Hot Ceramics & Pottery How-Tos

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: 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 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: Join two pieces of soft clay

Check out this video to learn a technique for attaching soft clay to soft clay. No scoring or slip is needed. By just applying firm pressure to get a good strong joint. The small clay coil is used to reinforce the joints, and the blending is to make sure both parts are joint securely. Finally give a little pull to the new piece of clay that was attached, to test how good the joints are. If it comes loose than you are not applying enough pressure in joining the two pieces together. Finally, if...

How To: Decorate raw clay pottery with white slip

In this video pottery-making tutorial, Simon uses a white slip made from half china clay and half stoneware clay. Slip is an alternative to glaze for finishing a potted project. Simon also demonstrates an easy project to make a paint brush holder that will keep tools in place while using them. Watch this video demonstration to pick up a few ways to decorate a raw clay pottery piece with white slip.

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: 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: 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 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 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: 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: 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 goblet stem

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to throw a goblet stem on a pottery wheel. This instructional video is not for beginners, but it does include very detailed explanations and instructions. This how-to video will have you throwing beautiful goblet stems in no time.

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: 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: Throw a wide bowl with Simon Leach

Watch this instructional ceramics video to learn how to throw a wide bowl with Simon Leach. As a preliminary step, one should throw a flat piece of clay onto the pad to assure easy lifting off of the bat. Centering is quite difficult with a larger piece of clay. Leach's visual guide allows one to view the delicate steps required to throw a wide ceramic bowl without letting it collapse.

How To: Pierce carve a clay pottery bowl

Ingleton Pottery demonstrates how to pierce carve a clay pottery bowl. First, form your bowl on a potter's wheel. Then take a blade to the undried clay bowl and score your design into the bowl using the piercing technique. Gently press out the design so that the clay is removed from the negative space created by the scoring marks. Continue making the design around the bowl. You can make intricate designs around the bowl using the piercing and scoring technique. Be careful not to damage the bo...

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: Throw a lamp base

You all the know the scene from Ghost? Where Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore are sitting and they are trying to make something using the machine? It's one of the most iconic scenes out there. Anyways, this video isn't about ghosts, or either of those actors, but rather that machine and what it can do. This tutorial will show you how to throw a lamp base easily. Enjoy!

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 clay soap pump

Clay pottery is a fun and creative art form that can be done with slabs of clay and not only on a spinning wheel. This free video clip series will show you several tips on how to construct a soap pump and open a world of design ideas for you. Make a clay soap pump - Part 1 of 8.

How To: Collar ceramics

This instructional ceramics video is designed to help the beginning through advanced ceramic student improve their throwing skills. Learn hand/finger placement when pulling cylinders. Perfect your ability to collar ceramics well with these tips from Andy Ruble. Collar all sorts of tall, fun little items.

How To: Trim using chuck

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to trim your pottery using chuck. This technique and the tips on how to do it are best for intermediate potters with some experience. This instructional video will have you trimming you pottery using a chuck in no time.

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