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Five Great Handbuilding Techniques: Variations on Classic Techniques for Making Contemporary Handbuilt Pottery

Posted On December 16, 2013 Comments Off

When you put a ball of clay in your hands, you just want to start making something—it’s so natural it’s uncanny. And while equipment is used to make a lot of the pottery in the world, using just your hands or a simple paddle and rolling pin can produce awesome results! Discover how to make pottery using three simple techniques, but with a twist. Make a pinch pot really big, make a coil pot from flat coils, or make slab pots square and with great textures. All you need is a ball of clay in your hands. It’s all here in a free gift – Three Great Handbuilding Techniques: How to Make Pottery Using the Pinch, Coil and Slab Methods.

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Wood Kiln Firing Techniques and Tips: Plans and Instructions for Making a Wood-fired Kiln and Firing with Wood

Posted On November 11, 2013 4 Comments

Wood firing is the oldest firing method. Since humans first began to understand how fire hardened clay, we have been making ceramics, both in pits and in wood kilns. Now, with so many fuel options available to the potter, wood-fired kilns are more of a choice than a necessity. While wood firing isn’t easy, the results are incomparable. The work in wood kilns reveals the story of the firing, with pieces showing ash deposits and the path of the flame through the kiln. But not all wood kilns are built alike. Some are made for flashing from the flame, some are made for melted rivulets of ash and others still are designed to bury the ware in ash and make it crusty and craggy. Regardless of your wood firing aesthetic, the wood kiln plans and diagrams in this helpful guide will show you several ways to get started understanding and building wood kilns.

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Going Batty: How to Choose the Right Bat for Your Work

Posted On July 16, 2012 3 Comments

In today’s post, an excerpt from our latest free download Pottery Throwing Tools: A Guide to Making and Using Pottery Tools for Wheel Throwing, Bill Jones,  gives the low down on the wide variety of bats on the market today to help you figure out which on is right for your needs.

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Roll Call: Seven Great Handmade and Store-Bought Roulettes for Adding Texture to Pottery

Posted On September 14, 2011 17 Comments

In today’s post, Bill Jones highlights seven great tools for rolling texture onto pottery. Some can be hand made using readily available supplies and some can be found at your local pottery supplier. All are super fun!

Fig. 1 Using a sprigs from a Day of the Dead mold from Amaco, Tracy adds details and texture.

Finding a Niche: Using Plaster Sprig Molds to Make Clay Nichos

Posted On May 4, 2011 25 Comments

Lately, potter Tracy Gamble has been working on a series of ceramic Nichos (traditional Latin American folk art objects) and discovered that commercial sprig molds are perfect for embellishing them. In today’s post, Bill Jones explains Tracy’s process. I particularly thought of all the teachers out there when I saw this project not only because it is accessible and fun, but because of how nicely it could combine with a social studies or history lesson.

 

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Making Multiples: Using Templates to Throw Uniform Shapes on the Pottery Wheel

Posted On May 2, 2011 12 Comments

I think many beginning potters start out with the goal of making perfect sets of bowls or mugs, but quickly realize that it isn’t that easy to make exact duplicates on the pottery wheel. Today potter Bill Schran explains how he makes and uses templates to throw multiples on the pottery wheel.

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Raku Firing: Advanced Techniques

Posted On December 16, 2010 Comments Off

This updated and revised Ceramic Arts Handbook edition of Advanced Raku Techniques contains information on forming, glazes and glazing, kiln construction and firing, as well as inspirational stories from some of the most influential raku artists working today. For any potter who has experienced the excitement and immediacy of the raku process, this book is a must.

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Six Key Considerations When Shopping for Clay Mixers and Pugmills

Posted On October 25, 2010 11 Comments

Today, Bill Jones, editor of Pottery Making Illustrated, presents six important considerations to make when shopping for a clay mixer or a pugmill.

The raw colors of the assorted stains above are close to the actual fired color.

The Low Down on Ceramic Pigments and Stains: How to Get Great Color in Your Work

Posted On October 11, 2010 7 Comments

As we all know, adding color to your ceramic art can be a tricky proposition, so it helps to have a good understanding of all of the options out there for ceramic artists. That’s why we decided to put together our latest free download How to Add Color to Your Ceramic Art: A Guide to Using Ceramic Colorants, Ceramic Stains, and Ceramic Oxides. Today’s post is a sampling of what’s inside!

All About Throwing Gauges

Posted On July 29, 2010 1 Comment

More than likely you’ll get to the point where you’d like to throw multiples of an object. Getting work to look the same when making more than one of an item takes a bit of practice because it’s not as easy as it looks! To help assure you’ll get some sort of consistency on your next set of mugs or bowls, you need a throwing gauge—a way of keeping track of the measurements from the first piece to the last. There are several options for throwing gauges based on designs from both eastern and western cultures, as well asad hoc solutions that use items around your studio.