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I am a beginning pottery student, and I was excited to have the opportunity to review Basic Throwing Skills. I had very little informal instruction during Art Club in high school, so I was looking for a video that would give me the fundamental techniques to begin my journey on the pottery wheel. I have to admit, when I first saw that this DVD was only 33½ minutes long, I did not believe that it would be a very comprehensive introduction to throwing on the wheel. I’m happy to say that I was wrong.
The host, potter Alleghany Meadows, begins with a brief introduction to the tools of the potter. He then demonstrates proper spiral wedging techniques. Not only does he demonstrate the correct techniques, but he also demonstrates common errors that beginners tend to make, along with methods to correct those errors. Meadows does the same with the process of centering clay.
Meadows then moves into a demonstration of the process of throwing cylinders and bowls. One of the things that I liked best about these demonstrations was that the video was taken from both a bird’s-eye-view and a tight close-up from the side of the wheel. I’ve watched other videos that showed the process from a distance, which does not give the viewer a feel for hand positioning, probably the most important aspect of throwing on the wheel.
Meadows provides us with cross-sections at various stages of throwing the form. Using these cross-sections, he shows exactly where his hands are positioned on the finished pot. If you had any doubt about positioning before, these cross-sections clear them up completely.
It is obvious that Meadows is a skilled instructor who is very comfortable teaching beginner potters. His methods are easy to understand, and he thoroughly explains each movement as he performs it. I highly recommend this DVD to any beginning potter.
Title: Ceramics: Basic Throwing Skills
Length: 34 minutes
For more information, visit www.crystalproductions.com.