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Re: Teaching kids to center on the wheel

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From: Numo Jaeger & Michael Miller (jaegmil_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Nov 25 2004 - 09:15:38 PST


For folks that have trouble getting the centering process here are some
tips that I have given to my students in the past.

1) Try a small lump and do it one hand at a time. ( just like playing the
piano...you practice with one hand at a time and then you put it together)

2) Make sure that the lump you are trying to center looks like an old
fashioned bee hive shape. If it flares out at the bottom you will be
fighting yourself pushing clay off center on the bottom. Keep the tension
in the muscles by your pinkie fingers if your have both hands on the clay
while you are centering. Keep the tension on the pinkie of the right hand
on the side if you have one hand on the top and one hand on the side.

3) Clay reacts to fast movements. If you rapidly move your hands away from
the clay, it will not go on center. So always be in control of your muscles
even as you are taking your hands away from the clay. Centering is rather
like a martial art. (Controlled practiced movements) The tension in your
muscles must be there and the release of the tension is slow. When you look
at a potter throwing pots it may look like they just release the tension
but they do not do this.

Hope this helps.
Numo

At 12:58 AM 11/25/2004 -0600, you wrote:
>Happy Thanksgiving to All,
>I am in the middle of teaching a senior to work on the wheel.
>He cannot seem to understand how to center no matter how many times i show
>him and talk to him about the process.

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