How to guides

how to use pyrometric cones

How to use Pyrometric Cones – Witness Cones Made Simple

Even if you use a kiln with an electric controller, it’s a good idea to use pyrometric cones when firing.  But there are different types of cones and these are used differently.  If you’ve just started firing your ware, you have probably wondered how to use pyrometric cones.  This article is all about how to…

smooth coil pots with a template

How to Make Smooth Coil Pots – With and Without a Template

When making smooth coil pots, the coiling method is used to construct the pot.  However, the coils themselves are smoothed away, rather than left as part of the decorative design of the pot.  You can make smooth coil pots either with a template or without.  This article will give you a step-by-step guide for each…

burnishing clay

Burnishing Clay – 3 Ways of Burnishing Pottery to Perfection

Burnishing clay is a technique that gives pottery a smooth soft sheen without using a ceramic glaze.  It involves rubbing the clay with a hard object, like a smooth pebble or the back of a spoon.  The rubbing action compresses down the surface particles of clay, aligning the clay platelets.  This creates a reflective surface….

sanding pottery

Sanding Pottery – How and When to Sand your Pots

If you are reading this article, you probably want to know how to smooth the surface of your pottery.  So, you may be surprised to hear that sanding pottery is actually a source of disagreement amongst some potters.  The reason for this is that when you sand pottery, you inevitably create clay dust, which contains…

easy coil pots

Easy Coil Pots – 3 Ways to Make Simple Coil Pots

This article is a step-by-step guide on how to make easy coil pots.  The basic coil pottery technique is versatile.  Once you have got the hang of coiling you use these skills to make all sorts of hand-built pottery.  However simple coil pots can in themselves look great, especially if they are well made.  So,…

how to make coil pots

How to Make Coil Pots – 5 Great Coil Pottery Techniques

Coil pottery is a great way to hand-build pots.  You can make lovely, strong pots with character and individuality using simple coiling methods.  This article is a step-by-step guide on how to make coil pots.  I will look at 5 different coil pottery techniques so you can experiment and decide which one you enjoy most. …

how to make slip for clay

How to Make Slip for Clay – 3 Ways to Make Perfect Clay Slip

This article is all about how to make slip for clay.  There are different kinds of slip, used for different purposes.  And there are some variations in how to make slip for clay depending on how you want to use it.  I will cover these differences and outline a step-by-step guide for making different kinds…

firing pots with lids

Firing Pots with Lids – How to Dry and Fire Lidded Pots

I recently made my first pot with a lid on it.  I was at pains to make sure the lid was a perfect fit.  But I know that clay shrinks when it dries and can warp when it’s fired.  And I didn’t want my perfect lidded pot to be ruined.  So, before I let it…

make a clay coil

How to Roll a Clay Coil – 12 Tips for Making Perfect Coils

The first step in making coil pottery is learning how to roll a clay coil.  This might sound simple, and of course, in some ways, it is.  But, it is also a bit of a skill.  When I started making coil pots, I was surprised by how tricky it can be to roll a clay…

firing a DIY raku kiln

How to Raku Fire Pottery- Tips on the Raku Firing Process

Since I started using my DIY raku kiln, I have picked up some tips on the raku firing process.  It took me a few tries at firing a raku kiln to use it successfully.  And I imagine that the same is true for other people starting out.  So, I thought I’d write an article and…

how to make pottery at home

How to Make Pottery at Home – A Beginners Guide

When I started to make pottery from home, I really just made it up as I went along.  On route, I encountered a few practical issues that I had not anticipated.  So, I thought it would be helpful to write a simple guide on how to make pottery at home.  To help you avoid some…

melting marbles in pottery

Melting Marbles in Pottery – Pretty Ways to Fuse Glass onto Clay

One of the first pieces of pottery I made in pre-school involved melting marbles in pottery.  However, mixing glass with ceramics is not just for kid’s projects.  It is a technique much used by potters and can create lovely results in a few simple steps. To melt marbles in pottery, make a small shallow dish…