In throwing pots, the process of coaxing the clay into a symmetrical, neutral form in preparation for shaping it into a pot. When clay is properly centered, the potter's hand, when resting on the spinning clay, will remain still, without any wobble at all.

Also, centering is used as a metaphor for finding a still, quiet state which can be used as a starting point for interacting with the world, creating something, or simply participating in life. In her book, also called Centering, M. C. Richards explains this concept thoroughly.