Updated: November 2017
Pottery Wheel Reviews:Pottery is an art form that goes back for centuries; before it was considered art, pottery had a purely utilitarian function. People made clay pots for cooking, storing food, drinking, and eating, using what was most abundant for them, the clay of the earth. The beauty of pottery comes partly from its practicality; but it also comes from unleashing something from a mound of clay. The earliest ceramics were constructed by coiling the clay and pinching it together. The pottery wheel was developed as early as 1400BC to help make this process faster and take some of the work from the potter. Today's potter's wheels are more advanced, but the goal is the same: to help the artisan create a functional and beautiful piece. Where do you start? What kind of pottery wheel should you get? What do you need to look for, and how much will it cost? We'll help you find the answers.
Choosing a Pottery Wheel - Potter's wheels are a major purchase; for quality wheels, you can expect to pay from several hundred dollars to thousands. Your choice will largely depend on your budget, but it will also depend on your needs as an artist and the type of workspace you have. There are two basic kinds of pottery wheels: electric and kick wheels. Which should you get? Electric pottery wheels are the clear choice if you need portability. If you don't have a fixed studio, for instance, it will be impossible to have a kick wheel because they are so large and heavy. Electric models are smaller and lighter. In addition, you will find that it is much faster to throw pottery, which may be necessary for your purposes. On the flipside, you'll need a source of electricity and the wheels can be somewhat loud. You have to balance your need for transportability with this, and many find that electric is exactly what they need. With proper care and maintenance, electric pottery wheels can last for upwards of 10 years. Kick wheels are more cumbersome. Once you have one in place, you probably want to keep it there. They are very heavy and hard to move. A kick wheel doesn't require electricity, but it does require you to power the wheel with your legs - you literally kick it. While this can be particularly soothing and relaxing, it can aggravate arthritis or knee problems. You don't have to put much force into your kicks at all, but the repetitive motion may irritate some people. On the other hand, kick wheels are extremely durable. You don't have to worry much about maintenance and they should last a lifetime. You can kick clockwise and counter clockwise, which allows more comfortable throwing for righties and lefties, and many models come with a motor to help you get the flywheel up to speed. Otherwise, you don't need electricity. Many artists just like the feel of a kick wheel better. You can see an electric pottery wheel in action here (notice that the artist doesn't have to worry about kicking the wheel):
Notice, too, the buzz of the motor. Here, you can see a kick wheel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cupzcDzZFr8). Should You Opt for a Less Expensive Pottery Wheel? - This is a common question, especially after you encounter some price tags for the first time. It can be tempting to get a cheaper model or even a kid's model. Experts strongly recommend against this for a few reasons. According to a buying guide on eBay, if a pottery wheel is cheap, it's either broken or made for toddlers. Is this a plot to get you to pay top price? In this case, no. Lasting quality is more expensive. If you are just dabbling in pottery, a throwing class with access to a wheel is a far better choice than investing in your own. But if you are serious about pottery, then a wheel makes sense. It is worth spending the money because a quality machine will last for a decade, or in the case of a kick wheel, forever. Your results, too, will be affected. You can browse the best selling pottery wheels online here.