Hot Ceramics & Pottery How-Tos

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: 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: 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 big pottery mixing bowl

First of all you have to put some clay over the potter wheel. Now add some water and then press hard with your fingers at the bottom. Now slowly release the pressure of your hands and bring your hands upwards while slowly releasing the pressure. This shall form an inverted cone shape. Now apply pressure with your thumbs at the top to depress in the top and then wash your hands with water. Now use your thumbs to make this hole bigger. Now put a little water in this hole and then use your finge...

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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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 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: 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: 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: Throw a beer tankard

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to throw a beer tankard using clay and your pottery wheel. This helpful how-to video contains detailed instructions that are good for beginner to intermediate potters who have used a wheel before but have never thrown a beer tankard.

How To: Make faceted pottery

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to make faceted pottery using some common faceting methods such as wire cut faceting. The detailed instructions in this helpful how-to video are geared toward intermediate potters and will allow you to make pretty faceted pottery.

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: 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: Throw better cylinders

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to use some different forms to help yourself throw better cylinders. This how-to video contains very detailed instructions that are best for experienced potters who need help throwing better cylinders.

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