Pottery Wheels Buying Guide
If you don't know what you're looking for, buying a pottery wheel can be a big investment that leaves your wallet feeling empty and your heart feeling as cold as clay . Read this guide so you don't get stuck with a shoddy wheel or one that doesn't suit your needs. With a little bit of research, you can happily begin a stress-relieving hobby that could result in some great pieces of art .
Cost and Shelf-Life
- Because pottery wheels can be such a major expense, it's important to comparison shop. You can check with online suppliers as well as local ceramic and artist suppliers to get an idea of the best wheel for your buck. And if you do order online, remember to figure in the cost of shipping to the actual cost of the wheel itself.
- Just because you're a beginner doesn't mean you have to get a beginner's wheel . If you invest in a standard pottery wheel, it can last you anywhere from a decade to a lifetime, if properly cared for.
|Types of Wheels|
- An electric wheel is powered by a motor. While some electric wheels have two fixed speeds, most are connected to a foot pedal that allows the potter to manipulate the wheel's speed and thus enjoy better clay control .
- It's also important to note the motor size of an electric wheel. The size is expressed in fractions of horsepower, and the greater the horsepower, the more clay the wheel can handle.
- Lighter and smaller than kick wheels, and some are fairly easy to move from one location to another.
- You can throw it faster, which is necessary for production work.
- Reliance on electricity can be expensive.
- They can be noisy.
- The fast speed can prove difficult for Inexperienced potters.
- If you need to frequently move your wheel from room to room, a tabletop wheel may be a better choice.
- A kick wheel is a heavier potter's wheel propelled by a person's foot kicking the cylinder at the bottom.
- They are best suited for a ceramics studio where they will remain in one location.
- You have the option of kicking for better speed control, or relying on the electric motor to centre large amounts of clay.
- Extremely durable and long lasting.
- Very low maintenance and will usually last a lifetime.
- Easily allows for both counter-clockwise and clockwise rotation of the wheelhead for both right-handed and left-handed throwing.
- Extremely difficult to move and transport because they are so heavy.
- Long-term could result in knee problems and/or aggravate arthritis.
Tabletop or Portable Pottery Wheels
- If you don't have the space for a large potter's wheel, a tabletop or portable wheel is a good choice, as they can be easily moved from place to place and are small enough to fit practically anywhere.
- Small and lightweight.
- Easy to store.
- Some have folding leg sets.
- Don't necessarily give you the full "feel" of throwing.
- Cannot operate at very high speeds.
Accessories for potter's wheels include splash pans and throwing bats .
- Removable splash pans help contain messy clay and water and make clean-up easier.
- Splash pans that are not removable may have a drain to remove excess water.
- Throwing bats are disks of plaster, plastic or wood that are set on the wheel head so that the ball of clay is thrown on the bat, rather than the wheel head itself. This makes it easier to remove your finished piece intact.