Hot Ceramics & Pottery How-Tos

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: 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: 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: Make an oval pie dish with Simon Leach

Watch this instructional ceramics video to learn how to make an oval pie dish with expert Simon Leach. Begin by throwing a clay pot with a wide base, as if throwing a plate. Then stop the wheel and lift the walls of the wet clay to bring the walls in, and seal the seems. The pot then has to stiffen before one can finish sealing and trimming of the excess clay from the round base.

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: 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: Do glaze trailing and pouring for pottery

Simon Leach teaches us how to glaze trailing and pouring for pottery. First, you will dip the entire pot into the glaze after you have poured it into the middle. Wind up your wrist as you are pouring it out so you cover all of the sides in it. Just dip it down a little bit so it goes over the edge of the tip to cover the mouth of it. To use a balloon wand, fill it with the glaze and then use this to glaze the pots. Simply drop the liquid onto the pot in straight lines as you are turning it wi...

How To: Make a polymer clay spider

This cool tutorial is perfect for teachers or parents interested in keeping their little ones entertained. You'll be finding out how to make a polymer clay spider with ease. These spiders are cute and sure won't scare anybody since they're fake and too big to be real spiders. Enjoy!

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: 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: 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: Make a clay plate set

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 matching clay plates and open a world of design ideas for you.

How To: Do spiral fluting

Simon Leach teaches us how to do spiral fluting in this video. Start on the side of the bowl with a sharp edge. Then, push the edge down from the top until you reach the bottom half of the bowl. Create line next to line very close to each other, not overlapping them. Continue to do this slowly until you have reached all the way around the bowl. Make sure your lines are all equal to each other, they don't have to be perfect though. After you have made lines all the way around, your bowl will b...

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: 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: 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: Make a polymer clay zebra bead

This video demonstrates the making of zebra beads presented by Garden of Imagination. To make zebra beads, take white and black clay. First take the white clay and flatten it and then do the same with the black clay. Arrange them in five flatten layers one white strip and other black strip respectively. Cut it with cutter and fold around (up, down, right, left) the round bead of white clay and roll it in your palm to make it round. To make it as a bead poke it with pokeyard from both the side...

How To: Prepare Raku ceramics for glazing

Simon Leach from Simon Leach Ceramics provides some great workshop footage on preparing to glaze Raku ceramic pots. This tutorial video provides answers on the beauty and function of Raku pots, as well as some great ideas for home decoration. Simon walks you through the process of glazing these pots, including important specifics about proper materials and methods, easy recipes for making your materials and tools at home, as well as common mistakes that you should avoid when glazing your cera...

How To: Make painted plates & tiles with ceramic paint pens

Raid the thrift stores and the hardware stores and turn something that's old and useless into invaluable works of art. Armed with markers and your own artistic skills you can change fussy old dinner plates into something worth eating on. Watch this video to learn more about how to make painted plates and tiles with ceramic paint pens. Give the gift of your genius, and spread the smiles around.