Pottery: Most Popular Articles
What is clay? What types of clay are there? Here is some basic information for you to understand the different types of clays used in pottery.
Glazes can be applied to pottery in five main ways. These are dipping, pouring, brushing, sponging, and spraying the glaze on.
As a kiln is firing up and cooling down, the changes in temperature make some profound changes in the clay.
An overview of the basic tools potters use in throwing and hand building with clay.
Tells how you bisque fire pottery, including discussion on the best type of kiln to use, what temperature to choose, and the usual firing schedule or ramp.
There are specific temperature ranges for firing glazes; individual glazes will mature within one of those five ranges. If the glazes are fired at too low a temperature, the glaze will not mature. If the temperature goes too high, the glaze will become too melted and run off the surface of the pottery. For success, a potter must know their glazes' temperature ranges at which they become mature.
There are so many choices of pottery clays, it can be baffling. How do you choose which clay is right for you and your pottery needs?
What are pottery and ceramics? Is there a difference? Is everything made out of clay pottery? Here are the answers.
Ceramic and glaze colorants follow some basic principals. These principals not only deal with the ceramic colorants themselves, but also the composition of the glazes and how they are fired.
Working with clay requires certain things from the space we use. Here are some guidelines as to what you will need to consider when you are setting up your own pottery studio.
Creating pottery can be a mild interest or a consuming joy. In either case, beginning to work with clay is an adventure. Here are answers to some questions that you may have as how to begin creating with pottery.
: Slip (noun) is a liquefied suspension of clay particles in water. It differs from its very close relative,
It is important to have an overview of the firing process. Firing clay transforms it from its humble, soft beginnings into a new substance, ceramic. Ceramics are tough, strong, and very similar in some ways to stone. Pieces of pottery have survived for thousands of years, all due to clay that met fire.
Hand building slab pots has a strong history in certain parts of the world. It can be done while the slabs are either soft or stiff. Building with slabs can also be done using slump or drape molds.
Is pottery dangerous? How dangerous is it doing pottery? What are the dangers to myself, to my children, pets, or home?
Drying pottery and clay objects correctly is one of the most important steps prior to firing clay. Improper drying can result in cracking, warping, and breakage either before firing or during firing.
Making the clay slabs is the first step in all slab-built pottery construction. This is an important foundation; mistakes made in the creation of slabs may destroy the piece in later stages of construction.
Oxidation and reduction atmospheres are the two main kiln atmospheres possible when firing pottery. Both oxidation and reduction refer to the amount of oxygen available in the kiln while firing pottery.
Before potters had the wheel, they were creating spectacular pots and clay forms. Using clay, their hands, and a minimum of tools they brought function and artistry together. Here are the three most common forms of producing hand built pots.
The process of firing low-fire pottery, from dry greenware to finished pots.
There are a number of variables you need to consider before making the big decision as to the purchase of your own potter's wheel. Find out more here.
Kilns are fired according to firing schedules, which include how long the kiln will be firing at a certain ramp, or rate of temperature gain.
: Greenware (noun) is the term given to clay objects when they have been shaped but have not not yet
Steps, tips and suggestions on how to mix glazes for pottery.
Underglazes are used in pottery to create designs and patterns that will come up through the glaze covering them. There are different types.
Glaze defects can be caused by six situations. Find out more about those causes and the glaze defects they can produce.
Even those new to pottery should be able to make large and intriguing creations using this method for coil pots.
Painting on pottery can be done in a number of ways. Generally speaking, potters use underglazes, slips, engobes, and stains to paint on their work.
The major elements of any three dimensional form include shape, value, space, texture, line, color, and time and movement.
Definition of bisque, bisqueware and bisque firing.
There four key types of components which are found in glazes. All of the various ingredients used in ceramic glazes fall into one (or more) of these categories.
Have you ever wanted to dig your own clay? Local clays can make wonderful slips and (when fired higher than their actual maturity temperature) slip glazes.
Creating pottery through the pinch pot method has been one of the two major techniques used to produce pottery throughout human history. Discover the value of pinch pots today and the various types of pottery can the pinching method produce.
Three of the most popular methods to wedge your clay are the cut and slap method, cylinder wedging, and cone wedging.
