When I first started throwing I purchased a standard tool set and went at it. One of the things you learn when you get into working on the potter's wheel is that there is no right way or wrong way of throwing, only what works best for each potter. The end result is a mixture of throwing styles that are learned and adopted as you experience different throwing styles and different learned experiences. Getting to that end result, be it functional or artistic, is all about the process.
When I sit down to throw, I normally go through my collection of way TOO MANY tools and always seem to settle on the same grouping. These are my "go to tools" that I reach for each time. For me they are sort of like the basics that I know I will probably want each time I begin to throw.
Some of these tools are found, some are created, and some are purchased but all perform particular tasks that bring to fruition the final piece that I have in mind.
There are a few tools that are not used for throwing at all, and yet they have become an intricate and important part of my throwing process :).
And there is one tool, that no matter what I do, I loose track of it EVERY TIME I throw.
I tell all my students when they first start that their needle tool will be one of the most necessary tools that they will use, and the one the they constantly LOOSE!
In truth, I am a messy potter. I don't mind admitting it, and I frequently will leave my wheel uncleaned if I am going to return to it the next day. I am getting better about being a cleaner potter, and I am also experimenting with a variety of ways to NOT LOOSE that needle tool. So far I have experienced more success with cleanliness than with tool location, but there is always hope!
At the Studio we offer pottery wheel throwing classes in monthly sessions and also in a Try It Session. Our Try It Session is designed to give you a good feel for what it is like to work on the potter's wheel and we have shared our love of clay with beginner potters from all over the world! If you are interested in giving the wheel a try, don't worry about the tools, we have you covered...even down to that pesky needle tool!!
Give the Studio a call if you are interested in signing up for pottery making classes, or what to come in for a Try It Session. Our Studio schedule is flexible. If you don't see a time that works for you, just give us a call and we will create one that does! (540) 364-2834