Get in touch!

Use the form on the right to contact Michael Kline!

192 Jim Boone Rd
Bakersville, NC, 28705
United States

828-675-4097

The central information hub for Michael Kline Pottery, a small one man shop of pottery making in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Thanks for visiting.

Capping and Throwing a Big Jar

The Best of Sawdust and Dirt

A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!

Capping and Throwing a Big Jar

Michael Kline

Today I made jugs. (or maybe you call them bottles?)

Anyway, it made me think of one of my favorite posts from the early blog days of 2007. I still make pots in the same way, except the cordless headphones are long since gone and I don’t have the ball opener installed (yet). ;-) [See original post here.]

Enjoy. If you have questions or comments, leave a comment, below. ;-) I would love to answer them!

thanks, Michael

Here are the tools on my bench...

Centering about 8 lbs of home clay

Opening the bottom with a ball opener/bottom maker.

Here I open the bottom of the pot with ball opener in my left hand and sponge in my right hand. I forgot to take off my geeky wireless headphones for the photo shoot!?#@!

I am measuring the bottom section to match it to the previously thrown cap. I usually throw the cap ever so slightly smaller than the bottom section.

Here I am adding the "cap" that I actually made before I threw the bottom section. I measured the cap before I took it off the wheel with my calipers, then set it aside. The cap is slightly smaller than the bottom section. One advantage to capping is that the clay is still wet and can still be stretched and thrown. The other advantage is that the torque in the clay, or the throwing lines are in the same direction in both sections.

The two sections are "welded" together. With my left(inside) hand I move at the same time as the right (outside) hand and in the opposite direction.

Then I make the opposite move with the weld. This "cancels out" the marks so that when the pot is turned you don't get caught in the ruts of any makes you have made.

The section is ribbed and thrown.

After the sections are thrown together and consistent, the rim is measured for the next cap.

A new cap is thrown. The cap has no bottom and the ball opener rides on the wheel head.

Measuring the cap. Throw the cap wider at the base then you think you may need. Its always easier to narrow than widen. When I cut the cap off, and set aside I always make the table wet so the cap doesn't stick to the table when I need to lift and put into place later.

The cap is set in place. I really don't score the sections, but I make sure that the section below is scraped of slurry.

The second cap is thrown into place and the rim is set.

The whole pot is ribbed and thrown into shape. At some point I rib from the inside only , but I find that the "line" of the pot looks stronger if you can thrown the shape in rather than just ribbing it. I didn't photograph the 5 inch stand that I have to get up on while doing these final reaches for the bottom. Also either roll your sleeves up or wear a cut off shirt and mind your apron. These can snag your pot and ruin it.

Here we see our geeky potter hamming it up after the work is done. Handles will go on the jar in the morning.