• Katherine Fortnum

What's the difference between throwing and hand building?


Throwing and hand building are both methods by which you create items out of clay. You can create almost anything imaginable in clay but before you start making you need to decide the best way to build it. Throwing and hand building are both ways to create an item but both have benefits of building that way that the other doesn’t and both have advantages too.

Here’s some facts about both methods - Throwing

*Throwing on a wheel allows you to create pieces quickly *It is much easier to replicate an item, allowing for more ‘mass production’ *You can create cylindrical forms without the use of a mould *You can create very large pieces *Everything you make will be rounded, you can alter the shapes after throwing but that would be using hand building techniques to alter the thrown form.


Hand building

*You can create anything using hand building methods *Hand building consists of many methods you will have heard of - slabbing, pinching, coiling, press moulding, free form hand building. *You can create any shape including both cylindrical/round and flat/slabbed forms *You will use a variety of different methods when you hand build something *Hand building is time consuming


Yes there are advantages and disadvantages to both but when you are creating there’s so many variations...

*If you create an item on a wheel, once made you can alter the form and essentially hand build with the thrown form *Once you have created your shape on the wheel you can add additional pieces to it, e.g. a thrown vase can then have hand built 3D pieces attached to it. *Some items require both throwing and hand building, e.g. you can throw a teapot but you would need to hand make the handle (you can of course hand make the entire item).

Basically when you are creating an item from clay you will almost always use a mix of building methods, whether the reason is for speed, for aesthetics or personal choice.

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