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Pottery: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Did You Know That There Are More Than 7 Types...
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.
New to Pottery? All the Supplies You’ll...
An overview of the basic tools potters use in throwing and hand building with clay.
Is There a Difference Between Pottery and...
What are pottery and ceramics? Is there a difference? Is everything made out of clay pottery? Here are the answers.
The 6 Stages Clay Goes Through During...
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.
How to Bisque Fire Pottery
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.
Temperature Ranges for Firing Glazes
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.
Why You Should Start Creating Pottery with Clay
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.
Gifts to Give to Potters
Here are some ideas for great gifts for the potters on your gift list, from the small and inexpensive to the extravagant.
Bisque
Definition of bisque, bisqueware and bisque firing.
5 Easy Ways to Glaze Your Pottery
Glazes can be applied to pottery in five main ways. These are dipping, pouring, brushing, sponging, and spraying the glaze on.
How to Choose the Right Clay for You
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?
Greenware
Definition given for the pottery term
7 Things You Should Consider before Buying a...
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.
Set Up Your Pottery Studio
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.
Is Pottery Dangerous?
Is pottery dangerous? How dangerous is it doing pottery? What are the dangers to myself, to my children, pets, or home?
Scoring
What it means to score a pot or piece of clay.
Leather-hard
Definition of the term leather-hard when used in pottery and ceramics.
What You Wanted to Know about Ceramics Firing
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.
Slip
The term. Pottery.
Firing Schedules and Ramps
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.
3 Important Factors That Affect Glaze Color
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.
Bone Dry
: Bone dry (adjective) is a term used to describe and identified greenware pottery that has dried as
Find Out Why Slab Pots Are So Unique
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.
Oxidation and Reduction Atmospheres
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.
Low-Fire Clay Bodies
Low-fire clays include red and white earthenware. low-fire clay bodies can be used for throwing and hand building pottery and ceramic sculptures.
How to Dry Pottery and Clay Objects
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 Clay Slabs
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.
What is Throwing on the Potter's Wheel?
What is throwing on the pottery wheel? How does throwing on the pottery wheel work?
Three Methods to Wedge Your Clay
Three of the most popular methods to wedge your clay are the cut and slap method, cylinder wedging, and cone wedging.
How to Use Local Clays in Your Pottery
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.
3 Classic Pot Types That Are Created by Hand
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 Three Main Pieces of Equipment for Potters
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.
A Demonstration of Crayon Wax Resist on Pottery
Wax resist needs to be cleaned of all excess glaze, or the glaze may either mar the decoration or drop off onto the kiln shelf while firing. Page 2.
Vitrification
An explanation of vitrification in clay and glazes used in pottery.
What Goes Into Glazes?
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.
7 Elements of 3-D Forms That Potters Should Know
The major elements of any three dimensional form include shape, value, space, texture, line, color, and time and movement.
Painting on Pottery
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.
Kiln Buying Basics
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.
How to Fire in Reduction
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.
The Firing Process for Low-Fire Pottery
The process of firing low-fire pottery, from dry greenware to finished pots.
Mishima Technique and Tools
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.
What Kind of Kiln Is It?
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.
Why You Should Start Making Pinch 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.
Plasticity
Clay is plastic? Yes. Plasticity refers to its ability to bend and flex.
What Are Underglazes?
Underglazes are used in pottery to create designs and patterns that will come up through the glaze covering them. There are different types.
Why Glazes Go Bad
Glaze defects can be caused by six situations. Find out more about those causes and the glaze defects they can produce.
Clay Body
: Clay body (noun) refers to the actual clay mixture that is used in forming objects. It might only have
How to Recycle Clay Scraps
The second step to recycling clay scraps is to slake the dried clay in water. Page 2.
Pyrometric Cones
What are pyrometric cones and how are they used in pottery? Here are the answers.
Horse Hair Pottery
A description of what horse hair pottery is and how to create your own horse hair pottery pieces.
A Potpourri of Slip Decorating Techniques Part 2
Slips and rubber stamps can also be used to decorate pottery. In this case, you can achieve an impression at the same time as delivering contrasting colored slip. Page 2.
Electric Kiln Basics
Electric kilns have very specific requirements in regards to voltage, phase, and amperage. Find out more here, before buying or installing an electric kiln.
