Making ceramic pottery is a messy art. No matter how dirty the creation part would be, the end result is always mesmerising. For you artists, who want to make your own ceramic art, the following Ceramic Pottery Techniques will help you get started. Let's begin..
Basic Ceramic Pottery Techniques
These ceramic pottery tips are best suited for beginners. Go through these tips to begin your artistic journey with ceramics. You can also get some inspiration from any online ceramic sculpture gallery. Once you are ready, make sure you sell ceramic sculpture online on an online art store, such as Showflipper.
Pick A Method
Identify the type of clay you want to work with. Traditional, Oven bake, Air dry or Polymer clay are the different types available. A fire kiln to bake traditional clay is essential if you go for traditional methods.
Clay is available at cheap rates and the equipment required also is inexpensive. With a book on tips on hand building, anyone is good to start.
This is a skill and requires a kiln to bake.
Identify The Clay
As one of the most important Ceramic Pottery Techniques, you have to make sure that you identify the clay which you shall use. All clay require a kiln to bake. The type of clay you choose shall determine the heat of the kiln.
Low fire clay items are called earthenware and are not as suitable as high fire clay. They are less durable.
Mid to high fire clay items are ceramics or porcelain and many things can be added to make them more beautiful and strong.
Prep yourself and the work area. The work area is of utmost importance. You need to have a setup where you would not get disturbed. The work area should be large enough to give you space to sit and maneuver the wheel.
Cover your work area with paper or plastic sheets. Pottery is messy, the water and the clay tend to splatter around. And if left unattended can leave dirt marks all over the space.
Do not wear loose clothes, and if you have long hair tie them up in a bun. Water and clay tend to splatter across even on your clothes. If you are wearing loose clothes they will become dirty. Same with hair, long hair and messy hair tend to fall on the face and eyes which reduces visibility and the chance of errors increases.
Prepping The Clay
Air bubbles can destroy your ceramic or clay items. Air bubbles if trapped inside the molecules of the clay can expand when heated and can destroy the design.
Knead the clay as if dough of bread is kneaded. This allows the clay to become more workable. The kneading allows the air bubbles to escape the clay and helps the clay to smooth out.
Make sure there are no air bubbles. A smooth clay has no air bubbles and helps to make smooth ceramic pottery items.
Starting The Wheel
Throw you clay onto the wheel with a force so that it gets stuck to it. Then start the wheel to rotate. If the clay does not stick to the wheel, and the wheel starts, the blob of clay can fly off the wheel and can make the workspace messy.
Sit in a comfortable position and start to shape up the clay. Keep water handy. Good pottery is all about comfort. If you are not comfortable, it will reflect in your creation. Water is an important factor which helps to give the desired shape possible.
Centering The Clay
While working on the clay it may wobble and go off track. Make sure you are keeping the clay in spots. Hence throwing the clay with a force onto the wheel is recommended. Even then if the clay blob wobbles, stop the wheel, add water to the clay and knead again.
Applying subtle pressures can give your clay the desired shape. A subtle pressure of the fingers helps the blob to stay in place as well as give the desired shape.
Formation Of Shape
Once you achieve a basic shape, try to give it a specific form with pressure of your hand or any tool. Shape is important. If you are looking at a final outcome of a short neck vase and the result is a long neck vase, it is quite possible that the clay will not be able to hold onto the shape even after baking.
Hand Build Ceramic Pottery Techniques
Check Air Bubbles
A clay item with bubble will explode. Make sure your clay is bubble free. If there are air bubbles, start again from kneading.
Pinch, Coil, and Slab
Pinch pots: Pinching pots give a rough look to your clay item. Pinching is a technique used to give or shape up a rustic look for the ceramic.
Coil: Coils of clay can be used to make clay items with ridges. If you are looking to give your pot a ridged look, then you can either go for coiled clay or can just contour with the thumb.
Slab: Putting slabs of clay with a textured catalyst will give a rustic outcome for your clay. Looking to give layers to your pottery is a good way to make it different. However, a textured catalyst is required to achieve it.
Fire is Essential: Put your clay items in the kiln at least once. To glaze your pottery the right way, fire baking is essential. Fire helps to smooth out any remnants of clay or any other particle left on the creation.
Chose Your Glaze
Glazes come in three types: Dry, Liquid, and Custom.
Dry: This type of glazing gives an even coverage of the item. A dry glaze is done with a spray. As the spray glaze is toxic, it is advised to cover your face and wear industrial glasses.
Liquid: Apply glaze with a brush or dunk the items. Liquid glazes are the easiest because; they can be done in the least amount of time.
Custom: Making your own glaze is an advanced method and gives exceptional results. Raw materials to create your own glaze and pigments are easily available. Using them gives a unique personality to your pottery.
Methods of Glazing
Spraying: Spray the glaze with a sprayer. This is most commonly used for dry glazes.
Dunking: Give your clay items a bath in the glaze solution. Putting your pottery in liquid glaze helps to cover the items inside and outside thereby increasing their durability.
Pouring: Pour the glaze solution on the item you want to glaze. Pouring glaze can give an extra textured outcome to the pottery
Brushing: Use a brush to apply a glaze or sprinkle glaze. A brush helps to add the texture of rims of lines as a texture.
Sponging: Use a sponge to give textured glaze and patterns. Want to give your ceramics a blistered look, sponging helps.
Etching: This will require two methods of glazing. Pinch your glaze while it is still wet, then apply the second layer to keep the texture.
Stamping: You can use markers to stamp glaze like a flower pattern. You can use any item to stamp your favorite patterns on your pottery.
Wax: Wax your item for more patterns just like in a painting.
Tape: Apply tapes to the parts you want to be unglazed.
Are you new to pottery? I am sure that these simple ceramic pottery techniques will help you get started on this art within no time.
Did you use any of the techniques described in the blog? What was the outcome? Did the technique give you the desired results?
Please comment your views. Also, let us know about any ceramic pottery techniques that we might have missed out.
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