For a budget-friendly option check out second-hand pottery wheels on Ebay and Facebook Marketplace. The Shimpo Aspire for example has a 1/3 HP motor and can center up to 20lb of clay, which is plenty for most hobby potters.
If you have a bit more money to spend, try the Speedball Clay Boss Elite SQ wheel. This heavy-duty model is durable and features a powerful industrial motor, reversing plug, and two-part splash pan for easy cleanup.
1. Know Your Needs
The first step in choosing a pottery wheel is to determine what your needs are. This will depend on what sort of pottery you want to create, the space in which you’ll be working, and how much time you plan on spending on your craft.
You’ll also need to decide if you prefer to work with a lever or foot pedal. Both methods have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand how each one works before making a purchase.
Another consideration is whether you want a splash pan or not. Splash pans are a molded plastic tray that goes around the wheel head to reduce the amount of clay and water that gets on the artist and the surrounding area. They’re great for keeping the workspace clean and tidy, but some artists dislike them because they interfere with the throwing process.
Some pottery wheels have a switch that allows you to change the direction the wheel head spins. This is useful for left-handed potters and those who are new to the wheel because it can make the process easier.
It’s also worth checking the diameter of the wheel head to ensure that you have enough room for your clay and tools. You’ll need to be able to fit them all comfortably without any obstructions. The last thing you want is to buy a pottery wheel that doesn’t meet your needs!
2. Know Your Budget
Having a budget is essential to ensure you get the best value for your money. It also helps you avoid impulse purchases or product upgrades that aren’t essential to your throwing goals and help keep your spending in check.
While it may be tempting to buy a cheap pottery wheel, consider that it could cause problems with your work. You need to be able to fully understand how the machine works so that you can use it safely and effectively. It may be easier to hire a pottery wheel at a local studio or art school to practice until you become more comfortable with using one at home.
In general, cheaper pottery wheels are smaller and lighter than more expensive models so that they can fit into a smaller space and be tucked away when not in use. However, this often means that they have a lower clay handling capacity and may be less durable than more costly models.
Some affordable pottery wheels such as the Speedball Clay Boss and Shimpo VL-Lite are perfect for beginner potters because of their affordability, performance, and ease of use. They have foot pedals and 1/2 hp motors and feature a 14″ composite or 12″ aluminum wheel head and reversing plug. They also have splash pans for easy cleanup. These types of affordable pottery wheels typically have a 5 or 10 year warranty.
3. Know Your Skills
While it’s tempting to head online and buy the first pottery wheel you find in your price range, making an informed decision ensures that your choice will serve your needs. This is because a quality wheel will allow you to grow as an artist, as you learn new techniques and explore different projects. In the long run, this will be more valuable than a cheap, limited-featured wheel that you’ll outgrow quickly.
To assess your skills, think about your most recent successes and accomplishments. What did you use to achieve these successes? This exercise can reveal your innate strengths. You can also ask others for feedback, using a 360-degree feedback tool or an appraisal from your manager or supervisor. Alternatively, friends and family can be great sources of feedback, although you may want to consider their bias.
If you’re not sure what kind of wheel will work best for your skills, visit Mid South Ceramics and try their several models. Alternatively, you can find many brands and types of wheels for sale on their shop. You can also purchase a pottery tools and they will be sure to check them carefully the items you brought.
4. Know Your Style
At first glance, choosing the perfect pottery wheel seems like a relatively simple proposition. But as you dig into the details, it becomes a little more complicated. This is largely because potter’s wheels vary in price, functionality, and even aesthetics.
Pottery wheels can range in price from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars depending on the brand and specifications. To determine whether a pottery wheel is worth the investment for you it is important to know your style. For example, will pottery be a hobby for you or are you planning on making it your full time gig? If you decide to take on the latter option, you might want to consider investing in a more high-tech professional model rather than a basic beginner’s wheel.
Another consideration when buy pottery wheel is the speed at which it rotates. Some people find it difficult to control their work if the wheel spins too quickly. This is why it’s important to look for a wheel that has variable speed control functions.
You should also check the size of your pottery wheel to ensure it will fit into the space you have available. Some are compact and can be tucked away in a corner when not in use. Other models are bigger and bulkier, requiring more of a dedicated studio space.