1. Prepare clay by wedging it to get all the air out. I use the rams head technique. To do this, you take a manageable lump of clay, about 1kg and pat it into a ball. You then cup your hands around each side and push forward and down using the heal of your hand. It’s like a rocking motion of push and pull. So pull back with cupped hands and heal forward. Do this about ten times.
2. You will need a jug of water, a sponge, a wire, a tile or batt to place your bowl on, some soft plastic/polythene to cover bowl lightly when it has dried a little.
3. Place the ball of clay on the wheel head. Wet your hands and place your left hand around the clay, then place your right hand over the top of the clay grasping the left hand thumb whilst the wheel is spinning fast. Lock your arms and stay steady with this technique and the clay will be centered.
4. Place your right hand around the clay as it spinning and place the thumb of your right hand and first two fingers of left hand and press down on in the centre of the clay. Continue down until you have 5mm for the base of bowl.
Then staying steady with hands locked together, pull the clay towards yourself. Because the clay has been stretched at the base you will need to compress it to make it strong again so with the index finger from left hand at 3 o’clock inside the bowl slide two finger into the Center a couple of times.
Slow the speed down , place your left hand over the clay rim and use the right hand to push upwards and resist a little with fingers on the inside.
To pull the clay up, use the knuckle of your right on the outside of bowl, place fingers of left hand inside, connect the the thumb of the left hand like a puzzle to the right hand. Keeping hands steady, slow the speed down a little then put pressure on the knuckle and make a groove at the base of bowl, slowly pull up the clay keeping the pressure steady on the outside and resisting with the fingers on the inside. Pull up and come off gently at the rim.
To form the bowl, support the clay on the outside of bowl with a flat hand and with a sponge press into the base, in line with the fingers on the outside. Continue this motion all the way to the rim and gently come off.
Do this a second time using just the fingers on the outside. Using your sponge take out any water that is in the bowl while it is spinning slowly. Use the sponge to clean around the base.
Stop the wheel and using a wire held beltween thumb and forefingers in both hands, place hand over and behind bowl then pull under the bowl keeping the wire tight towards you. Do this once more then slide the bowl off the wheel head and onto it.
Stop the wheel and using a wire held between thumb and forefingers in both hands, place hand over and behind bowl then pull under the bowl keeping the wire tight towards you. Do this once more then slide the bowl off the wheel head and onto it.
All photographs taken from my camera.