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Using Templates to Throwon the Pottery Wheel
by William Schran
hen my beginningwheel-throwing stu-dents have developedsucient acility withclay, they’re assigned the project o creating a set o our matching cups.Though I’ve demonstrated how tomeasure their orms using calipersand other devices, I continue to ob-serve them experiencing diculties.In an eort to overcome this stum-bling block, I showed them a tech-nique successully used by studentsin a beginning handbuilding class.This technique involves usingtemplates to repeatedly create aneven, symmetrical orm. In the coil-building exercise, you position thetemplate next to the pot as coils areadded, making certain the pot con-orms to the prole o the template.The template is then used as a ribto scrape the surace as it's rotated,creating a smooth, uniorm surace.
Making a Template
Any number o objects can be em-ployed to design templates that havea variety o shapes. French and shipscurves, ound in drating or me-chanical drawing sets, are excellenttools or creating proles or wheel-thrown vessels. A variety o caliperscan be taken apart to create anynumber curved orms. Lids o vari-ous sizes can be combined to createa mixture o curves. This process canalso be used to produce templateswith more complicated and com-pound proles with relative ease.
Assortment o bottle orms made with templates.Some o the shapes used to create design templates.