Hot Ceramics & Pottery How-Tos

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: Throw a rounded jewelry box

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to throw a rounded jewelry box using clay and your pottery wheel. This how-to video is geared toward intermediate potters with some experience in the wheel. The tips in this instructional video will help you throw a great rounded jewelry box.

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: 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: 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: 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 ceramics with a torch

Try using a blowtorch to dry the outer portion of a ceramic pot. While the clay is still on the pottery wheel, cut light marks into the outer wall of the pot. Dry the outermost layer of wet clay with a blowtorch. When you continue to stretch and form the wet clay on the wheel, witness an interesting cracking effect.

How To: Wedge and knead a piece of clay for pottery making

Wedging and kneading is essential before throwing clay on a pottery wheel, or shaping by hand, in order to get rid of air bubbles that may cause the pottery to explode while firing in the kiln. There are many different techniques to wedge and knead, but this video ceramic design tutorial shows how to wire cut wedge and spiral knead a piece of clay. Learn how to wedge and knead a piece of clay for pottery making by watching this instructional video.

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: Mix your own clay at home

This video tutorial shows how to mix your own clay body. Covered are the basic types of clay, fluxes, and fillers. When testing clay body mixtures, make 1000 gram batches dry, then add water to that. This way a percentage recipe can be taken and just by moving the decimal point can convert it to grams (25% = 25 grams or 250 grams, etc). Here is a clay-body recipe is as follows for those of who might care. Also, much of the mixture of a clay body is designed to match the glazes. It needs to me...

How To: Glaze pottery inside and outside

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to use some more advanced glazing techniques to make the inside different than the outside. The detailed instructions in this helpful how-to video are best for intermediate to advanced potters who want to glaze both the inside and the outside of their pottery.

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: Make a butter dish

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to make your own butter dish. If you don't use butter, you can follow the same process to make a slightly bigger dish for cheese. This project is easy enough for beginners. The tips in this helpful how-to video will have you making your own butter dish in no time.

How To: Make ceramic flower pots

In this video series, our expert potter will demonstrate how to make ceramic flower pots and vases. You will get easy to follow step-by-step instructions on how to wedge and prepare clay, and how to throw a variety of flower pots on the pottery wheel. You will also get tips and advice on flower pot designs and decorations. If you have some experience with pottery, this video will give you the tools and advice you will need to make a beautiful and decorative flower pot.

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: 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: 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.

How To: Make a seal

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to make a seal out of a lump of clay. This project is easy enough for beginners, and the tips in this helpfuly how-to video will allow potters of any level to easily make clay seals.

How To: Make miniature gingerbread men from polymer clay

Learn how to sculpt a miniature gingerbread men 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 crafting your own mini polymer clay gingerbread man charms, watch this sculpture tutorial.

How To: Finish a lidded clay box

Simon Leach of Simon Leach Ceramics shows how to finish a lidded box, thrown on a potter's wheel. When cutting into the box, make sure to do so with a cut slanting downwards so that the lid is less prone to falling off. Proceed to smooth off the exterior of the box, beginning where the two halves meet. Once the outside is smoothed, the fit of the two parts is probably not perfect, and so the joint between the two can be smoothed off. Carved features such as scalloped footing may now be added....

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