All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author.My ancestry and more personal notes are now at a revised version of "When I Was 75."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Simple trimming

Many of us potters trim quickly and there-you-go another pot is ready to dry and bisque.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a pottery teacher, so if I happen to do something ax*backwards, I can only say it works for me.

I spend maybe more time than I need to trimming.  Here's my process (since I don't have a griffin grip like a production potter would.)

First center it on the wheel...set it almost in the middle, turn the wheel slowly, and hold something steady to find where it's off-center...then tap it away from that point until it it truly in the center.

Then attach the pot to the wheel with little blobs of wetter clay.  The pot being trimmed is best in a leather hard stage where the top edge (against the wheel head) won't be easily bent out of shape any more.

Most of the extra clay is on the sides of the bottom third of the pot, which have been left thick enough to have the wet clay stand up when it's thrown.

I try to remember the round bowl shape on the inside (no flat bottoms anymore inside) and I have almost reached the point where the lump on the inner side of a beginning potter's bowl is missing.

The finish trimmed bowl has a much smaller bottom than the original one I started with.
I know a lot of potters prefer a bigger trimming tool.  You can see by the size of my shavings that I'm more hesitant to take off a lot of clay at once.  But it goes pretty fast.


  1. Superb :) Giffen grip: NO. A good potter does not need one. It takes 2 seconds to center a pot, lay on the clay wads and go, about as fast as a giffen grip, I have always thought!

  2. better safe than sorry in the trimming, nice tutorial

  3. You have a successful method that works very well for you. You don't have to use a Giffen grip if you are a production potter. Go to Tim See on Facebook to see how he does trimming! I use my Grip when I am doing the bases on square pots.

  4. Nice bowl! I have a giffen grip that I use for some trimming. Trimming is my least favorite thing to do.

  5. I've watched potters at work and find the whole process magical.


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