Lucy Essay

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POTTER’S WHEEL In pottery, a potter's wheel is a machine used in the shaping of round ceramic ware. The wheel may also be used during the process of trimming the excess body from dried ware and for applying incised decoration or rings of color. Use of the potter's wheel became widespread throughout the Old World but was unknown in the Pre-Columbian New World, where pottery was hand-made by methods that included coiling and beating. A potter's wheel may occasionally be referred to as a "potter's lathe". However, that term is better used for another kind of machine that is used for a different shaping process, turning, similar to that used for shaping of metal and wooden articles. The techniques of jiggering can be seen as extensions of the potter's wheel: in jiggering, a shaped tool is slowly brought down onto the plastic clay body that has been placed on top of the rotating plaster mold. The jigger tool shapes one face, the mold the other. There are many techniques in use for throwing ceramic containers, although this is a typical procedure: A round, moist lump of clay body is thrown down onto the wheel head or a bat attached to it. The lump is made even and forced to the center of the wheel by applying pressure with the hands. The thrower finds the center of the clay by moving a thumb across the lump until no more friction is felt. The thumb is pressed into the center of the lump, stopping about 5 mm from the wheel head. The hole thus made is widened. The sides thus defined are pulled up and made thinner by pressure between the hands. The vessel is shaped, and the mouth is smoothed. The vessel is cut from the wheel head with a cheese wire and left to stiffen. Sometimes the stiffened vessel is inverted on the wheel and trimmed with a sharp tool. A skilled potter can quickly throw a vessel from 15 kg of clay. Alternatively, by throwing and adding coils of

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