This is my new student Amber. I love this girl! She is very smart, very pretty, very funny and very determined to learn to make pottery. Amber was born without her left hand and the girl threw two pots today better than anything I threw my whole first year on the wheel. I met her at the studio today to help her with the basic principles of throwing, because last Thursday in class I was also helping five other people and it is so hard for anyone to really get the time they need. All last week I was mindful of using both of my hands and would think about how I would do certain things if I only had one hand to do it with. I tried throwing on the wheel using a throwing stick instead of my fingers to see where the difficulties would be and today we both learned some things.
Once she figures out how much pressure to use, centering is not going to be a problem
Opening isn't too bad either. We figured out that she can brace her right hand on her left arm and pull up with sort of a crab claw grip with just the one hand. I know that there are plenty of potters that throw this way. She can use the pot lifters to get pots off until she figures that out( I rip pots up trying to get them off the wheel all the time), we used clay right out of the bag to make wedging less problematic, and to cut the pot off the wheel she holds one end of the wire cutter with the left arm, spins the wheel slowly and pulls with the right hand. Cindy from Dirt Kicker blog sent me a great video to watch of a one handed potter and Amber had watched this last week before class. (He is amazing, You can see the video here: http://www.youtube.com/user/youdanxxx#p/a/40831601A29D4069/2/R90jK1u6HyM )
and she can definitely hand build. This is the cup she made the first day in class, it's great! So, next time you are having a bad day on the wheel think of Amber and get some true inspiration. She is going to be throwing way better than me in no time, I just know it!! Isn't she just the cutest thing!