How To: Fit a lamp base into pottery with Simon Leach

In this video by Simon Leach, we learn how to fit a lamp base into pottery with Simon Leach. First, you will take the lamp base that has all the wires inside of it. From here, you will wire the cables through the proper fittings for the light. Then, you need to put a hole in the bottom of the lamp base so you can string the light base through and then place the light bulb on top. When you are finished, the pottery can sit on top of the base and then you can add a light shade to finish up the ...

How To: Do glaze trailing and pouring for pottery

Simon Leach teaches us how to glaze trailing and pouring for pottery. First, you will dip the entire pot into the glaze after you have poured it into the middle. Wind up your wrist as you are pouring it out so you cover all of the sides in it. Just dip it down a little bit so it goes over the edge of the tip to cover the mouth of it. To use a balloon wand, fill it with the glaze and then use this to glaze the pots. Simply drop the liquid onto the pot in straight lines as you are turning it wi...

How To: Decorate a ceramic lamp base

In this video we learn how to decorate a ceramic lamp base with Simon Leach. First, grab a small paint brush and then apply paint to it. Once you have this, start to paint your chosen design onto the pot. Painting a leaf or a plant will be the most appropriate for a large jar or lamp base. Use a brush that will move along the pot and create unique lines. Go all around the pot until your design is finished. Let this dry and then rinse your pot off when you are done. Let your personality shine ...

How To: Unload and repack bisque pottery from a kiln

In this video, we learn how to unload and repack bisque pottery from a kiln. First, take the top off and then take out the smaller pots from the larger ones and set aside. Then, remove the large ones and set aside as well. When you are re-loading this, you will place in the large ones first. Then, place the smaller pots in the large ones if they fit. Squeeze the small ones around where you can. Stacking some into each other is fine. Turn this on for around 30 minutes on low heat, then you can...

How To: Make models and ornaments with salt dough

In this tutorial, we learn how to make models and ornaments with salt dough. First, grab a baking sheet and place aluminum foil over it. Now, grab some gloss sealer, salt, food coloring, flour, ribbon, glitter, cookie cutters, and buttons. To make the dough, combine flour with water and salt. Mix this together until you get a dough shape, then roll out and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Cut a small hole in the top of it, then bake until golden brown in the oven. Tie a string in the hole...

How To: Double dip or glaze ceramic

In this tutorial, Simon Leach teaches us how to double dip or glaze ceramic. This trick will save you a lot of time, just make sure you practice a lot. First, mix your glaze up in a large bucket and grab your pot that you want to glaze. Now, place your piece into the glaze and then flick the wrist to lift the piece up quickly. Don't let the glaze go over the base of the piece or it will become too messy. Now, dip the piece back in, getting some glaze on the inside and swishing the liquid arou...

How To: Make simple pot stands

In this tutorial, we learn how to make simple pot stands. Start with your clay on the table and use water and your hands to start to shape it. Press down on the ball until it forms into a low bowl shape. Then, start to add more clay and water to the sides of the pot so that it's thicker on the edges. After this, place the pot stand onto a ceramic drying area, then you will be able to glaze it and fire it. Clean off your spinning table after you are finished, then enjoy your pot and pot stand!

How To: Make a teapot in ceramics

Simon Leach teaches us how to make a teapot in ceramics in this video. After you have created the basic pot for the tea, you will need to poke several small holes into the side of it where it will be poured. After this, you will need to create the spout and mark where it's going to go on the pot while it's still wet. Now, key the area on the pot where the spout is going to go, then apply water to it and push the spout onto the area. Push along the sides gently until the spout is stuck on comp...

How To: Make lidded boxes

In this tutorial, Simon Leach teaches us how to make lidded boxes. First, grab your pot and dip the top of it into water to get it wet and soft. Now, grab a small amount of clay and set it on your spinning table. After this, get your hands wet and start to craft a lid out of the clay. Make an inner base as you are spinning the clay by carefully placing your finger on the side of the top. When finished spinning, place the top down and see if it's the correct size for the pot, then glaze and fi...

How To: Do spiral fluting

Simon Leach teaches us how to do spiral fluting in this video. Start on the side of the bowl with a sharp edge. Then, push the edge down from the top until you reach the bottom half of the bowl. Create line next to line very close to each other, not overlapping them. Continue to do this slowly until you have reached all the way around the bowl. Make sure your lines are all equal to each other, they don't have to be perfect though. After you have made lines all the way around, your bowl will b...

How To: Put handles on your ceramics

Simon Leach teaches us how to put handles on your ceramics in this tutorial. The key thing is to never let the handle fall as you are adding it to a cup, always keep it supported. Look at the handle as you are placing it on and think about proportion and size. If it's sticking out too far it's going to get knocked off. You need to have an elliptical shaped handle when you are shaping them so they can be gripped properly. Don't score the bottom part when you are joining the handle to the botto...

