Lesley

  • 5 Ways to Protect Your Nails When Making Pottery

    5 Ways to Protect Your Nails When Making Pottery

    Making pottery can be tough on your hands and fingernails.  Clay can dry out your skin and your nails.  Also, clay is abrasive, which can make your nails thinner.  So, how do you protect your nails when making pottery and ceramics? Fortunately, all is not lost.  I’m someone with naturally thin nails.  Even before I…

  • Making a Plaster Slab for Drying Clay – Step-by-Step

    Making a Plaster Slab for Drying Clay – Step-by-Step

    One way to recycle your clay is to spread the wet clay over an absorbent surface.  I’ve found that the best surface for reclaiming clay is a plaster slab.  Making a plaster slab for drying clay is very simple.  This is the process that I use, step by step. How to Make a Plaster Slab…

  • How to Identify Majolica Pottery and Recognize Fakes

    How to Identify Majolica Pottery and Recognize Fakes

    The term ‘majolica’ has been used to refer to two different kinds of pottery.  One type is tin-glazed pottery and its production is said to date back to the 8th century.   The other is colorful lead glaze pottery which emerged in Victorian England.  In spite of this difference, there are ways to identify majolica…

  • Crazing in Pottery Glaze – Causes & Ways to Prevent It

    Crazing in Pottery Glaze – Causes & Ways to Prevent It

    Crazing in pottery glaze is a network of very fine cracks that cover the glaze on a piece of ceramics.  Sometimes potters deliberately want to create a crazing effect, and this is known as crackle glaze.  But a lot of the time crazing is considered to be an unwanted glaze defect. Crazing happens when a…

  • 3 Clay Vase Ideas & Free Printable Slab Vase Templates

    3 Clay Vase Ideas & Free Printable Slab Vase Templates

    Making a clay vase is a fun project and they can become the centerpiece in a room.  These three clay vase ideas are easy to make and can look lovely.  Plus, they are made from printable slab templates which makes it easier to produce a well-proportioned piece. Clay Vase Ideas Using the Slab Technique Let’s…

  • Nerikomi Pottery – 3 Easy Techniques With Pictures

    Nerikomi Pottery – 3 Easy Techniques With Pictures

    Nerikomi pottery is a particular way of working with colored clay to create striking patterns.  In this article, we will look at 3 simple ways to create beautiful Nerikomi patterns. One technique I will cover is how I make Nerikomi plates, which you can watch in my video here.. What is Nerikomi Pottery?  Nerikomi pottery is…

  • Maiolica, Majolica, and Faience – What’s the Difference?

    Maiolica, Majolica, and Faience – What’s the Difference?

    The terms maiolica and majolica are often used to refer to the same thing.  And the word faience is sometimes used as an umbrella term for majolica and maiolica!  So, is there any difference between maiolica, majolica, and faience?  Maiolica, majolica, and faience are all words that are used to refer to a broad category…

  • A Guide to Majolica Pottery – Past and Present

    A Guide to Majolica Pottery – Past and Present

    Majolica pottery means different things to different people.  In this guide, we look at some of the different uses of the name Majolica, its history, who made it, and how it was made. What is Majolica Pottery? The name ‘majolica’ is used to refer to two different types of pottery that are made in different…

  • Puzzle Jugs – A Curious Ceramic Headscratcher

    Puzzle Jugs – A Curious Ceramic Headscratcher

    Puzzle jugs are clever drinking vessels that have been made to confuse and entertain drinkers and party guests for centuries.  These charming curiosities have an interesting history and still hold a fascination today. In this article, we will look at the following: What are Puzzle Jugs? Puzzle jugs are specially designed vessels that were designed…

  • Are Dishes with Crazing Safe to Use?  3 Hazards to Consider

    Are Dishes with Crazing Safe to Use?  3 Hazards to Consider

    Crazing looks like a very fine network of cracks in the glossy glazed surface of your ceramics.  If you run your finger over the fine cracks, it will most likely feel smooth.  But are dishes with crazing safe to use? No, dishes with crazing are not safe to use for food and drink.  The tiny…

  • Choosing Letter Stamps for Clay – A Potter’s Review

    Choosing Letter Stamps for Clay – A Potter’s Review

    Using lettering on my pottery is one of my favorite things.  Over the years, I have tried out various different letter stamps for clay, with varying results.  To save you money and frustration, I thought I would review some of the letter stamps for clay that I’ve tried, and let you know what I think…

  • Can You Fire Air Dry Clay? – Do’s & Don’ts With Air Dry Clay

    Can You Fire Air Dry Clay? – Do’s & Don’ts With Air Dry Clay

    Some air dry clay can look and feel a lot like regular pottery clay.  But do they behave in the same way, and can you fire air-dry clay in a kiln?    No. Most air dry clay, like DAS modeling clay or Crayola Air Dry Clay, cannot go in the kiln.  However, there are different types…