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"Pottery on the Wheel" Can Help Beginning Throwers

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Cover image of the book, 'Pottery on the Wheel'.

Cover image of the book, 'Pottery on the Wheel'.

Photo Beth E Peterson

The Bottom Line

This is a great step-by-step book for anyone who is beginning to throw on the potter's wheel. The explanations are concise, down-to-earth, and without jargon. If you are just learning to throw, this book will certainly help you.
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  • Includes helpful summaries of the major points discussed for pertinent sections.
  • Great sequencing of step-by-step and cut-away photographs.
  • Covers the basics of throwing up to creating lids, spouts and handles.


  • Color photographs would have definitely enhanced the book.
  • Writing is somewhat dry in its unrelentingly textbook style.


  • Paperback, 8.5 by 11 inches, 238 pages, by Elsbeth S. Woody. First published 1975, re-released 2008. B&W photographs.
  • Broken into four parts: Basic Shapes and Techniques, Trimming, Specialized Throwing Techniques, and Throwing Specific Forms.
  • Includes a glossary and an appendix covering clay and clay bodies, glazes and glazing techniques, and kilns and firing.

Guide Review - "Pottery on the Wheel" Can Help Beginning Throwers

Pottery on the Wheel was first published in 1975 and has been re-released in 2008. It could easily be used as a textbook on beginning throwing techniques. The writing is clear and to the point, with the photographs illustrating the text quite well as far as visual content. This is a book that can really give a beginning potter a step up in developing their throwing skills.

Unfortunately, in many cases the black and white photographs are rather dark and at times the depth of field is too narrow, resulting in some fuzziness. Although these photographs do the job, I believe that new, full-color photographs would have added more clarity.

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