It comes after throwing.
It is probably just as much of an art form as the throwing is, but I guess non potters don’t know it happens.
They probably think that you throw a complete pot, lift it off the wheel head, and it’s there complete and pretty.
You have to wait until it’s dry enough to turn. You take the pot, turn it upside down and put it on the wheel head. Then taking a tool, there are a few different types and each potter swears by their own tools, * and you trim off the excess clay from the bottom of the pot, shape it’s curves, accentuate it’s straightness, or add a foot ring.
I love making foot rings, when they go right they are bliss.
It’s at this point that you add your potters mark. Mind is a little owl, which is very sweet, though I might have to make a larger one the one I’m using at the moment is tiny.
Not the best pot I’ve ever turned, but it was on the wheel head when my daughter was able to photograph me, it’s hard to turn pots and take photographs at the same time.
And this is what you have at the end of a turning day.
Turnings, and old pots that just did not get through turning, or you just did not like. It’s quite good slicing old pots as you can see what the thickness of the walls are and how evenly, or not, they are thrown.
The turnings will dry out and then I shall add water and recycle the clay.
You did not know potters were green did you?
* the best potters turning tool I ever used was one owned by Jack Doherty. I was at one of his workshops and struggling turning a pot that was quite wet. Jack loaned me one of his tools, and I’ve looked for one like it, but all the ones I found were too large and not pointed enough. I realised that Jacks tool had been worn down by years of use, which is why it felt so perfect, and they don’t make them as if they have been worn down by use.