Kilns are basically containers for heat. In the most primitive forms, this could be nothing more than a trench or pit dug into the earth. Today, there are many different types of kilns. Here is an introduction to some of the most common types used for pottery and the ceramic arts.
An overview of what glazes are and their characteristics will be very helpful if you are new to them. Glazes are very diverse. Not only are there a wide variety of colors, but also of opacity, surfaces, and temperature ranges. Here we will look at an overview of that diversity.
What is throwing on the pottery wheel? How does throwing on the pottery wheel work?
There are many considerations to take into account before you buy a kiln. Buying a kiln is a major expenditure; take the steps to ensure that you will be happy with your purchase for years to come.
An overview of the different ways pottery and clay objects can be decorated.
Electric kilns have very specific requirements in regards to voltage, phase, and amperage. Find out more here, before buying or installing an electric kiln.
In the thousands of years pottery has been practiced, one of the farthest reaching innovations was the introduction of electric-powered potter's wheels (pottery wheels). Electric potter's wheels allow potters to produce volumes of work even faster than before.
Reduction firings can bring out some very wonderful colors in pottery. Many high-fire glazes are formulated for reduction, and will not work successfully in neutral or oxidation firings. How do you put a kiln into reduction when firing pottery? This article will guide you toward success.
There are many interesting and diverse pottery decorating techniques involving the use of slips. Effects range from very linear to very textural, and from very fluid to quite hard-edged. This is Part 1 of 2 describing these techniques.
Instructions for slab building a pottery mug.
How to burnish pottery, from the choice of clay to sealing a burnished pot.
Fluxes lower the melting point of the glass formers in glazes, clay bodies, and other ceramic materials.
Stack and load the kiln carefully, observing several rules in order to reduce kiln accidents. Page 2.
An explanation of vitrification in clay and glazes used in pottery.
Low-fire clays include red and white earthenware. low-fire clay bodies can be used for throwing and hand building pottery and ceramic sculptures.
What it means to score a pot or piece of clay.
Learn about kiln safety, protective gear, ventilation, and gases emitted during firing.
When should a potter underglaze their pottery? Do you need to wait until the pots have been bisqued, or can you underglaze them as greenware?
Hand building with clay is fun. Good hand building clays make the experience even better. What are the characteristics of a clay body that has been designed for hand building?
Safely packing pottery to mail or ship it takes the knowledge of how to pack it so it won't break.
Two types of molds are used with clay slabs to create pottery.
Recycling clay scraps so they can be made into workable clay again can be done without any machinery.
You will want to make handles for many pots such as mugs, pitchers, teapots, and so on. Here are several ways to make handles that are commonly used in pottery.
What are pyrometric cones and how are they used in pottery? Here are the answers.
There are a number of things that need to be considered when buying a used electric kiln. This article will tell you the questions you need answered in order to make a good buying decision when looking at used electric kilns.
Mishima techniques and tools and explored in this article. Mishima is a type of inlay which allows ceramists to create sharp edges and intricate designs.
This is a list of pottery and ceramic suppliers based in Arizona.
What is crazing in glazes? Find the reasons for and solutions to the glaze defect know as crazing here.
A description of what horse hair pottery is and how to create your own horse hair pottery pieces.
What are ceramic stains and how are they used in pottery. Are there different types of stains? Find out here!
Throwing on the potter's wheel makes some heavy demands on clay bodies. There are three key characteristics necessary for a clay body to work well for throwing.
The three most-often used pieces of equipment that potters can use are kilns, wheels, and some form of equipment used to bring dry clay to usable form.
Wax resist is used extensively in pottery as a means of controlling glazes and other liquids. It has both practical applications, such as keeping the bottoms of pots glaze-free, and well as decorative applications.
Crystalline glazes are specifically formulated to encourage visible crystal growth in the glaze as it goes through the glaze firing.
An introduction to raku, giving a history of the raku process.
Where do you look to find a pottery wheel to buy? Potters have several choices.
Images of ancient Greek pottery showing a diversity of types from alabastron to stauettes.
There are poisons in pottery that potters need to be aware of. In this time of readily available information and safety equipment, it is only common sense to pay attention to what can harm yourself or those around you.
Recipes for low-fire pottery glazes.
Tips on what you should do before you begin glazing your pottery.
