Wheel Throwing- Sept 2017

Both of our Wheel Throwing classes continue to sell out!  There is a special connection to the earth and meditation as we work with clay and learn to center.  There are many metaphors for the experience on the wheel that reflect every day life.  The kids are not only having fun learning a new art medium, but they are also learning to connect with earth’s primal substance- MUD!  And what child doesn’t like the sensory experience of working with this squishy substance?!

Our Wheel Throwing classes are broken into 2 Age Groups; K-8 yr olds & 9-11 yr olds. Essentially, we are working on the same things in both groups, though.

First, we learned what it is like to work in a real, “Adult Art Studio!”  The kids learn to respect and admire the works around them and what all those tools do.  We discuss how the wheel and the kilns work, safety precautions, and learn how to set up and clean up our space.  I can’t tell you how many of these guys love to mop!

We discuss the difference between Wheel Throwing & Hand Building and the kids learn how round shapes are made on the wheel.  In order to throw pottery on the wheel we learn a basic sequence in class:

  1. Wedging the Clay- Getting the air bubbles out and preparing it for the wheel
  2. Centering the Clay- Patting the clay in the center & learning to cone up and down while compressing the clay from the sides and the top (this can be challenging for newbies.)
  3. Inserting the Hole into our Piece
  4. Pulling out the Walls
  5. Pulling up the Walls
  6. Shaping our Piece

Wheel 2017

Kate, Skye, & Vinny are wedging their clay.


Ryder is centering and coning up his piece here!


Skye is pulling up her clay to create the walls of her piece!

These techniques look easy but they take time and patience to learn.  Some days we have what we call, “floppers,” and that’s ok too.  It’s all in the learning process.  All of the kids have created several pieces in the first month and are already eager to fire them and glaze.  I remind them, though, that we will be waiting until our last 2 classes to glaze all of our beautiful pieces together!  By the end of our classes, we will just about fill up the kiln!

We are having so much fun working with clay and learning the Art of Ceramics!  I am enjoying seeing the lights turn on when the kids are in the zone and also how we learn to be ok with impermanence when we have a piece that doesn’t make it.  Like the earth that goes round, we learn and grow in the studio!

Stay tuned to see more of what we are doing in Wheel Throwing!  Share with your friends and family and fill free to email classes@trailheadkids.org  with questions and comments!



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