Is It Difficult To Learn To Use A Pottery Wheel? (How To Get Started)

There is no doubt that pottery making is an art. It has been around for thousands of years.

According to some estimates, the first forms of pottery making must have taken place somewhere around 29,000 BC. The first potteries were made for utilitarian purposes.

Clay cups and pots were used for eating, drinking, cooking and other purposes. Pottery making was popular and widely used because the raw materials that were required for making potteries were available in abundance.

These were clay and water because they were the only items required to make potteries of various sizes, shapes and designs.

The practicality, ease of making and ease of use are perhaps the main reason for the continuing and growing popularity of pottery making.

It is one of the oldest art forms that has grown and evolved over time, but it continues to be as popular as it was many thousands of years ago.

However, even today the entire art and skill of making pottery from rotating wheels still continues to be fascinating and even perhaps out of bounds for many hundreds of inquisitive and curious people.

Hence, in this article, we will try to honestly answer the question whether it is difficult to learn how to use a pottery wheel. However, it would be pertinent to mention here that before the pottery wheel was invented, potters used to make pottery items through coiling and hand building.

Pottery wheel was perhaps invented sometime around 1,300 BC. This led to the invention of other technologies including creation of ceramics. This technology was a big leap because it was able to take quite a bit of hard work off the shoulders of potters.

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This was just the beginning and today newer and more modern technologies have been pottery making even easier.

Today it is possible to make beautiful and awesome pottery items using the pottery wheel. It can be done quite easily and effortlessly. However, as a beginner you would like to know as to whether it is difficult to use a pottery wheel.

The answer is no, provided you know a few basic things about pottery making. Let us find out the ways by which you can start learning pottery making so that you are able to use the pottery wheel easily and without too much effort over a period of time.

How to Get Started Using The Pottery Wheel?

If you are a beginner there is no doubt that investing in a potter’s wheel could be quite expensive. They come with a large price tag attached to it.

Unless you are able to move from a world of hobby to something serious, you may not find it worthwhile investing big money buying a potter’s wheel.

The high-end pottery wheels come with a price tag that could run into a few thousands of dollars. However, the basic studio quality should come for around $650.00. The price difference depends on a number of factors such as your budget, your seriousness in pottery making and other such attributes.

Basically there are two types of pottery wheels and they are electric pottery wheels and the kick wheels. You must be in a position to identify as to which the better option is taking into account your specific needs and requirements.

Electric Pottery Wheel Could Be a Better Option for Beginners

As mentioned above, beginners may find it quite tough to use the advanced pottery making wheels. Hence, for new entrants, an electric pottery wheel is the best way forward.

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They are preferred because they are not too difficult to control. Further, the beginners will be able to center the clay easier and they are also more compact.

Electric pottery wheels are also lighter and in terms of size they are smaller than kick-wheels. It can easily be ported from one place to another without too much of a struggle. You have many sizes of electric pottery wheels to choose from.

You could go in for table top units that are compact and small. You also have wheels that are complete with full kits. They also have splash-pans and come with a work surface built in. Investing in an electric pottery wheel should make it easy to learn the first basic lessons.

You also will be amazed when you are able to make some high quality pottery items. If you do your research and buy the right electric wheel, you can be reasonably sure that it will last for around 10 years.

It should not take more than two years to become a reasonably proficient pottery maker and therefore you will get the best value for money.

How Difficult Is It To Get Started Using a Pottery Wheel?

This is a common question that comes to the mind of many people.

Is it very difficult to learn how to throw the clay into the pottery wheel while it is rotating? Yes, from a practical standpoint it is indeed tough. However, as mentioned above, if you are able to find the right electric pottery wheel making machine and if you are under guidance of a good tutor, you should not find the art of pottery-making too difficult.

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Yes, the level of difficulty in learning would depend on the individual student and it may not be possible to straight jacket all the students and paint them with the same brush.

There could be some students who may have a natural inclination as far as learning the basic skills are concerned. On the other hand, there could be others who may take some time to learn the tricks of pottery making and for them the whole thing could be a bit more difficult.

Like all skills it would always be better to practice pottery making as frequently as possible. Even if a person is able to spare around 2 hours per day, he or she should not find it too difficult to overcome the first jitters.

Here are a few tips that could help you to learn the art faster when compared to others:

  • Be casually dressed and do not go with quality and expensive dresses. This is not a fancy dress competition or a ramp walk. You have to literally soil your hand if you want to become a good pottery maker.
  • Be prepared mentally that quite a bit of soil and other ingredients will stick to your clothes and it may not easily go away.
  • Learn to be patient and learn one skill at a time instead of rushing things through.

If you are focused, and you have the right tutor to guide you and you also have the right pottery-wheel in your home, you should not find it too difficult to master the entire thing.

It will take some time and patience of course is the name of the game.