Wheel Throwing
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Wheel Throwing

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Wheel Throwing

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Wheel Throwing


- The earliest forms of the potter's wheel were tournettes, or slow wheels.- Tournettes, in use around 3,500 BC in the Near East, were turned slowly by hand or by foot while coiling a pot. Only a small range of vessels were fashioned on the tournette, suggesting that it was used by a limited number of potters.- The introduction of the slow wheel increased the efficiency of hand-powered pottery production.


Later the fast wheel was developed, which operated on the flywheel principle. It utilized energy stored in the rotating mass of the heavy stone wheel itself to speed the process. This wheel was wound up and charged with energy by kicking, or pushing it around with a stick, providing a centrifugal force. The fast wheel enabled a new process of pottery-making to develop, called "throwing", in which a lump of clay was placed centrally on the wheel and then squeezed, lifted and shaped as the wheel turned.

Potter's Wheel, Egypt, 2400 BCE


By the 18th Century the wheel was no longer turned by the potter's foot but by small boys apprenticed to the potter, and since the 19th century the motive power has been mechanical. The first evidence of the potter's wheel was found in Egyptian paintings. Pottery in Egypt was a skilled craft in the Early Bronze Age. Potters were revered members of society. Perhaps the most skillful of all potters have been the Chinese.



Many cultures have a strong ceramic presence:Greek RomanChinese Egyptian