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Pottery Clay

Trying to figure out which clay body to use for your work? There are so many options of ceramic and pottery clay out there it can be difficult to learn which one is best suited for the work you want to make. This section of Ceramic Arts Daily is designed to help you learn about many types of pottery clay available and figure out which one has the characteristics you are looking for. Whether you are planning to mix your own or buy premade pottery clay, these articles will help demystify the process. And, if you haven't already, be sure to download your free copy of the Successful Tips for Buying and Using Pottery Clay: How to Select the Right Clay, Estimate your Clay Needs, and Test Clays for Better Results, a great studio reference for finding the pottery clay that's right for you.


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Persnickety Porcelain: How to Minimize Your Loss Rate With this Gorgeous, Yet Difficult, Material

Posted On July 9, 2014 32 Comments

Today, Gwendolyn Yoppolo explains what porcelain will put up with
from the wet phase to the bone dry phase. Plus, don’t miss the
March/April issue of Pottery Making Illustrated in which Gwendolyn
explains how to make her sweet little juicers (like the one shown
here!).

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Making Paper Clay Storage Easier and Less Stinky

Posted On May 14, 2014 18 Comments

Paper clay is an ideal solution for building complex or delicate ceramic sculpture. Made by mixing any type of clay body — earthenware, stoneware, raku or porcelain — with paper pulp, paper clay improves joining capabilities and decreases warping and shrinkage, all the <em>while</em> reducing the heft of the work. But when it sits around, it can get rather stinky. In today’s post, Diane Gee explains her solution for avoiding the stink and making paper clay easy and convenient to store.

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Superior Slip: How to Make a Paper Joining Slip to Help Attachments Stay Put

Posted On February 28, 2014 17 Comments

From decorative handles to functional spouts, attachments are featured in much of Martha Grover’s pottery. Since she works in porcelain, she has to be extra careful to make sure her attachments are stuck on tight. What she came up with to alleviate attachment headaches is a super sticky joining slip made of paper clay and vinegar. In today’s excerpt from her new DVD Creating Curves with Clay (which is on SALE this weekend!), Martha shows us how she makes her joining slip and attaches a handle. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Multi-hued Murrinis: Working With Colored Clay to Create Vibrant Tactile Pots

Posted On November 25, 2013 31 Comments

Chris Campbell has been working with the colored clay for twenty years and, as she puts it, has not “come close to trying everything I want to do…there always seems to be another question, another idea. It’s just so much fun.” Today Chris joins us to help spread the fun with a simple colored clay project. Even though the project only starts with two different colors of clay, by mixing different proportions of the two colors, and arranging the results in different patterns in a loaf, surprisingly intricate patterns can be developed.

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Pottery Video of the Week: Layering and Carving Colored Slips on a Slab-Built Vessel

Posted On November 22, 2013 14 Comments

Today’s video is an excerpt from Curt Benzle’s forthcoming DVD Expanding your Creative Palette with Colored Clay (due out next month). Actually, it is a technique that we really really liked, but just couldn’t fit on the disc! In the clip, Curt demonstrates a simple way to create texture and pattern on a vessel by layering and carving colored slips. Watch the video!

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Stack and Slam Wire Wedging: An Efficient and Easy-on-the-Wrists Way to Wedge Clay

Posted On September 16, 2013 19 Comments

Today, in an excerpt from our newest free download Successful Tips for Buying and Using Pottery Clay: How to Select the Right Clay, Estimate Your Clay Needs, and Test Clays for Better Results, Michael Wendt gives step-by-step instructions on how to effectively use the stack and slam method for wedging clay.

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Texture from Within: Mixing Coarse Materials into a Smooth Clay Body

Posted On July 8, 2013 15 Comments

Gillian Parke shares her technique for getting a very coarse surface texture from a clay body typically chosen for its creamy smooth consistency.

Detail of Fossil Fantasy II, clay with perlite and paper fibers, by Barbro Aberg

Adding Strength to Your Clay Work with Paperclay

Posted On June 24, 2013 9 Comments

Adding paper pulp and other fibers can make things you never thought possible with clay totally doable. Combining the fibers with clay reduce shrinkage in the drying stage and strengthen joints, allowing wet and dry pieces to be joined.

In today’s post, an excerpt from Additions to Clay Bodies, Kathleen Standen explains the ins and outs of the remarkable combination of clay and paper. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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The Ombré Look: How to Create Smooth Color Blends with Colored Clay

Posted On June 17, 2013 4 Comments

The “Ombré” trend is pretty huge right now. Search the term on Pinterest and you’ll find everything from ombré cakes to ombré hair color. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, it refers to color graduated from light to dark. In today’s post, Chris Campbell explains an easy way to create smooth ombre-like color blends (or Skinner Blends) with colored clay. There’s no reason we clay artists can’t be up on all the trends and get the ombre look with colored clay. To see the rest of the article and learn how to make beautiful objects (see above image!) with your color-blended clay, download your free copy of our new Workshop Handbook: Clay Projects and Studio Resources.

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Using Colored Clay and Etching Techniques to Explore Patterns and Textures on Functional Pottery

Posted On August 6, 2012 4 Comments

Debra Oliva’s work is inspired by a Samurai warrior’s suit of armor, which she saw on a visit to a museum. Impressed by the combinations of grays, blacks, and browns, as well as the patterns, textures, and fine details, Debra knew she had to work these elements into her clay work. She does this by throwing in sections with different colored clays, painstakingly etching surface designs, and adding more color with underglazes and terra sig. In today’s post, an excerpt from the September 2012 issue of Ceramics Monthly (coming soon to a newsstand or mailbox near you!), Debra explains her process.