Hot Ceramics & Pottery How-Tos

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: Throw a beer tankard

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to throw a beer tankard using clay and your pottery wheel. This helpful how-to video contains detailed instructions that are good for beginner to intermediate potters who have used a wheel before but have never thrown a beer tankard.

How To: Decorate bisque pottery with red iron oxide

This is a video tutorial of decorating bisque with red iron oxide. Red iron oxide can be layered, fired, watered-down, and used in many ways to add a finish to a piece of bisque pottery. Bisqueware absorbs the color easily, so the two materials work well together. Pick up some new ideas for how to decorate bisque pottery with red iron oxide by watching this video ceramic design tutorial.

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: Throw a bread crock

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to throw a breadcrock using clay and a pottery wheel. This how-to video is best for intermediate potters. The instructions in this video will have you throwing your own bread crock in no time.

How To: Make a plaster bat for drying out your wet clay

Simon Leach is an online pottery instruction legend, and in this three-part video, he instructs us in a procedure somewhat outside his normal area of expertise by creating a homemade plaster bat, which is basically a flat plaster block used for drying wet clay. For the hardcore at-home ceramics whiz this could be a very fun and rewarding project. Just make sure you are comfortable working with both plaster and clay!

How To: Make a simple clay and ash glaze

This method of making glaze utilizes environmental supplies. That way there's no need to rely on a clay supply store, so it's great to save money or time if it's a distance to the nearest supplier. Watch this video pottery tutorial and learn how to make a simple ceramic glaze for firing out of clay remnants and wood ash. It's appropriate for use on raw glazing projects as well.

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: 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: Collar a cylinder

This video shows how to collar a cylinder. The collar of a cylinder is a plate or ring used under the head of the cylinder for a lock. Put the clay on the spinner. Mold the clay while spinning the spinner. Mold it first to the shape you want. Tighten the neck of the vase that you are molding. By tightening the neck of the vase, you are now shaping the collar of the vase. Shape it to the size and design you want. Enjoy making your own vase with the color you want.

How To: Throw a double walled vase

Follow this example to throw a double walled ceramic vase. This is a decorative motif in ceramics, and a tricky process to complete. After the pice dries a little, make sure to cut some holes in the top layer of clay, to prevent an explosion in the kiln. As shown, you can also carve decorative designs in the outer pot.

How To: Wedge two types of clay together

Wedging two types of clay can give you a new color, which you can then use to further decorate your pieces. Make sure that the two kind of clay require the same firing temperature. You can mix your own personal clay to work with simply by selecting qualities in standard clays and kneading them together.

How To: Throw a large clay vase on a pottery wheel

This video pottery-making tutorial demonstrates the entire process of a large clay vase. Watch as this ceramic clay vase takes shape from the interplay between the skilled and nimble fingers of the craftsmen, the lump of clay, and the potter's wheel. The finished product is truly a work of art. Start watching and throw your own beautiful clay vase.

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: 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: Make a polymer clay pig

Learn how to sculpt a pig out of polymer clay with this free video art lesson. While this tutorial is best suited for those with some familiarity of polymer clay sculpture, novice sculpters should be able to follow along given a little effort. For specifics, including step-by-step instructions, and to get started making your own polymer clay piggies, watch this sculpture tutorial.

How To: Make a desk organizer out of clay

This video illustrate us how to make a desk organizer out of clay. Here are the following steps:Step 1: First of all take clay in different colors and now shape them round.Step 2: Now take one ball and press it into a flat sheet.step 3: Now take another ball and shape them in cylinders.Step 3: Now place these cylinders on the flat sheet keeping space between them.Step 4: Now take two balls and make small vessel out of these two balls .Step 5: Place these vessels between the cylinders, these v...

How To: Throw a terracotta long tom flower pot

You start out with putting a rater big lump of clay on the potter's wheel (the turn table if you want) and make sure you got water close by. By using your hands and your fingers you then start to shape the clay lump into the size you want it. Keeping both the clay and the hands wet all the time. Once the pot starts to get the size you want it to be, you start to give it a more detailed shape. In this case it is a bit wider in the top than in the bottom. Once your satisfied with the shape, you...

How To: Make an incense burner out of clay

Ilysa and Kira with Polymer Clay TV demonstrate how to make an incense burner out of clay. An incense burner is a great way to use up a lot of your scrap clay. You can also use molds, embellishments and pigments to create your incense burner. You can roll up your clay in a swirl to create the incense burner or use any other desired shape. You can also do pinch pot type shapes. To make an incense burner, you'll need a ball of scrap clay, a blade, and a rod. Use the rod to flatten pieces of a c...

How To: Install fiber to the exterior cage of a Raku kiln

This intriguing video is part of a set by Simon Leach that teaches anyone at home to create a Raku kiln. In this video, he takes you in a simple, step by step guide from attaching in the fluffy fiber to the exterior cage with specialty buttons and wires. All the steps are very clear, and he even repeats them just in case so that even the most novice craftsman can follow along. It's both practical and educational, as he explains why things need to be done and what purpose they serve for the fi...

How To: Put a handle on a ceramic mug

When you're putting a handle on a mug, you need to think about the state of the clay of both the mug and the handle. The ceramic clay needs to be a bit harder and drier than right after coming off the pottery wheel or being sculpted, but not so dry that the clay won't stick. Check out this video pottery-making tutorial and learn how to attach a handle onto a ceramic mug.

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