Friday 14 October 2011

Turning Bowls: Foot Rings vs Flat Bases.

For a while now I’ve been making a style of bowl that didn’t require a foot ring. Hopefully you can tell in the pictures above that my sugar bowls, drizzle bowls and salt-and-pepper bowls are all turned completely flat at the base. Because of their shallow shape, these bowls already have a low centre of gravity and don’t need the stability of a foot ring, so I chose a flat base to complement this style and give them clean, simple lines. Flat bases also have advantages in the making process since they’re much quicker to turn and less wasteful of clay.

Sometimes though a style of pot just cries out for a nice bit of fancy footwear! So in a recent commission of bowls I’ve chosen a traditional-style deep foot ring to go with the deeper shape of the bowl. The photo above shows a pot turned upside down on the wheel ready for turning a foot ring.

In the photo above you can see the same bowls freshly turned with foot rings. I always leave turned pots to dry upside down: this airs the bases so the whole pot can dry out more evenly which helps minimise the risk of cracks appearing.

In the photo above you can see a smaller bowl. This was made with a bit of ‘left over’ clay at the end of the throwing session. I made this bowl with a steeper angle so when I came to turn it I decided to make a very narrow deep foot ring. I think it makes a very pretty silhouette – so I might make a small batch of these. In the last photo below you can see my pottery seal: just to prove I made them!


  1. I always find the shapes you create very pleasing - it's fascinating to find out a bit more about the creative processes you use! Liz

  2. Thanks Liz! That's very kind of you to say! I probably take the making process for granted and forget to talk about it - glad you found it interesting!