Potter's wheel

DEFINITION

A turntable mounted on a shaft for shaping pottery. As the platform spins, either foot-operated or machine driven, the potter shapes the clay by raising it to make vessels or other objects. Potter&#39;s Wheels date from the ancient Egyptians to the present day. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"<br><br>A revolving horizontal disk, sometimes called a head, on which clay is shaped manually into pottery vessels. The simplest form of wheel is the kickwheel. To operate it, the potter kicks or propells some form of disk, crank, or treddle in order to keep the turntable spinning. Also commonly used today are power-driven wheels whose speed can be regulated by the potter as he or she works. The potter&#39;s wheel was probably invented either by the Sumerians of the Tigris-Euphrates Basin or by the Chinese around 5000 BCE, perhaps even before the use of wheels for transportation. Potter&#39;s wheels continue to be used today, though commercial ceramic manufacture is dominated by slip casting. Nevertheless, they are part of the basic equipment of the artist-potter. Kits of kickwheel parts can be purchased for as little as $200.

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