Types of Thrown Pottery Lids

Thrown pottery lid
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There are a number of types of lids which are used when throwing pottery. Lids provide a focal point of interest for the jar or pot, and as such require thought in producing a lid which both fits the pot literally and aesthetically. If the pot is a truly functional piece, such as a casserole, the lid must also function in as efficient and effective way as possible.

  • 01 of 07

    Cup Lids

    Diagram of a flat, over-edge style of lid used in pottery.
    Diagram of a flat, cup style lid used in pottery. Drawing © 2008 Beth E Peterson

    Cup lids are possibly the earliest and simplest of the lid styles. They are most useful for small jars or pots with very small to small necks. Too large, and cups lids can become unwieldy to open, although a handle(s) may be applied.

  • 02 of 07

    Flat Inset Lid Style

    Diagram of a flat inset lid style used in pottery.
    Diagram of a flat inset lid style used in pottery. Drawing © 2008 Beth E Peterson

    Inset lids sit on a gallery, which is created when throwing the jar itself. As such, the lid is inset into the form of the pot, rather than riding above it.

  • 03 of 07

    Dropped Inset Lid Style

    Diagram of a dropped inset lid style used in pottery.
    Diagram of a dropped inset lid style used in pottery. Drawing © 2008 Beth E Peterson

    This style is especially useful for jars and pottery that need to conserve vertical space as much as possible. Functional ware such as casseroles and storage crocks are often thrown with dropped inset lids due to the height constraints in ovens and under overhead cabinets.

  • 04 of 07

    Domed Inset Lid Style

    Diagram of an inset domed lid style used in pottery.
    Diagram of an inset domed lid style used in pottery. Drawing © 2008 Beth E Peterson

    Domed inset lids are another option available to the potter. They tend to be more graceful in shape, however, they also do take up more vertical space. Domed lids should may be a stronger structure for pottery that has a large lidded expanse, such as a casserole. Even a slight doming curvature can help redirect weight and stress down into the walls of the pot.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Domed Over-Edge Lid Style

    Diagram of a domed, over-edge style lid used in pottery.
    Diagram of a domed, over-edge style lid used in pottery. Drawing © 2008 Beth E Peterson

    Galleries can also be formed on the lid. This is done by throwing the lid upside down, and then trimming the top of it when it is leather-hard. Because the outer circumference of the lid can be made to match the outer circumference of the jar's neck, these lids can offer a graceful, unobtrusive continuation of the jar's form.

  • 06 of 07

    Double Gallery Style Pottery Lid

    Thrown pottery lid using a double gallery.
    Thrown pottery lid using a double gallery. Double galleries are best avoided. Drawing © 2009 Beth E Peterson

    Pots can be made with a gallery incorporated into both the lid and the body of the pot. Usually, this is wasted effort, since a correctly fitted lid does not need extra stability to remain in place. In addition, the extra flange can actually lead to fit problems, since one flange can interfere with the seating of the lid on the other flange.

  • 07 of 07

    Stopper Style Lid

    Diagram of a stopper style of lid used in pottery.
    Diagram of a stopper style of lid used in pottery. Drawing © 2008 Beth E Peterson

    Similar to the cup-style lid, this style does not employ galleries to help seat and secure the lid. Instead, the entire "lid" is actually made to slide down into a "V" shaped neck, acting as a stopper. Stoppers can be thrown upside down and then turned over once leather-hard for trimming by hand or on the wheel. As with other wheel trimmed lid styles, handles can be made by either trimming away excess clay from the desired handle shape, or they can be applied to the top once...MORE trimming is completed.