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: 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 a clay planter

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 slab planter and open a world of design ideas for you.

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: Clean off ceramic pots before firing them

In this video, we learn how to clean off ceramic pots before firing them. First, take a knife to clean off any bits that need to be removed to make the pots completely smooth. After this, dip the top of the pot into glaze and let it dry on a flat surface. For the base, hold with your two fingers on the inside, then dip in the glaze and let dry. Once these are dry, take a knife and scrape the edges where excess glaze may be at. Then, scrape all around the edges and clean the back of the side w...

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: 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: 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.

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 large clay vase on a pottery wheel

This video pottery-making tutorial demonstrates the entire process of a large clay vase. Watch as this ceramic clay vase takes shape from the interplay between the skilled and nimble fingers of the craftsmen, the lump of clay, and the potter's wheel. The finished product is truly a work of art. Start watching and throw your own beautiful clay vase.

How To: Make a large soup bowl

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to throw a large soup bowl using 2.5 pounds of clay and a pottery wheel. The detailed instructions in this helpful how-to video will allow intermediate potters to easily make large soup bowls.

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: 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: 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: 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: 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.

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