Apr

19

How to Make Basic Clay Pots

By Ceramic Design



If you are a beginner in the art of pottery, you can hone your skill by starting with an easy project such as making a basic coil clay pot. The coil pot, made by coiling long ropes of clay in a spiral, is the earliest kind of pottery, according to the Free Library website. This type of pottery is rich in culture and history, dating as far back as 700 B.C. when the Mimbres tribe from New Mexico first made coil pots for cooking and religious purposes. The technique for making this basic coil pot is easy, and the resulting product is beautiful.

  • 1.Place a chunk of clay on the table or your work surface. With a putty knife, cut a piece of clay from the chunk. Out of this piece you will make the base or the bottom section of a basic clay coil pot. Flatten the clay into your desired shape for your clay pot. If you want a round clay pot, make a circular bottom with the clay. If you want the clay pot to be oval, then make an oval-shaped base.
  • 2.Cut another piece of clay from the chunk. Roll it out back and forth until it forms into a long strip. This strip will look like a clay “worm.” Coil the strip around the edge of the base. Use your fingers to smooth up some clay to attach the coil to the base.
  • 3.Create another clay “worm” about the same size and shape as your first one. Stack the clay strip on top of the first one and coil it around the edge of the pot. Use your fingers to press the clay together. Dip your hands in water to help smooth the clay out.
  • 4.Continue rolling out strips of clay and placing a strip on top of another coiled strip until the clay pot reaches the height that you want. Smooth out the sides and edges of the clay pot with your fingers. This will allow the coils to grip together.
  • 5.Place your clay pot in a safe place and give it time to dry. It may be a basic clay pot, but if you allow the clay enough time to harden, it can result in a durable, functional piece of art. Some potters fire up a clay kiln to give the clay pot a strong finish. If you do not have a clay kiln, the clay pot you just made will be fine as long as you give it time to dry slowly and completely.

Apr

19

Unique Clay Pottery Design Ideas

By Ceramic Design



Creating pottery is unique almost by default. Each artist’s hands are different and this subtle difference allows them to shape the clay in new and exciting ways. Clay pottery gifts are special to begin with, but they are even more special when they are handmade. You can create a variety of unique pottery projects using a few simple techniques.

  • Using Leaves

    • You can use actual leaves to create unique accents on your clay pottery pieces. Try to find some live leaves with interesting textures in them. You can then coat these leaves with a thin coat of silver clay paste. Let this dry and coat each leaf again several more times with the paste. These can then be fired with any of your low-temperature clay pots.

      You can join the leaf to the pot or dish using slip which is a mixture of clay paste and water. You can also simply press a live leaf into your clay pottery to leave behind an interesting texture. This isn’t quite as beautiful but it is much simpler.

    Unique Pinch Pots

    • Pinch pots are very easy to make and because of this you can take chances with them. You can create a pinch pot by simply pinching and forming a ball of clay into a small cup shape. You can create unique texture for this by rolling the outside of the pinch pot in various objects. For instance, you can fill a tray with a collection of small and smooth river stones. Simply roll the pot around the stones to create a unique texture. You can also roll the pinch pot around in the grass of your yard to create an interesting effect. It is best if you roll the pot while it is still very supple in your hands. Be sure to remove any debris that sticks to the pinch pot before firing.

    Face on a Mug

    • For a truly original clay pottery idea, you can sculpt a face on a mug that you have created. This will work best with a mug that has been made using the coil method. This method uses long rolled cylinders of clay that are twisted on top of each other to form pottery. The outside and inside are then smoothed.

      You can add the face by using two small lumps of clay. Score the back of the clay by rubbing with a fork and secure the lumps to the mug with a bit of slip. The upper lump will be the forehead, nose and upper mouth area. The lower lump will be formed into the lower jaw. You can create the nose by pinching up the clay. Pressing your fingers into the clay just above the nose can make eye sockets. Eyeballs can be made with small balls of clay pressed into the sockets. Be sure to score the back of the eye ball and add some slip before you secure it.