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.
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?
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.
An overview of the basic tools potters use in throwing and hand building with clay.
What are pottery and ceramics? Is there a difference? Is everything made out of clay pottery? Here are the answers.
As a kiln is firing up and cooling down, the changes in temperature make some profound changes in the clay. A look at the stages.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are some ideas for great gifts for the potters on your gift list, from the small and inexpensive to the extravagant.
Definition of bisque, bisqueware and bisque firing.
Glazes can be applied to pottery in five main ways. These are dipping, pouring, brushing, sponging, and spraying the glaze on.
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.
Is pottery dangerous? How dangerous is it doing pottery? What are the dangers to myself, to my children, pets, or home?
There are three main types of machines that process clay for potters. These are the clay mixer, the pugmill, and the pugger-mixer. Find out what each of these can do.
The term. Pottery.
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.
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.
Definition given for the pottery term
Low-fire clays include red and white earthenware. low-fire clay bodies can be used for throwing and hand building pottery and ceramic sculptures.
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.
Instructions for slab building a pottery mug.
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.
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.
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.
Centering clay on the potter's wheel effects all other steps of throwing pottery.
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.
Many objects can be used to make impressions in clay, not just tools specifically made for making impressions.
What is throwing on the pottery wheel? How does throwing on the pottery wheel work?
The process of firing low-fire pottery, from dry greenware to finished pots.
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.
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.
: Clay body (noun) refers to the actual clay mixture that is used in forming objects. It might only have
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.
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.
Decorating pottery with slips has a deep history and a wealth of variations. Slips can be used in conjunction with other decorative techniques to bring about even more decorative options for pottery.
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.
An overview of the different ways pottery and clay objects can be decorated.
Three of the most popular methods to wedge your clay are the cut and slap method, cylinder wedging, and cone wedging.
Pottery and plumbing can be very bad together. As a potter, you need to know what your plumbing needs are and how to handle them.
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.
What are mid-range and high-fire clay bodies? These clay bodies fall into two basic types, stoneware clay bodies and porcelain clay bodies.
Recycling clay scraps so they can be made into workable clay again can be done without any machinery.
Even those new to pottery should be able to make large and intriguing creations using this method for coil pots.
The pinch pot method has been one of the two major techniques used to produce pottery. Discover its value and the various types of poetry it can produce.
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?
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.
Electric kilns have very specific requirements in regards to voltage, phase, and amperage. Find out more here, before buying or installing an electric kiln.
You can apply wax crayons as a form of wax resist on pottery to create interesting decorative effects.
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.
Underglazes are used in pottery to create designs and patterns that will come up through the glaze covering them. There are different types.
: Bone dry (adjective) is a term used to describe and identified greenware pottery that has dried as
An explanation of vitrification in clay and glazes used in pottery.
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.
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.
Loading a kiln takes forethought and some knowledge in order to avoid destructive and expensive accidents.
Definition of the term leather-hard when used in pottery and ceramics.
Where do you look to find a pottery wheel to buy? Potters have several choices.
Surface decorations in clay pieces include incising, carving, fluting, and faceting.
Glaze defects can be caused by six situations. Find out more about those causes and the glaze defects they can produce.
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.
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?
How to burnish pottery, from the choice of clay to sealing a burnished pot.
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 pot walls through pressure between the thumb and fingers, these are called pinch pots.
What are pyrometric cones and how are they used in pottery? Here are the answers.
Fluxes lower the melting point of the glass formers in glazes, clay bodies, and other ceramic materials.
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.
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.
In pottery brushes have many uses, and these uses must be kept in mind when brushes are purchased.
You can give the hobby of pottery-making as a gift to those you know who love to explore their creative side, who need a hobby that can sooth and relax them, and for those who enjoy getting dirty.
Ball clays are light-colored, highly plastic clays that are used to help clay bodies become more workable. They are also very prone to excessive shrinkage and warping. Because of these problems, they are not used by themselves in a clay body.
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.
What are ceramic stains and how are they used in pottery. Are there different types of stains? Find out here!
For many part-time potters, the best solution to the clay question is to buy commercially made moist clay. These ready-to-use moist clay bodies come in a vast assortment of temperature ranges, colors, and working characteristics.
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.
A definition of ceramics. Pottery.
Steps, tips and suggestions on how to mix glazes for pottery.
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.
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.
How to throw a pot, especially a cylinder-shaped pot, is the foundation of working on the wheel. Take the time to build skills with cylinders; it will pay off as you eventually explore more complex forms.
What it means to score a pot or piece of clay.
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.
