Hot Ceramics & Pottery How-Tos

How To: Trim a ceramic pot on a wheel

English pottery instructor Simon Leach has stepped out onto his lovely deck to teach us how to trim our ceramic pots on the wheel. His example piece is small cup or pot that begins the video as plain as vanilla and ends it as a wonderfully detailed piece after only 10 minutes or so of work.

How To: Make a clay goblet

Clay pottery requires patience and detail with every tool you use to hand craft your piece. Learn about clay forming tips that you will need from a pottery expert to create a goblet in this free video clip. Make a clay goblet - Part 1 of 10.

How To: Throw off the hump

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to make a drinking vessel for raku firing by throwing off the hump. This helpful how-to video contains detailed instructions best for intermediate potters who have never used the technique of throwing off the hump before.

How To: Throw a little pot

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to throw and form little pots on your pottery wheel. Making a little pot is the same as making a big pot, just on a smaller scale. This instructional video will have you throwing beautiful little pots in no time.

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: 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 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: 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: 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: Throw a vase neck

Watch this ceramics tutorial video to learn how to throw a vase neck using clay and a pottery wheel. This how-to video is not for beginners as it assumes a certain degree of skill. You'll be throwing vase necks like a pro using the tips offered in 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: 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: Make a clay bowl

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 batter bowl and open a world of design ideas for you. Make a clay bowl - Part 1 of 20.

How To: Make double-walled and donut pieces

Watch this ceramics video tutorial to learn how to make double-walled and donut pieces, especially teapots. This technique is trite, but can lead to better ideas. The detailed instructions in this how-to video are best for intermediate potters and will have you making nice double-walled and donut pottery in no time.

How To: Make models and ornaments with salt dough

In this tutorial, we learn how to make models and ornaments with salt dough. First, grab a baking sheet and place aluminum foil over it. Now, grab some gloss sealer, salt, food coloring, flour, ribbon, glitter, cookie cutters, and buttons. To make the dough, combine flour with water and salt. Mix this together until you get a dough shape, then roll out and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Cut a small hole in the top of it, then bake until golden brown in the oven. Tie a string in the hole...

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: 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 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: Make coils with clay

In this how to video, you will how to create clay coils. You will need clay about the size of your fist, water, and a knife. Pound the clay 200 times to get all the air out. Cut a slice from the clay and roll it in your hands. It should be a log shape. Now place it on a surface. Roll it back and forth until it is to the thickness you want. Water the clay coils and score the ends of it. Push the ends together and rub all the cracks out with water so that it sticks. Wet the sides of the two coi...

How To: Glaze ceramics

Simon Leach teaches the secret to glazing the inside of a bowl. You will need: brush, glaze, sponge, water, stick or whisk. Using a brush, dust the inside of the bowl to be glazed. Remove any clay that remains stuck on the bowl by using a blade or knife. Stir the glaze from the bottom using a stick or whisk Add water to the glaze if it appears too thick and stir again from the bottom. Pour the glaze into the bowl, careful not to get any over the edge. If any glaze goes over the edge of the bo...

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 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.

How To: Trim a round bowl with Simon Leach

This instructional ceramics video shows you how to trim a round bowl. It is much easier of you have a centered pot to begin with. It is also helpful to leave a bit of extra clay in the base so that one can trim more freely. Once the clay is semi-dry, you can begin trimming. After trimming, smooth the trimming marks out using a rubber rib. A touch of water on the rim will re-elevate the rim after trimming your round pot.

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...