If I went to a pottery course and made a clay bowl, what have I done?

For example, I want to say "I pottered a bowl", but that doesn't sound right. Is there a word that could replace 'pottered'?

According to dictionary.com, an example of the word 'pottered' is:

He pottered back to the fireplace, and rubbed his shoulders reflectively against the mantelpiece.

So I'm quite sure that it's not the word I'm looking for. I have also looked through wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_pottery_terms, but still haven't found the word I want.

  • 5
    Most people would say 'I made a bowl', though 'I threw a bowl' describes the first stage. 'Potter' as a verb means 'move in a desultory way' and is a totally different usage, with a different etymology. Sep 16, 2016 at 10:32
  • I believe "Potter" is not an appropriate verb in this context! you can say "I made a pottery bowl" that's what I've heard so far.
    – Sara RZ
    Sep 16, 2016 at 10:38
  • Throw / craft / turn
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 22, 2022 at 22:20

3 Answers 3


The usual go-to word for all manual creations which are usually created by an artisan or craftsman is simply craft.

craft VERB [WITH OBJECT] Exercise skill in making (an object), typically by hand. - ODO

Thus you crafted a bowl.


Here in the UK (at least), potters throw pots on a wheel.


From Wikipedia, we see:

"In a process called "throwing" (coming from the Old English word thrawan which means to twist or turn) a ball of clay is placed in the centre of a turntable, called the wheel-head, which the potter rotates with a stick, with foot power or with a variable-speed electric motor."

Even though "throw" can refer to one or more processes in the creation of a pot, it's generic enough to be used in its own right.

  • This is the correct verb. Potters throw pots. Which can be bowls, pitchers, plates, vases, etc. Sep 16, 2016 at 19:24
  • I forgot to say, potters in the U.S. also throw bowls. (If you use the coil method, you build a pot.) Sep 18, 2016 at 4:44

I sculpted a bowl.


sculpt verb

: to make (something) by carving or molding clay, stone, etc. : to make (a sculpture)

  • It's a very fitting word, plus one from me. However, sculpting is usually only the first few steps in pottery, since it has to be baked afterwards. In the context of the pottery course however, that is mostly not something the participant does, so you word captures nicely exactly the participants actions.
    – Helmar
    Sep 16, 2016 at 10:57
  • 1
    No -- when you make a dish out of clay, you don't sculpt. Sep 16, 2016 at 19:26
  • Sculpting is one way you can work with clay (generally refers to carving), but you can also throw it (on a wheel), or build it (construct from small units), mold it, or possibly do other things (if you're an avant-garde potter you might throw clay at the wall).
    – Stuart F
    Jun 23, 2022 at 10:51

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