Pottery wheels are the first piece of equipment that you will need to buy and install in your workspace, if you plan to take up pottery. These pottery wheels are the platform on which you will construct your pottery items. In classes and workshops, as well as hobby stores, you will plenty of versions of pottery wheels, motorized and non-motorized, so picking one can become quite tedious.
When you head into the store to get your own wheel, getting intimidated by the options and foregoing good judgement is the last thing you want to do. What you need to think about are the different variables that will help you make this decision, and then pick the wheel that will suit your needs.
Before anything else, you need to figure out how much you are willing to spend on pottery wheels. Depending on how much you want to get started and also on the amount of expertise you have, the cost and quality of the wheel will vary. They are the most expensive thing you will buy in this hobby so check out all the versions you can, over the Internet, before heading out there and getting yourself something.
Pottery wheels will easily cost you anywhere between a few hundred to even a few thousand dollars. Before buying your own wheel, make sure you've actually worked on a few different types. Take a class or try something out to get started and you should have a better idea when you head to the store.
Pottery Wheels that Last
How interested are you in pottery? Is it like a passing fad that you want to try out or something that you will spend a lifetime on? Either way, you need to buy a wheel that will last you a bit. The thing is, you can spend a few hundred bucks on a starter-wheel but if you start liking the hobby, you will have to spend a few hundred more to buy something that will keep you running in the hobby.
The ideal way to start is buying something that's midway through the different levels of wheels, a bit more towards the starter-wheel end. Pottery wheels don't get damaged very quickly so when you buy one, you can guarantee that it will last a bit. If you maintain your wheel, you won't have to worry about it going bad for a very long time. So spend once but spend on potter wheels that are worth that investment.
Moving Potter Wheels Around
One of the most important things you need to consider when buying potter wheels is how easy they are to move around. The smaller wheels are always, obviously lighter but they may not do the job for you. Buying something big may not be easy to move around and when you need to make the smallest change to your work area, the wheel will stay where it was. If you plan to move your studio around in the future, you will need to take this into account.
Potter Wheels' Wheel-head
The wheel-head is where you throw on the clay or the plaster. Usually, they are flat discs that have a metal plate, which may come with pins to hold the bats in place. However, if you have a bucket-style head, then you can surely put in those plaster bats that you need to work on the wheel. Pins allow you to remove the metal heads and work directly on the wheel itself. However, if you have bats that need to be used, then these pins are extremely handy.
Electric or Manual Potter Wheels
When picking your potter wheels, you will come across a final hurdle, one that has been around for ever since the electric wheel was made - should you get a manually operated wheel or not? The electric potter wheels are smaller and lighter and are perfect if you are looking to make a lot of items very quickly. Electric wheels are easier and faster to throw clay/plaster onto and this means that you can complete them faster too. The problem, however, is that they can be quite noisy while the speed may be too hard to handle for inexperienced potters. Also, there is that dependence on electricity that cannot be ignored.
The kick-wheels, on the other hand, need very little attention and can last a lifetime. You can move the wheel in both directions while the throwing process, for some people, becomes easier with a kick-wheel. However, they can be massive in size, which makes them difficult to move or transport. The fly-wheel can also be difficult to use but you will find it quite interesting nonetheless.
Potter wheels are an essential part of this craft and if you make a right choice today, you will enjoy it for a lifetime!