I’ve always meant to work on the wheel, but haven’t wanted to commit to the time to learn. But this week, after watching a bunch of YouTube demonstrations (really!), I prepared 6 balls of clay and gave it a go. The first three turned to crap as I expected but these were the next three. The tallest one is about 7 inches tall. Well, it’s a start and I actually really enjoyed it.
After enduring a few too many puns from Craig about how far and where I was throwing the pots, I mused on the origins of the term “throwing” in working on a wheel and came up blank as to why it is called throwing.
Maybe everyone already knows the etymology of the term but I didn’t, so I found an article by Dennis Krueger in Ceramics Today that says it comes from the Old English word thrawan, meaning to twist or turn. The word throw still means twist or turn in the language of pottery today just like it did way back in the Old English times, but the word throw has morphed to mean something completely different in our everyday usage of the word.
So it’s the potters who are historically correct if a few centuries behind the times because the way of forming pottery has changed so little over those centuries.
Alphadictionary suggests that pieces of clay breaking away from a pot in progress that are hurled away from the spinning wheel could have caused the meaning of “to throw” to change from “twist” to its current meaning of “to hurl”.
Luckily, I didn’t have any hurled pots this week or it might have been an early end to my throwing lessons.