I dislike throwing with a wheel pan, but in my current small studio situation, I have to be neater than usual, so I've modified my old Rube Goldberg arrangement for catching flying slip from the wheel into a modification that works inside the larger wheel pan I have now.
The old way was to remove the pan and substitute this bucket/sponge/catch pan on the table of the wheel head. It's a bit messy, but allowed me to get closer to the wheel.
Get a smallish bucket with a bail. A plastic paint can works well.
Get a big sponge and slip it under the bail.
Get one of these shallow food pans--the kind you're supposed to microwave food in, but I don't relish the idea of baked plastic in my lunch, so I put the food in glass or clay and zap it. The tray should fit underneath the wheel with no interference.
Move it so the sponge touches the rim of the wheel, but doesn't interfere with the movement.
Fill the bucket with water to give it stability and weight.
When the wheel turns, the sponge catches the water flying off the rim, drips into the shallow plastic pan and keeps it out of the wheel-pan.
Empty the food tray once in a while when it gets close to full or when you finish throwing.
You can dispense with the food tray, if you wish or if it won't fit under the wheel. Then clean out the pan as usual.