Instructions for a Roseart Pottery Wheel

By Larry Parr

Roseart pottery wheels are designed for children but are suitable for anyone learning how to use a potter's wheel. Because of the small motor used in the Roseart pottery wheel, never put more than approximately 8 oz. of clay onto the center of the wheel at any one time. Make sure that your kids wear an apron or old clothes that can become dirty with wet clay, which can be hard to remove from clothing. Expect a mess, so cover tables and surrounding area with plastic or newspapers.

Prepare the area by covering tables and rugs with plastic sheeting or newspapers. This is a messy project, and often it is difficult to get clay, especially colored clay, out of clothing or rugs.

Dress your kids in smocks, aprons and/or old clothes. Expect kids to get clay on clothing, and understand that it may not be easy or even possible to get clay completely out of many clothes.

Prepare an 8 oz. ball of clay. Knead the ball until the clay is soft and warm. Add just a little water to the clay to make it even more malleable.

Turn on the motor and let the pottery wheel get up to speed. Place the ball of softened clay as close to the exact center of the wheel as you can. Decide what you intend to make.

Wet your hands (or your child's hands) and then bring your hands up on each side of the ball of clay and press lightly until the clay begins to take shape. Rewet your hands frequently. Press your thumbs into the top of the clay to begin the process of hollowing out the center of your piece. Apply more pressure to force the clay into a taller shape. Wet sponges can also be used to shape the clay as the wheel spins. Use an even amount of pressure on both sides of the clay at the same time.

Have fun. It is more important for a child to have fun with their first few Roseart pottery wheel projects than it is for them to create something meaningful. Using the tip of a pencil scratch lines into the outside of your piece as decoration if you want. Turn off the motor.

Wrap a string or piece of wire around the fingers of both hands and stretch the string tightly between your hands. Using the string as a cutting tool, scrape it along the surface of the wheel directly under the clay piece, separating the clay piece from the wheel. Set the finished clay piece aside on a sheet of newspaper and allow it to dry overnight. Paint as desired.

Tip

Do not use your Roseart clay objects to hold water unless you have a kiln and can fire your objects.

About the Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide.