the wheel so that it will maintain contact with the wheel head while the wheel is in motion.

Why do we throw clay? ›

Throwing is actually one of the best tests of plasticity (since there is no reliable instrument that can measure this property). Simply taking two pieces of clay of the same weight and throwing the largest thinnest vessel possible of each compares their plasticities.

How long does it take to get good at throwing pots? ›

It can take a few sessions to make some nice pots, but refining your pottery craft can take anywhere between 3000 and 10,000 hours or 2-10 years. Reframing to a realistic and open mindset will shift how hard it seems.

How difficult is wheel throwing? ›

Is wheel throwing hard? Wheel throwing takes practice, patience, and time to grasp. Every beginner potter learns to let go of attachment to certain pieces while throwing them on the wheel since breakage and mishaps can be common.

How long does it take to learn wheel throwing? ›

Pottery wheel throwing is the process of forming clay into shapes like mugs, bowls, and plates. Though it takes years to master, the basic skills and methods can be picked up in just a few hours, allowing everyone – from total beginners to pottery maestros – to create something wonderful on the wheel.

What is a Potter's wheel answer? ›

In pottery, a potter's wheel is a machine used in the shaping (known as throwing) of clay into round ceramic ware. The wheel may also be used during the process of trimming excess clay from leather-hard dried ware that is stiff but malleable, and for applying incised decoration or rings of colour.

Is throwing clay toxic? ›

Clay. Inhalation of all clay materials especially silica can damage your lungs. All clay bodies contain some free crystalline silica which can scar your lung tissue and cause irreversible loss of breathing capacity.

Why do you cut pottery in half? ›

when practicing pottery, cutting thrown pieces in half can be a really good tool. to show how well you're throwing. on the piece shown in this video, I can see that. I made the top too thin compared to the rest of it. the thinness made it so I couldn't.

What is the first step in throwing clay? ›

1. Wedge clay well, form into a round ball. 2. Throw the clay onto center of a bat on the wheel.

How long does it take to get better at pottery? ›

On average, it can take several months to a few years to become proficient in pottery.

Is it hard to learn how do you throw pottery? ›

Learning how to wheel throw can be challenging. It is a skill that requires a lot of practice, just like playing the piano, or driving a car. Often, beginner potters will get frustrated and ask what the "magic trick" is to centering clay.

Is pottery a cheap hobby? ›

With the availability of budget-friendly clay and equipment, it is now easier than ever to start a pottery hobby without breaking the bank. Many communities offer pottery classes or studios that provide access to equipment and materials at a reasonable cost, making it more affordable for beginners.

Why is throwing clay so hard? ›

First, be sure your clay is not too dry. Dry clay is hard clay. It is difficult to throw and is rough on your body. Second, be sure your clay is not too soft.


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