Ceramics: Beginning Wheel Throwing

My Cup Runneth Over 29Glazed and raku fired ceramic, 3.2 x 4.7 x 4.7 inches, (8 x 12 x 12 cm)

This course will explore techniques using the potter’s wheel. Students will explore a variety of processes and tools used in the creation/understanding/critique of ceramic artifacts formed on the wheel. This introduction to wheel throwing will provide students with the fundamentals of wheel forming, and designing ceramic objects from conception, through to forming, firing, glazing and reflection in class discussions.

Class Meetings

Greenwich House Pottery 16 Jones St, 2nd Floor Wheel Room, New York, NY 10014
Our class begins on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 through Tuesday, November 30, 2021
We meet for 12 weeks each Tuesday from 6:45pm-9:45pm

The first portion of each class session will generally include demonstrations and discussion format. The second half will generally be used for project work and one-on-one consultations.

Learning Outcomes and Assessable Skills

  • This class covers the basics of creating ceramic forms on the wheel and glazing techniques. 
  • An introductory understanding of the pottery wheel, and related tools, methods and materials. 
  • Basic working stages of clay: wet, leather soft, leather hard, bone dry 
  • Preparing your clay, Wedging and Kneading 
  • Centering on the wheel 
  • Creating multiple forms including cylinders, bowls, bottles, and plates 
  • Basic glazing methods: painting and dipping 
  • Reinforcement of craft knowledge and design principles through practice and reflection. 
  • An introductory understanding of firing processes and the effects of different kiln atmospheres and temperatures. 


Students encouraged to develop their throwing skills on the pottery wheel, and invited to develop an independent project of their own design. Our challenge is to employ various form making methods on the wheel in the creation of functional and/or sculptural work. The goals of this exercises are to challenge ourselves with new craft skills and learn consider how the elements and principles of design inform a personal visual vocabulary in clay.


  • A basic pottery tool kit (available in the office) which includes a wire tool, a rib, a small sponge, a fettling knife, a pin tool, a wood modeling tool, a large and small carving tool. 
  • It is helpful to keep a sketchbook for notes, ideas, and occasional handouts. 
  •  Some paint brushes of various sizes from small to 1.5 inches for applying slips and glazes. 
  •  A clean towel for each class, an apron, and a pair of shoes for use in the studio that you don’t mind getting clay on. 
Class Calendar
Week 1: Orientation, course logistics. 
Demo preparing our clay. Wedging, rams head, spiral; centering, coning; and creating a cylinder; Challenge: Make four types of cylinders on the pottery wheel taller wider concave convex 
Week 2: The Foot 
Discussion, considering the foot of your form; Demo turning a foot on the wheel; Challenge: Explore different ways to create a foot for your vessels
Week 3: Bottles and necks 
Demo adapting the form of a cylinder with collaring  
Week 4: Bowls 
Demo throwing bowls, challenge, throw a pair of bowls
Week 5: Plates 
Demo throwing plates; challenge throw a large plate 
Week 6: Surface design with slips 
Slips, trailing, sgraffito 
Week 7: Surface design continued 
Demo wax resist, slips with stencil, underglazes, and washes 
Week 8: Surface color and glazes 
Demo glaze application methods, brush, dip, pour, spray; discuss test tiles
Week 9: Handles 
Demo pulling and forming handles, lugs, knobs, etc; challenge pull a handle 
Week 10: Lids • Demo and design considerations for throwing lids 
Week 11: Kilns 
Discuss kiln types, firing atmospheres and cones 
Week 12: For our final class we will take some time to look at and discuss our projects. We will also have an opportunity to document our work and take time to celebrate our accomplishments. 



Topic: My Cup Runneth Over, Ceramics