Centering clay on the potter's wheel effects all other steps of throwing pottery.
What are mid-range and high-fire clay bodies? These clay bodies fall into two basic types, stoneware clay bodies and porcelain clay bodies.
Creating pots with slabs is probably the most technically challenging of the hand building techniques. Because of the structural stresses, it is important to create good seals and welds between slabs.
Definition of grog, as used in pottery and ceramics.
All clays shrink. But not all clays are created equal. Different clay bodies experience different amounts of shrinkage. It depends upon the clay's particle size and on how many and what type of impurities are present in the clay body.
Classes in pottery or ceramics can help you expand your technical and expressive voice in clay. They can also be great fun. You may have decided that you would like to take a class in pottery, but aren't sure how to find one. Here are some places to look.
Lusters, china paints, and overglazes are all glaze options that fire at very low (for pottery) temperatures.
Wedging clay is an important preliminary step to working clay. It homogenizes the clay and removes air pockets.
Pinholing and pitting are ceramic glaze defects. Find out what they are, why they occur, and how to solve the problem.
Most of us no longer go out and dig our own materials as a matter of course. The vast majority of modern potters order our potter and ceramic supplies from wholesale and retail suppliers. Here is a list of some of the online retailers of pottery and ceramics supplies.
The process of wetting dried, unfired clay.
Explore the types of pottery lids that are thrown on the wheel.
Definition of the term leather-hard when used in pottery and ceramics.
This is a compilation of mid-range matte pottery glaze recipes. As with all pottery glazes and glaze materials, use the proper safety precautions when mixing these glazes.
One of the specific types of glazes that potters tend to talk about are the ash glazes. The vast majority of ash glazes use wood ash, although some potters have developed glaze recipes using ashes from rice straw and hulls, reeds, seaweed, and hay straw, as well as the ashes from other plants. Normally, ash glazes require high-fire temperatures, usually falling between cone 9 and cone 11.
Kiln sitters are used in electric ceramic kilns as a fail-safe means of ending a firing once it has reached the target temperature, or slightly above. Once tripped, the kiln sitter automatically shuts off electrical current to the kiln elements.
Where do you look to find a pottery kiln to buy? Ceramics require high temperatures that are difficult to reach without one.
Problems with clay bodies can occur at any stage of pottery production. These clay body defects can usually, be avoided, however. For all of clay's versatility and incredible flexibility as a medium, it does need to be understood. Clay does make certain requirements of those who work with it, or problems will arise.
A compilation of ash glaze recipes.
Kiln shelves are expensive. Be certain you get the right ones for your needs and care for them appropriately.
Silica is one of the three main ingredients of clays and glaze materials.
Overfired bisqued pottery often cannot be glazed, due to the lack of porosity in the now-vitrified clay body. What can be done to salvage pottery that was overfired in the bisque firing? There are several possibilities to explore.
How do you begin to choose which glazes you want to use, especially if you are new to pottery? Here are some guidelines to help you make those choices.
Before centering clay on the potter's wheel, there are a number of steps that should be taken. These preparatory steps will work toward your overall throwing success.
Wax resist is a technique used in decorating pottery.
: Bone dry (adjective) is a term used to describe and identified greenware pottery that has dried as
Learn more about Ceramics Monthly magazine in this review by a pottery expert.
Crawling is a glaze defect. Find out what it is, why it happens, and how to correct this problem.
Decorating pottery can be done using the sgraffito technique of incising down through slip. Page 3.
Thermal shock is a factor when pottery and other ceramics are cooling rapidly or used as ovenware.
The kickwheel, is the most common form of human-powered wheel used by modern potters in the United States today. Find out more about them.
A definition of ceramics. Pottery.
Terra sigillata is a decorative technique using extremely fine slip.
Pottery vessels usually derive from basic vessel forms, in which basic forms can be used together in one pot with transitions between areas.
Egyptian paste is a self-glazing form of pottery. The glaze materials are actual present in the clay body; no further glazing is needed.
Take a look at the major pottery wheel brands that potters are using today. Information makes shopping for a new potter's wheel easier.
Handbuilding can be done in many ways. The most basic method of all is to work with a ball of clay directly, with no intermediate steps. Due to the action of thinning the potÃ¢â¬â¢s walls through pressure between the thumb and fingers, these are called pinch pots.