Raku Firing Step by Step
An introduction to raku, giving a history of the raku process.
Decorating Basics for Potters
An overview of the different ways pottery and clay objects can be decorated.
How to Buy a Used Electric Kiln
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.
Why Clay Bodies Shrink
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.
Crawling
Crawling is a glaze defect. Find out what it is, why it happens, and how to correct this problem.
Use Your Kiln Safely
Learn about kiln safety, protective gear, ventilation, and gases emitted during firing.
5 Steps to Building Coil Pots
Even those new to pottery should be able to make large and intriguing creations using this method for coil pots.
Characteristics of Throwing Clay Bodies
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.
How to Use a Kiln Sitter
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.
Pottery Craftsmanship
Craftsmanship is the backbone of pottery and ceramics. Explore the craftsmanship and skills potters learn and use.
Slab Build a Mug
Instructions for slab building a pottery mug.
How to Mix Glazes for Pottery
Steps, tips and suggestions on how to mix glazes for pottery.
Make a Basic Pinch Pot
Pinch pots are fast and direct molding of a small pot. Step three is to pinch out the walls and floor of the pot. Page 3.
Pottery and Plumbing
Plumbing traps are used by many potters in their pottery studios. Page 2.
Crazing
What is crazing in glazes? Find the reasons for and solutions to the glaze defect know as crazing here.
Characteristics of Hand Building Clays
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?
How to Center Clay on the Potter's Wheel
Basics of centering clay on the potter's wheel. Page 2.
How to Use Wax Resist
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.
How to Load a Kiln
Stack and load the kiln carefully, observing several rules in order to reduce kiln accidents. Page 2.
Pottery and Ceramic Supplies
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.
Ceramic and Glaze Fluxes
Fluxes lower the melting point of the glass formers in glazes, clay bodies, and other ceramic materials.
An Overview on Glazes
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.
Slake
The process of wetting dried, unfired clay.
What Are Crystalline Glazes?
Crystalline glazes are specifically formulated to encourage visible crystal growth in the glaze as it goes through the glaze firing.
A Potpourri of Slip Decorating Techniques Part 1
One method of decorating pottery is to do slip paintings. Page 5.
Make a Basic Slab Pot
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.
6 Aspects of Electric Potter's Wheels
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.
Grog
Definition of grog, as used in pottery and ceramics.
Slumping and Draping Slabs
Two types of molds are used with clay slabs to create pottery.
How to Dip Glaze Pottery
Before the actual dip into glaze, you need to position the pot correctly. Page 2.
Pinholing and Pitting
Pinholing and pitting are ceramic glaze defects. Find out what they are, why they occur, and how to solve the problem.
Where to Find a Potter's Wheel
Where do you look to find a pottery wheel to buy? Potters have several choices.
Where to Look for Pottery Classes
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.
When to Underglaze
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?
Poisons in Pottery
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.
Silica
Silica is one of the three main ingredients of clays and glaze materials.
Mid-Range and High-Fire Clay Bodies
What are mid-range and high-fire clay bodies? These clay bodies fall into two basic types, stoneware clay bodies and porcelain clay bodies.
Firing Schedule
The definition of a firing schedule or firing cycle as pertains to pottery.
Problems With Clay Bodies
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.
Where to Find a Kiln
Where do you look to find a pottery kiln to buy? Ceramics require high temperatures that are difficult to reach without one.
Types of Pottery Sponges
A look at the different types of sponges and their use in creating pottery.
Ceramic Stains
What are ceramic stains and how are they used in pottery. Are there different types of stains? Find out here!
Kiln Shelf Basics
Kiln shelves are expensive. Be certain you get the right ones for your needs and care for them appropriately.
Reduction
Reduction atmospheres are used in pottery to effect the development of both glazes and clay bodies.
Ash 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.
Wax Resist
Wax resist is a technique used in decorating pottery.
Basics of Thrown Pottery Forms
Thrown pottery can have a number of specific areas or parts. Formal knowledge of these can enhance a potter's aesthetic as they work on the wheel.
Before Centering Clay
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.
Paddle and Anvil and Rib and Hand Techniques
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.
Artistry and Aesthetics
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.
What to Do Before Glazing Pottery
Tips on what you should do before you begin glazing your pottery.
