Do you remember 23 Pottery Tips from A Year of Pottery Blogs? Or recent tips for Making Pots and Decorating Pots? Below you will find 18 more pottery tips that pottery bloggers have shared during the past year.
We’re talking everything from making kilns and pottery wheels to photographing and shipping pots. Go take a look at these amazing resources and be sure to subscribe to the blogs listed below. And if you enjoy these kinds of tips, sign up for the Pottery Making Newsletter to get tips, opportunities and great information emailed to you nearly every month.
This collection of tips is brought to you by the Pottery Shirt Shop. Full of one-of-a-kind pottery shirts! Any purchase you make helps support this site. Check out the latest design that was just added to the shop:
Now, on to the pottery tips!
1. Take Notes
Have you ever pulled something out of the kiln and weren’t quite sure what amazing glaze combination you used to get a stunning result? Or maybe you’re about to throw a form you haven’t made in a while but can’t remember how much clay to start with or how tall it should be before you take it off the wheel? Whynot Pottery encourages you to take notes on everything.
2. Bat Stabilizer
Wobbly bat? Preston shares a tip that was published in Ceramics Monthly that may fix it.
3. Transform an Electric Kiln into a Raku Kiln
4. Do Mugs with Thick or Thin Walls Keep Coffee Warmer?
Or, Jack Reacher’s ideal coffee mug. The result may surprise you. You have to love the scientific experimentation involved!
5. How To Flocculate a Glaze
Flocculate a glaze? But we’ve just met! Okay, sorry for the sad attempt at humor. For our purposes, you can think of flocculating a glaze as making it thicker for application or so it doesn’t settle into a hard layer at the bottom of your glaze bucket. John Britt explains the basics in this video:
Now you know the basics so you are ready for this in-depth article from Clay Times Magazine.
6. Making Plaster Molds
Shawna explains how she makes plaster molds.
7. Drying Flat Pieces
Drying flat pieces of pottery can be tricky. Take a look at how Michèle does it.
8. Pottery Tips for Smoother Pots
John Britt has a video demonstrating how he smooths his pots with a wet sponge.
There are a number of ways to smooth the bottoms of your pots after you fire them. Marian uses her wheel.
Page shares how she gets a super smooth bottom on her pot (link) and shares the article by Jeff Campana that helped her figure out what to do (link). Jeff bought his equipment from toolocity.com but you can also find similar items on Amazon:
Big Ceramic Store also shares a couple ways that you can smooth out the rough spots on your pots.
9. DIY Sink Trap
Tim shows how he made a sink trap himself to keep clay and other materials from going down the drain.
11. How to Make Hard Clay Soft Again
Gary rehydrates a solid 25 lb. block of clay… the easy way!
12. Damp Box
Lori’s damp box works well to keep clay projects soft until the next time she can work on them.
13. Baking Mat for Clay
Carol Clarkson had a blog post about using a baking mat as a work surface while working with clay. The link to her post doesn’t work anymore but you can find plenty of baking mats on amazon.com. Here are a few that look promising and also include measurements.
14. Raku Firing Tips
Lori is back with some tips for firing a raku kiln.
15. Sculpey Stamps
Over on the Clay King Blog you can see how to use an oven-fired clay like Sculpey to make stamps.
Of course, I usually just make my stamps out of my normal stoneware clay and bisque fire them to make them hard. I would be interested to see if Sculpey offers any advantages.
15. Photo Booth Example
Rachel gives us a look at her photo setup using a portable photo studio purchased at BH Photo.
Amazon also has a variety of portable photo booths and light tents.
16. DIY Pottery Wheels
Here is a collection of cool pottery wheel projects. If you have the right stuff lying around and a little extra time it would be fun to try.
17. Pack Pots for Shipping
Pots are fragile. It takes a little extra care to make sure they arrive at a new destination in one piece. Antoinette has some ideas for shipping artwork safely.
18. Set a Goal, Make A Plan, Make It Happen
A short guide to help you make the most of the next year. This article was published at the beginning of 2017 but it should work for any year. I hope you were able to meet and exceed your goals this year and continue to grow as a potter or ceramic artist.
Thanks for reading! These pottery tips were collected over the past year from some of the amazing pottery blogs out there on the web. Be sure to visit their blogs, subscribe and leave some feedback. And be sure to read through the Clay Blog Review every month to get more pottery tips, inspiration and stories from potters all over the world.