Dipping pottery into glazes is one of the oldest methods of glaze application. It is still an easy and useful method today.
Your pottery skills will be greatly enhanced if you know the three foundations underlying of pottery-making. Your development as a potter rests squarely on practice, experience, and experimentation.
Understanding clay recipes can be a confusing experience. Here are some tips for those who want to use clay body recipes and mix their own clays.
You can apply wax crayons as a form of wax resist on pottery to create interesting decorative effects.
Engobes are slip-like liquids formulated with less clay in order to reduce shrinkage.
Plumbing traps are used by many potters in their pottery studios. Page 2.
In pottery brushes have many uses, and these uses must be kept in mind when brushes are purchased.
Here is an FAQ on collecting and identifying pottery, including issues such as why to collect, appraisals, insurance, and more.
Make holes in clay in many ways. It is generally easier to make holes while the clay is soft, but holes can be made even after firing.
Kilns can be heated by a number of different heating sources. Kilns used for pottery are heated, or brought to temperature, using five main heating sources.
Learn how to control dust in your pottery studio and avoid health risks.
It is good to calculate how much it costs to fire your kiln, both to keep track of your own expenses and in case you want to rent out kiln space.
Artistry and aesthetics are as much a part of pottery as the technical side of pottery craftsmanship. Technical skill, artistry, and aesthetic design are all part of what makes pottery great.
You can make your own pottery shrinkage ruler. This will help you size new pots so they will be a specific size after firing.
Once the initial coil pot has been formed, the surface and the walls can be refined through the paddle and anvil and the rib and hand techniques.
If you are unfamiliar with them , it can be hard to understand and use glaze recipes.
Glaze modifiers can be added to pottery glazes in order to change the characteristics of a base glaze.
Have you ever heard of pulling a handle for pottery? Many types of pots require handles, including mugs, pitchers, teapots, jugs, and so on. One of the most technically and aesthetically pleasing types of handles are pulled handles.
What is dolomite and how is it used in pottery.
Reduction atmospheres are used in pottery to effect the development of both glazes and clay bodies.
: Clay body (noun) refers to the actual clay mixture that is used in forming objects. It might only have
Kaolin is a type of very pure clay used in porcelain.
Preliminary drawing can be done on bisqueware. The pencil drawing will allow you to plot out the image and will fire out.
The definition of a firing schedule or firing cycle as pertains to pottery.
Here are some ideas for great gifts for the potters on your gift list, from the small and inexpensive to the extravagant.
What is blistering in ceramic glazes, what causes it, and how to solve this glaze defect.
Ancient Egyptian potters depicted in a wall-painting as they wedged, formed, and fired their wares.
Clay can be incised to create pottery decorations. Various incising tools will give differing incised lines. Page 4.
The entire process of forming a pot out of clay on the potter's wheel is generally called throwing. There are several steps within that process, such as centering, opening, throwing the walls, and finalizing the form.
Wedging your clay is a very important step. One way of wedging clay is the cut and slap method.
Coiling has been used for millennia as a method of producing pottery and ceramic objects. It is still an extremely versatile technique for us today. The following project is an introduction to creating your own pottery with coils.
For this project, you will need about 1/2 pound clay, a potter's needle or wooden trimming tool, and some water or slurry (dried clay bits dissolved into water).
A look at the different types of sponges and their use in creating pottery.
This list should help you find pottery and ceramic suppliers in the state of Florida. Remember that many large supply houses will ship all over the US and possibly outside the US. Should you know of a Florida supplier that is not listed here, please contact the Pottery Guide, so they can be included.
Aging clays in pottery is done to increase elasticity and improve workability.
Oxidation is a particular kiln atmosphere which can strongly effect glazes and clay bodies.
Which is better, do it yourself glazes or commercial glazes. DIY glazes allow for more uniqueness and control, but commercial glazes are very user friendly.
Definition of slip casting as used in pottery.
Majolica is a historical type of pottery still practiced today.
Kaolin clays are refractory, very pure clays used in creating porcelain clay bodies. They tend to be very non-plastic, sometimes to the point of being nearly unworkable. Even so, they are highly regarded for their whiteness and the translucence that they can exhibit when fired to maturity.