Impress Your Clay
Pine cones can leave great impressed patterns in clay. Page 4.
Blistering
What is blistering in ceramic glazes, what causes it, and how to solve this glaze defect.
Give the Hobby of Pottery as a Gift
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.
Pottery and Ceramic Suppliers in Arizona
This is a list of pottery and ceramic suppliers based in Arizona.
Lusters, China Paints and Overglazes
Lusters, china paints, and overglazes are all glaze options that fire at very low (for pottery) temperatures.
Raku
Raku is a type of low-fire pottery which often uses out-of-kiln reduction techniques.
How to Burnish Pottery
How to burnish pottery, from the choice of clay to sealing a burnished pot.
How to Make Handles for Pottery
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.
Ceramics
A definition of ceramics. Pottery.
The Many Uses of Pottery Needles
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.
Clay Artist Peter Holland
Peter Holland briefly describes his 7 business principals for making art your career. Page 3.
How to Cylinder Wedge Clay
Hand placement during cylinder wedging of clay. Page 2.
6 Ways to Heat a Kiln
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.
Engobe
Engobes are slip-like liquids formulated with less clay in order to reduce shrinkage.
Major Pottery Wheel Brands
Take a look at the major pottery wheel brands that potters are using today. Information makes shopping for a new potter's wheel easier.
In the Round
'In the round' refers to working or seeing in three dimensions.
How to Pack Pottery for Mailing and Shipping
Safely packing pottery to mail or ship it takes the knowledge of how to pack it so it won't break.
How to Wedge Clay Using the Cut and Slap Method
Wedging your clay is a very important step. One way of wedging clay is the cut and slap method.
Oxidation
Oxidation is a particular kiln atmosphere which can strongly effect glazes and clay bodies.
Dolomite
What is dolomite and how is it used in pottery.
How to Pull a Handle
Begin pulling the clay for a pottery handle be gently pulling the clay downward. Page 2.
Ceramist
A ceramist is a person working in one of the fields involving ceramics.
Ash Glaze Recipes
A compilation of ash glaze recipes.
How to Make a Pottery Heart Picture Frame
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.
Kiln Furniture
Kiln furniture are those items used in supporting ceramic pieces as they are fired in the kiln.
Know About Kickwheels
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.
3 Common Types of Clay Processing Equipment
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.
Three Foundations of Pottery Skills
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.
Ancient Egyptian Paste Chalice
An ancient Egyptian chalice in the form of a blue lotus. This piece is located in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Page 4.
Top Five Reasons Pots Stick to Kiln Shelves
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.
Make a Pottery Shrinkage Ruler
You can make your own pottery shrinkage ruler. This will help you size new pots so they will be a specific size after firing.
Tools to Make Holes in Clay
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.
Low-Fire Glaze Recipes
Recipes for low-fire pottery glazes.
Alkaline Glazes in Pottery
Alkaline glazes in pottery have some very definite pros and cons. Find out more about these interesting glazes.
Basic Vessel Shapes and Transitions
Pottery vessels usually derive from basic vessel forms, in which basic forms can be used together in one pot with transitions between areas.
Types of Thrown Pottery Lids
Explore the types of pottery lids that are thrown on the wheel.
Maturation
Did you know that clays and glazes mature? Not in the social sense that people do, of course, but rather in their structure.
Terra Sigillata
Terra sigillata is a decorative technique using extremely fine slip.
Brushes Used in Pottery
In pottery brushes have many uses, and these uses must be kept in mind when brushes are purchased.
How to Use Ceramic Stains Like Brush and Ink
Preliminary drawing can be done on bisqueware. The pencil drawing will allow you to plot out the image and will fire out.
Make an Oil Lamp Demo
Make a floating wick holder for your pottery oil lamp using a hammer, nail, and metal lid. Page 6.
How to Photograph Pottery
Knowing how to photograph pottery can make a sometimes frustrating experience into a rewarding one.
How to Throw off the Mound
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.
Egyptian Paste
Egyptian paste is a self-glazing form of pottery. The glaze materials are actual present in the clay body; no further glazing is needed.
How to Decorate Pottery with Colored Wax Resist
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.
Dry Earthenware Clays and Slip
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.
Majolica
Majolica is a historical type of pottery still practiced today.

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