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: Make polymer clay business card holders

Ilysa Bierer and Kira Slye with Polymer Clay TV demonstrate how to make polymer clay business card holders. You can work cabochons into polymer clay to create business card holders. Stamp on clay and use clay with inclusions in it for a different look. First, get a plain business card case and work the clay over it. Add pigment inks, textured stamps and canes to dress up your business card holder. The clay can be baked right onto the metal and will adhere to it. Polymer clay adheres better to...

How To: Throw a clay pottery fruit bowl

To throw a clay pottery fruit bowl, place a lump of clay on the potter's wheel and wet it with water. Use the foot pedals to spin the wheel while shaping the clay with your hands. Draw the clay up and then use your thumbs to create an indentation in the center of the clay. Apply slight pressure and the clay should assume a bowl form. Use water as necessary to create the right clay consistency. Draw the clay up to make the bowl walls thin. While shaping the bowl walls with one hand, create a r...

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: 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: Trim Hakeme tea bowls with Simon Leach

Watch this instructional video with ceramics expert Simon Leach to learn how to trim and glaze Hakeme tea bowls. Leach uses a groggy, toothy clay which contains high iron content. He then adds a white clay slip with Hakeme grass brushes, which provides a thin layer of natural white clay texture, using a scratching technique. The white slip should be applied when the clay is still quite soft. The striking effect of Hakeme ceramics becomes more apparent as the clay dries.

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: 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: 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: Recuperate clay to soften it

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to soften clay by recuperating it. This helpful how-to video teaches several techniques to recuperate and soften your clay that are easy enough for beginners. You'll never be stuck again when your clay gets too hard after you watch this instructional video and learn how to recuperate and soften it.

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: 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: 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: 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 clay plate set

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 matching clay plates and open a world of design ideas for 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: Throw quick ceramic plates

Watch this instructional ceramics video to learn how to throw a quick plate. Simply center your clay and create a wide disc before beginning the hole. Pull the lip of the plate out with a sponge. It is important to compress the rim. The most difficult step is to pay attention to the of the lip to widen the edge into a plate without breaking the clay or making it look like a bowl.

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