My principal tool of production is the potter’s wheel. I built my momentum wheel not long after graduating, inspired by similar wheels that I’d seen visiting various studio potters in the UK, and also an article written by the late Patrick Sargent. It is driven by hand to begin with using a broom handle socketed into the wheel-head, or later in the process of throwing larger pots, my foot advances the speed of rotation. There is a very natural rhythm in using this style of wheel where the momentum suits the requirements of the soft clay; the greatest speed is needed at the beginning of the process for centring, opening out and making the first wall lift. As the momentum of the wheel falls, so this decreasing wheel speed suits the final shaping and finishing of the pot.
I have always celebrated the joy of process and the tranquility of this wheel. Here I also now champion ‘Shimpo’ for their electric ‘Whisper’ wheels which offer the same luxury of silent momentum, and on which I currently throw much of my smaller work.
This slideshow illustrates various aspects of wheel-throwing, altering and decorating, as well as subsidiary related process like handling.