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 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: Use Japanese air dry clay

The clay dries by air and you don't have to put it into the oven. The clay isn't brittle and doesn't crack like some of the other clays. The clay bends really easily and is very transparent. Consider that this air dry clay shrinks. The moisture is premixed in the clay. The shrinkage is handy for someone making larger projects. You can use pigment inks, powdered pigments and paints on the air dry clay just like you would use with regular polymer clay. You can also use cutters and findings on t...

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: 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: 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: 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: 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...

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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Apply a terra cotta slip to a pot

A terra cotta slip can add flair and durability to any pot that you've made at home, and also allow you to make up for inconsistencies in the composition of your clay. This video from Simon Leach shows you how to apply just such a terra cotta slip to a clay pot, an important technique to improve you pottery and ceramics skills.

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: 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.

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.

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