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How To Throw A Cup

How To Throw A Cup

Enjoy your morning tea or coffee in a handmade cup! Professional potter Ricky Grimes shows you how to make your own cup using an electric potter's wheel.

You Will Need

  • 500 g clay
  • 1 needle
  • 1 bamboo tool
  • 1 metal kidney
  • 1 trimming tool
  • 1 piece of wire
  • water


Place the lump of clay in the centre of the wheel and pat it down. Put some water on your hands and on the clay, start the wheel and squeeze the clay up and down to release any air bubbles.

Place your left hand around the top side of the clay and rest it there. Take your right hand and place it over your left hand and push down into the centre of the clay with your thumb to form a cylinder. With your thumb parallel, press into the clay again, pushing out the sides but keeping the top the same shape. Then, with your right hand thumb on the outside of the clay and your fingers on the inside, curl the top of the cylinder outwards to create a lip. Smooth out and compact the base of the cylinder with your fingertips. Smooth the sides using the same motion.

Lubricate the sides of the cylinder using the sponge. Bring the sides up and out by squeezing them gently with your finger. Soften the lip of the cup shape using your sponge.

Trim the excess clay from the bottom of the cup using the trimming tool. Smooth out the sides of the cup using the metal kidney. Smooth it around the cup gently. Add some water to the wheel head, take the wire and gently slide it under the cup to prevent it from sticking to the wheel.