How to make pottery: 8 steps (with pictures)

How to make pottery: 8 steps (with pictures)
How to make pottery: 8 steps (with pictures)

You love your table service and your coffee cups, okay. But did you know that it's both easier than you think and really more satisfying to do your own dishes rather than buying them ready-made? Easily create unique plates, cups or bowls with this awesome pottery process!


Part 1 of 2: shaping your object

Make Pottery Step 1

Step 1. Start by thinking about the size, shape and color of the object you want to create and what you want to use it for

"Pottery" is a rather loose term. There are a thousand different ways you can go about achieving your object. To design your object, you have to think about all aspects. Take a tour of the stores to give yourself some ideas.

Start thinking. If you prefer to stick with small items, your best bet is to start with beads, animal figures, or decorative boxes. But the possibilities are endless: plates, bowls, vases, wall decorations, coffee sets …

Make Pottery Step 2

Step 2. Choose your material

Once you have chosen the object you want to make, the next step is to choose your material. There are polymer pastes that do not even need to be baked, but they are expensive and therefore only suitable for the smallest objects. There are also clays requiring firing at different temperatures and also giving different results.

  • Pasta cooked at low temperature is very colorful and allows very detailed decorations. The downside is that they have little water resistance and will require varnish.
  • Clays firing at high temperatures are not as colorful, but are resistant, including water, and can easily be weathered or glazed. The decorations can however be modified by cooking, also the finest decorations can come out scrambled.
Make Pottery Step 3

Step 3. Choose the method most suitable for your project from the options below

  • The potter's wheel: this is the best method for creating round and regular objects. You will also need a pottery kiln and a little practice. This method is suitable for both small and large objects, but your pot will be difficult to catch up if you miss your shoot.
  • Modeling by hand: this is a good method for small objects. It's pretty simple: just take a small amount of clay and mold it in the palm of your hand. Heat the clay in your hands and give it the desired shape. Use a damp sponge to smooth the surface.
  • Column mounting: this is the best method for hollow or asymmetrical objects. Interesting texture and shapes can be obtained by superimposing layers or rings of coils (or socks) of clay. Rather than starting from a block of clay, just stack coils to achieve the desired shape. They will adhere to each other and your object will hold together.
  • Printing of patterns: method valid for objects with a flat side. One or more sides of the object must be pressed against a shape. As it dries, the clay will shrink, retaining the printed shape.
Make Pottery Step 4

Step 4. Do some training

Make your choice according to your level. If you have a potter's wheel, fine. If not, there are other ways to get started in pottery. If you're just starting out, watch videos online or take lessons with a professional. Pottery, especially if you use a lathe, takes a lot of skill.

Some materials cannot be put back into a ball and reshaped after a failed first attempt. Check before you start whether the clay or paste you have chosen allows for a second chance

Part 2 of 2: cook the modeling

Make Pottery Step 5

Step 1. Place your pottery in a pottery kiln

First, raise the temperature to 850 ° C for 12 hours. You will get biscuit or rough ceramics. This initial firing removes water physically and chemically from the ceramic, so that when your piece comes into contact with water again, for example to patina it, it will not return to its mud form. In the world of ceramics, we refer to the different moments of firing with the following expressions: small, fire, large fire, level and cooling.

Lower the temperature and remove your part from the oven 48 hours after it has cooled completely

Make Pottery Step 6

Step 2. Decorate your room with a glaze

Keep in mind that the glaze will run off. If you want to make precise patterns, paint your pottery instead with a suitable acrylic paint and then cover it with clear varnish.

  • If the surface of your pot is not smooth, you can use # 100 sandpaper or a peeler to grind it. Then wipe the entire surface with a damp sponge to remove all traces of dust before applying the glaze.
  • There are many methods of glazes. You can dip your coin in, sponge it on, or bush it out, to name a few. Glazes can be purchased liquid or powder. It is even possible to make it yourself, to become a real pro!
Make Pottery Step 7

Step 3. Anneal your pottery to melt the glaze and seal your object

The firing temperature depends on the clay, the glaze used and the size of the object and can reach 1150 ° C.

Heat your oven very gently overnight. After 2 hours at low temperature, increasing to a maximum of 95 ° C per hour, heat for two hours at medium temperature, increasing to a maximum of 150-200 ° C per hour. Finish your cooking at a high temperature, always increasing 150 to 200 ° C per hour until the required cooking temperature is reached

Make Pottery Step 8

Step 4. Sand the base of your object

Sometimes the object is placed in the wrong position in the oven and its base is no longer completely flat. Sand until your object can sit properly on a flat surface.

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