Hot Ceramics & Pottery How-Tos

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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Prepare clay for wheel throwing

Georgia Tech resident pottery instructor, Trip, describes how to knead clay and get it ready for use on the wheel. First you need a piece of soft scrap or fresh clay. When kneading, or wedging the clay, try to force out all of the air bubbles. The kneading board should help to absorb excess moisture. Test the kneaded clay by slicing it with a wire cutter to check for air bubbles.

How To: Make clay mug handles

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 clay mug handles and open a world of design ideas for you.

How To: Make mini drinks out of polymer clay for a dollhouse

Garden of Imagination teaches viewers how to make various drinks, such as beer, milk, lemonade, and coffee, for their miniature dollhouse. First, you need to go to the crafts store and get a pack of 5 piece filigree tubes (you can pick whatever color you'd like). Take a tiny piece of clay and stick it into the filigree tube. Smooth out the clay inside with a paintbrush to make a tiny cup. First, to make a mug of coffee you need triple thick clear glaze black chalk. Mix the two together and ta...

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 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: Throw a tall cylinder on a pottery wheel

Watch this instructional ceramics video to throw a tall cylinder on a pottery wheel. Using one hand to act as a brace, it is necessary to keep to a careful process of slowly pulling the clay upwards with even pressure until the clay walls are about 1/4" thick. The tall cylinder can then take on a more unique shape.

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: Center on the potter's wheel with clay

Perfect your ability to center on a Potter's wheel with these tips from Andy Ruble. There are several different ways to go about centering, but the general principle is to put equal pressure on the top and side of the ball of clay and clay has no choice but to go in the middle. This instructional ceramics video is designed to help the beginning through advanced ceramic student improve their throwing skills.

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: Trim a tall ceramic pot

Watch this instructional ceramics video to learn how to trim a tall pot on the pottery wheel. First, wet the rim of the pot and stick the pot upside-down to the bat. make sure that the pot of centered on the wheel. It's good to turn the turn the wheel slowly when trimming, to peel away the excess base material and make a nice foot ring.

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: Throw a chip and dip pottery plate

Ingelton Pottery demonstrates how to throw a chip and dip pottery plate. First, well a ball of clay and put it on a pottery wheel. Use your hands and ample amounts of water to depress the sides of the clay forming an indented rim with a raised center. Use your thumb to define the center hub. Create a thin side to the plate. Wet your hands and press down on the center hub, creating a depression. The plate should now have a two bowls with one sitting inside of the other one. Use a blade to scra...

How To: Make a miniature ceramics mold using resin

This video demonstrates how to make a miniature ceramics mold using resin. The object being made is a small saucepan for a doll house. A product called "AMAZING Mold Putty" is used. It is non toxic and can even be used for food. It comes in two tubes. One is yellow and one is white. Take a blob from each tube and make sure they are of equal size. Blend the two blobs together. You must work fast because the material becomes completely hard in 30 minutes. You probably have only three or four mi...

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