Hot Ceramics & Pottery How-Tos

How To: Make a butter dish

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to make your own butter dish. If you don't use butter, you can follow the same process to make a slightly bigger dish for cheese. This project is easy enough for beginners. The tips in this helpful how-to video will have you making your own butter dish in no time.

How To: Put handles on your ceramics

Simon Leach teaches us how to put handles on your ceramics in this tutorial. The key thing is to never let the handle fall as you are adding it to a cup, always keep it supported. Look at the handle as you are placing it on and think about proportion and size. If it's sticking out too far it's going to get knocked off. You need to have an elliptical shaped handle when you are shaping them so they can be gripped properly. Don't score the bottom part when you are joining the handle to the botto...

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: Work with paperclay & molds

Terri Sproul shows you how to Work with Paperclay and Molds. Make a ball of paperclay and push it firmly into the center of the home-made or ready-made Mold. Make the surface of the Paperclay level with the surface of the Mold, adding more Paperclay if necessary, and removing any excess with your fingers. The molding putty that the Mold is made from is flexible, so hold the edges of the mold with your fingers and gently push the center of the Mold with your thumbs, this will push the molded P...

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: 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: 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: 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: Set up a kiln

Before starting out on any pottery projects, you need to set up that kiln. This video how-to series demonstrates the safe and proper set-up procedure for your new kiln. Learn where to set up the kiln, unpack, and assemble. Follow along with the video and have fun with ceramics. Set up a kiln.

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: 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: 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: 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 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...

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