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How to Ceramic

By Michaela O'Hanlon and Colton Samborn


By: Michaela O'Hanlon and Colton Samborn

How To Ceramic

Published: May 13, 2013

So what are you gonna do? 
You don't know?

Well let me help.

The decision is, "Is it functional or decorative?"
Do you want something to just look nice sitting on your mantle? Or do you want something to hold a flower, candle, or even a liquid of a sort? These are the really tough questions.

Now that you've got your clay, you need to wedge it so you can get the air bubbles out of it.

Bubbles are fun until they get in the kiln.


Not so much.

Do you know what you need?
I mean... Um...

You're gonna need some clay.  Not too much though. About a pound and a half should be a good starting point.






Ok. Everything starts with a base. 

Take about half of your clay, and lay it on a towel so it doesn't stick to the surface of your table, and roll it out with a rolling pin.

It's just like making cookies really. 




Now that you have your slab. The base needs to be cut out.

This is done with a knife.  Careful though, You could get hurt.


Just cut out the desired base and you're all set. 




 Time to move on~ 

There are three ways to coil it up. Verticle, Horizontal, and Spiral. All are pretty simple, once you get the hang of rolling the coils. Just keed verticle and spiral about 1in tall and you're all set. 

Three ways...



Scoring is making tiny little hash marks all along there you are trying to connect. This is to make a really strong bond.


Slip is the mud-like version of clay that is put on the scored. Slip acts like cement between the two pieces.


Knitting is where you take your modeling tool, and pull clay up and down along the seam to join the pieces.


Subtractive detail is the same thing really. But it takes it away instead to briung it forward.



Combining the two can really make a piece look nice.

Additive detail is where you make something seem a bit more 3-dementional by bringing it towards you.







firing is the action of putting your project in the kiln and allowing it to harden, be sure your project will fit in the kiln before completing it ,and it is hollow with a hole for air to escape, if needed

The kiln is the equipment used to fire clay at a cone 04/1940 degrees or a cone 05/1915 degrees

after your project is out of the kiln you can sand out any clay boogers you might have missed while you were smoothing.

Leatherhard is the stage before your project is ready to go through the kiln.


Bisque fire


Rinsing is when you take your project out of the kiln, you have to run it under some water to wash off any dust that may have settled on it so you can begin glazing.

Is the firing before glaze is applied

Bisqueware is the final project before being fired, its ready to be glazed, clearcoated and, then fired for the last time.



Now here is some vocabulary you might not understand. 

Cone 04/1940

Cone 05/1915

Both of the above are different types of glaze. These determine what temperature to set the kiln to.

Now it's time for glazing?

Are you excited? I know I am. 

Now, what you need to know.

It is basically painting. It won't look like the color you want until it is out of the kiln. So dont freak out then you want one color but it looks like another.



Glaze fire

final firing before the glazed product is removed from the kiln.

product after the project has been glazed and is ready to be fired for the last time



You've made it to the final stage!