Speedball Artista Pottery Wheel – Owners Review Buyers Guide
As a Speedball Artista tabletop pottery wheel owner, I can say without a doubt that this is a good purchase for beginners, professionals, and hobbyists alike. Speedball became the Artista portable pottery wheel manufacturer when it was acquired by Creative Industries back in 2009.
This pottery wheel comes with a Two-Year Warranty,
With its easy-to-use features and portable size, it’s no wonder why this product is liked by so many potters. Let me walk you through the features in more detail to help you decide whether this is the right pottery wheel for you!
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The Wheel Head
The 11-inch wheel head is made of hard durable plastic. It’s not the largest wheel head, but it isn’t the smallest either. It has 10-inch bat holes, which is a big plus. Two bat pins are included, as well as one 12-inch bat and one 7and a half-inch square bat.
This portable pottery wheel doesn’t have a reverse switch. Not to worry, though. Speedball has you covered if you are Left Handed. The Speedball Artista does offer a model for left-handed throwers.
The motor runs quietly and smoothly with only a little higher speed noise. You can vary the speed from zero to 220 RPMs. The dial has a smooth transition speed and holds the speed of the wheel that you turn it to.
The Speedball Artista has a 1/3 Horse Power motor. The 1/3 HP will offer you plenty of power. The Speedball Artista will do well for beginner and intermediate potters, but more experienced potters may want 1/2 HP or greater, as it lets them throw larger clay pieces.
There is an on and off switch and a speed dial. The speed dial has to be in the off position before turning the motor on. The dial has a smooth speed transition and holds the speed of the wheel that you set the dial to.
Portable Tabletop Pottery Wheels do center fewer pounds of clay. The Artista will center up to 25 pounds of clay. It is easier to center if you cut the block of clay into 4 sections and center one on top of the other, that way you don’t have to apply as much pressure to the one big block of clay.
The Speedball Artista doesn’t offer the largest centering capacity, but as a beginner, you won’t be centering 25 pounds anyway. One of the harder things about learning pottery at the wheel comes from figuring out how to center your clay. To do this, you’ll want to work with fewer pounds at first. If you’re having trouble centering your clay, check out 11 Problems Centering Clay and Easy Ways to Fix Them.
Detachable Splash Pan
This splash pan is very secure. The rear portion of the splash pan has two catch hooks that lock the two pieces of the pan together. The smaller (rear piece) of the splash pan must be removed before you can remove the larger part of the splash pan. You have to pull a little hard to remove this section of the splash pan until you break it in.
The Artista’s pottery wheel detachable splash pan makes cleanup a lot easier. Being able to detach the splash pan gives you advantages like using trimming bats and larger bats. Depending on how much clay you’re working with, you can use up to 16-inch bats. It is also useful when it comes time for decorating and glazing too!
Portability and Storage
The Speedball Artista Pottery Wheel offers the big advantage of portability. This Pottery Wheel weighing only 26 pounds, makes it easy to carry around. You can set it on a table or a stand of some kind, for the right height. The 12 rubber feet on the bottom keep this portable wheel securely in place.
Being that this is a portable wheel, it won’t take up much studio space. The dimensions of the Speedball Artista are 25 inches long, 18 wide, and 9 inches high. When finished with your pottery, you can safely store the wheel away.
Because this portable pottery wheel is fully functional, many experienced potters would use it as a demonstration wheel at programs that they take on the road. You can also easily take it outside or to a friend’s house without a hassle.
Optional Speedball Artista Pottery Accessories
This pottery wheel comes with several optional accessories that are perfect for any crafter, a foot pedal, and Leg Extensions for the seated position.
For someone who can’t do without a foot pedal, you can buy it separately. The foot pedal is great for those who need their hands free while working on their project. You can incorporate this Foot Pedal to convert the Artista Potter’s Wheel from hand-operated to foot-powered. The foot pedal plugs directly onto the side of their pottery wheel. The speed dial on the other side will not work while the foot pedal is plugged in.
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Another one of the accessories that you could buy with the Speedball Artista Pottery Wheel are the leg extensions. The leg extensions are a great way to make sitting in a seated position easier.
The leg extensions come in two different types. The Folding Leg Extensions can be attached to the Artista to accommodate seated throwing. The wheel sits 22 inches high when the legs are attached. They detach for ease of portability and storage.
And the Artista Static Leg Extensions. These stationary legs also give you a comfortable 22-inch throwing height for stable seated throwing.
Pottery Trimming Bats:
There are two main attachments that I should mention at this point: The Bailey Quick Trim 2 and the Giffin Grip.
Bailey Quick Trim 2
The Bailey Quick Trim 2 holds the pottery in place, and the four pads hold your piece securely in place.
You have to center the pottery yourself with this accessory, but it does astoundingly well with misshapen pottery.
This pottery accessory will self-center. Someone who doesn’t like centering or who’s new to it may do better with the Giffin Grip.
I have a video you can check out The Giffin Grip vs The Bailey Quick Trim 2 highlighting the difference between the two so you can choose which one is right for you. You can’t go wrong with either one because both would work well on the Speedball Artista.
Important to Note: You can attach either the Giffin Grip or the Bailey Quick Trim 2, but you must remove the detachable splash pan in order to use these accessories.
It’s essential that beginners purchase a good quality potter’s wheel when starting out in this art form. I would consider the Speedball Artista cost to be in the mid-range. A beginner, a hobbyist, or a potter that may want a second wheel would find the lower cost advantageous. The Speedball Artista is a great value for a portable pottery wheel that won’t break your budget.
Watch my In-Depth Video Review of the Speedball Artista
I was going to make this conclusion sound generic, but instead, I’m going to tell you straight up.
The Speedball Artista has the feel of a full-size pottery wheel.
etting this wheel down on a table it feels sturdy to the touch. Sturdiness matters because as your hands shape the clay, you don’t want to fumble around and make mistakes because of a wobbling pottery wheel.
The Artistas main advantages are if you have a way to power up you can take your wheel anywhere you want. It’s very lightweight and is perfect for small spaces. For a solid and well-built pottery wheel, then I Highly recommended The Artista Portable Pottery Wheel.
If you are interested in a few other Pottery Wheel choices, here are the two other pottery wheel Owner Reviews I wrote. Skytou Pottery Wheel Pottery Forming Machine – OWNERS REVIEW and my main wheel, a Brent CXC Pottery Wheel – OWNERS REVIEW – Buyers Guide I own both of these wheels so I have a lot of knowledge of each one.
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