How To: Use a potato peeler as a fluting tool

In this video, we learn how to use a potato peeler as a fluting tool. First, take your wet pot and then grab the potato peeler. Use broad strokes along the side of the pot and press down hard and you peel the clay off of the sides. You will need to go over the same spot a few times to be able to see, but once you go around the entire pot you will see the different shapes in the marks. Once you are finished going all the way around the pot, your hands will be tired but it will be fluted with t...

How To: Clean off ceramic pots before firing them

In this video, we learn how to clean off ceramic pots before firing them. First, take a knife to clean off any bits that need to be removed to make the pots completely smooth. After this, dip the top of the pot into glaze and let it dry on a flat surface. For the base, hold with your two fingers on the inside, then dip in the glaze and let dry. Once these are dry, take a knife and scrape the edges where excess glaze may be at. Then, scrape all around the edges and clean the back of the side w...

How To: Use wood ash to prep pots for the kiln

In this video, we learn how to use wood ash to prep pots for the kiln. First, grab wood ash and place it into a container that sprays. After this, blow in the appropriate hole and hold the container so the ash gets all over your pots. Continue to do this all the way around the pots. You will get out of breath while doing this, so take your take and take breaks to breathe. Make sure you do this in a quick amount of time so the ash inside the container stays ready to be blown. After this, the p...

How To: Pack a kiln

In this video, we learn how to pack a kiln. First, you will place all the largest pots on the top and towards the back of the kiln. If you have a third row, place the most large ones on the bottom, packed next to each other. After this, pack the smallest ones to the front of the kiln until you have no more room or all the pieces are packed in. Give the kiln a warm up during the night, then you will be ready to fire it to create your pieces. Once finished, remove the pieces and you are done!

How To: Trim a pot

In this video, we learn how to trim a pot. First, you will want to get your pot wet and place it onto a ceramic bowl shaper. Start to spin the bowl and get it wet as you use a sharp tool to remove the trim from around the pot. Continue to do this until all of the trim you want to remove is gone. When finished, you will need to refire this and place glaze back onto it. This can be done with any type of ceramic pot, just make sure you keep it moist while you are cutting it, so it doesn't break ...

How To: Paddle clay

In this video, we learn how to paddle clay. Start off by placing the clay on the wheel and turning it on so it's moving quickly. You wan tot make sure you are using a lot of water and keeping the clay moist, as well as your hand. Make sure the bottom is even around on all sides, or it will turn out off center. Place your hands around the clay and cradle it until it makes a round and even shape. Continue to do this until you can put your hands on the side of the pot and work your clay on the i...

How To: Make a ceramic slab plate

In this video, we learn how to make a ceramic slab plate. First, roll out the ceramic. After this, place the clay on butcher or newspaper and smooth it out with a plastic card. Repeat this on the other side. Next, use a paper template to help cut your design or use a circular object. Cut slits to help remove the surrounding clay. Use the excess clay to build support pieces then curve the edges of the plate up and place the support pieces underneath. Use a piece of leather to smooth the edges....

How To: Make criss cross textured tea bowls with Simon Leach

Master potter Simon Leach is so good at what he does because he follows his own advice: practice, practice, practice! In this tutorial by Simon Leach, you'll watch Leach as he throws and sculpts a very pretty textured tea bowl. Using his fingers to help mold the tall form, Leach skillfully applies a lower rim and then adds a criss cross pattern by slapping a textured mold onto the pot's side.

How To: Become a full time potter with Simon Leach

According to a recent survey, many of us work to live rather than live to work. That may explain the lack of satisfaction that most workers report at their jobs. While little job satisfaction can be attributed to a number of causes (horrible boss, bad pay, bad hours, etc.), there is first and foremost the prime mover. Many people are stuck at a job they don't want, sadly.

How To: Throw an upside down double walled pottery vase

In this tutorial, we learn how to throw an upside down double walled pottery vase. Start off by using water every few seconds to craft your vase. Use your fingers to press down in the middle, to make the round shape and have the vase rise up into the air. Make this into a bowl shape, which will be into the air. Next, shape the middle using your hands into a triangle shape. Raise the side bowl around it, and keep using water to increase the size of the bowl. Collar the bowl in, then start to m...

How To: Glaze pots in Shino with Simon Leach

So after much hard labor and patience, you've finally thrown your first vase, fired it carefully in the kiln, and let it harden to a fine finish. What to do next in your pottery making journey? While a beautiful vase is a beautiful vase no matter the finish or color, applying a glaze is like putting on makeup: sure, you don't NEED it, but having it on dramatically improves and accentuates your features, making cheekbones more sculpted, eyes wider and brighter, and lips more well defined. In t...

How To: Fire a kiln

In order to fire a kiln, you will need the following: you will need to have a damper. There will also need to be a means of checking the fire, looking in to see the flame. Each stage will have to be closely monitored. Let it fire until it reaches an adequate temperature. It will transition through phases of heat. As it reaches reduction, you'll need to monitor the rate of rise. This stage, the reduction phase, is a slow stage of rise. It will take many hours to reach reduction phase. It will ...

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