A description of what horse hair pottery is and how to create your own horse hair pottery pieces.
How to make a coil-built pottery mug with step-by-step instructions.
Crystalline glazes are specifically formulated to encourage visible crystal growth in the glaze as it goes through the glaze firing.
Definition of grog, as used in pottery and ceramics.
Dipping pottery into glazes is one of the oldest methods of glaze application. It is still an easy and useful method today.
Two types of molds are used with clay slabs to create pottery.
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.
A compilation of ash glaze recipes.
What is blistering in ceramic glazes, what causes it, and how to solve this glaze defect.
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.
Take a look at the major pottery wheel brands that potters are using today. Information makes shopping for a new potter's wheel easier.
An introduction to raku, giving a history of the raku process.
Clay is plastic? Yes. Plasticity refers to its ability to bend and flex.
Where do you look to find a pottery kiln to buy? Ceramics require high temperatures that are difficult to reach without one.
Craftsmanship is the backbone of pottery and ceramics. Explore the craftsmanship and skills potters learn and use.
Pinholing and pitting are ceramic glaze defects. Find out what they are, why they occur, and how to solve the problem.
Tips on what you should do before you begin glazing your pottery.
Kiln shelves are expensive. Be certain you get the right ones for your needs and care for them appropriately.
A look at the different types of sponges and their use in creating pottery.
Learn about kiln safety, protective gear, ventilation, and gases emitted during firing.
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.
Crawling is a glaze defect. Find out what it is, why it happens, and how to correct this problem.
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.
Kaolin is a type of very pure clay used in porcelain.
How to make a colored wax resit for pottery by grinding colorant then adding wax resist to it. Although a powdered dry stain may also be used, this is an interesting way to use dried out underglazes.
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.
How to create a ceramic basket by weaving pottery clay coils.
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.
Do you know the top five reasons why pots stick to kiln shelves? Find out the reasons and how to avoid them! Knowing can save you hundreds of dollars in shelf replacement, as well as spare you the unhappiness and frustration of finding your pots welded to your kiln shelves.
What is crazing in glazes? Find the reasons for and solutions to the glaze defect know as crazing here.
There are a number of slips and earthenware clays that are available in dry form to be used in the formulation of a potter's own particular clay body recipe.
Raku is a type of low-fire pottery which often uses out-of-kiln reduction techniques.
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.
'In the round' refers to working or seeing in three dimensions.
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.
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.
Make a special heart picture frame from pottery to show that special someone that you love them or to display their picture. This frame can be customized to your needs and desires and will be able to be hung from the wall.
The process of wetting dried, unfired clay.
Preliminary drawing can be done on bisqueware. The pencil drawing will allow you to plot out the image and will fire out.
Reduction atmospheres are used in pottery to effect the development of both glazes and clay bodies.
Wedging clay is an important preliminary step to working clay. It homogenizes the clay and removes air pockets.
Wax resist is a technique used in decorating pottery.
Wedging your clay is a very important step. One way of wedging clay is the cut and slap method.
Silica is one of the three main ingredients of clays and glaze materials.
Recipes for low-fire pottery glazes.
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).
Lusters, china paints, and overglazes are all glaze options that fire at very low (for pottery) temperatures.
Raku clay bodies must be designed to be able to withstand the thermal shock involved in the raku process. Discussion includes factors effecting clay performance as well as raku clay body recipes.
Pottery vessels usually derive from basic vessel forms, in which basic forms can be used together in one pot with transitions between areas.
How to throw a pottery plate on the potter's wheel. Although it may seem an easy shape to throw, there are some ways the clay can trip you up.
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.
How do you find out what the characteristics are of a given clay body? There are several tests you can run on clay bodies to find out their suitability to your work.
How to make inexpensive particle board bats for your potter's wheel.
Knowing how to photograph pottery can make a sometimes frustrating experience into a rewarding one.
What value is there of making art and pottery? Is there a value, beyond whatever price the objects created might sell for?
Learn how to control dust in your pottery studio and avoid health risks.
: Soak (verb and noun) refers to a set period of time during a firing in which the kiln is kept at a
Throwing off the mound (or throwing off the hump) allows potters to make quantities of small pots or bowls very quickly. It is a technique that many production potters master and use as a matter of course.
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.
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.
Jigger is a term in pottery referring to a mechanized method of production.
Aging clays in pottery is done to increase elasticity and improve workability.
Safely packing pottery to mail or ship it takes the knowledge of how to pack it so it won't break.
Potter's needles have many uses in pottery. It is one of the most basic and versatile tools available, other than the potter's hands, themselves.