Big Ceramic Store Blog
  • If you're in the market for a potter's wheels, whether you need a new one, or if you're just getting started, this is the post for you. We will discuss the different styles, manual vs. electric, and the benefits of each.

    Let's get started with the most popular wheel...

    Electric Wheel

    Electric wheels are by far the most popular for several reasons...

    1. Easy to use
    2. Versatile
    3. Forward/reverse functions
    4. Many styles to choose from
    5. Tabletop models available for portability

    So what makes electric wheels so easy to use? Well, you put your clay on the wheel head... turn it on... and press the pedal! It rotates at the same speed for as long as you want, or you can speed it up and slow it down when needed.

    If you're a beginner, the simplicity of this wheel's operation is exactly what you need! No need to worry about keeping your feet moving while you're concentrating on your hand movements.

    If you're working on a "masterpiece" and have to stand up or move around to see it from different angles, or in motion, this is the perfect type of wheel for you.

    There are a wide range of makes/models available on the market today. When you are deciding on a purchase, my suggestion is... "Don't go for the cheapest... go for the best... the one that best suits you!"

    Kick wheels

    Kick wheels are not as popular as electric wheels, however; many professionals prefer them over electric wheels for several reasons...

    1. The ability to rotate freely clockwise/counter-clockwise
    2. Without a motor, they are pretty much maintenance free
    3. They virtually last a lifetime
    4. They are perfect for trimming your pieces
    5. There is a unique feeling that goes with a kick wheel... often referred to as a "zen-like feeling"
    6. Some manufacturers offer kickwheels with motors. You simply engage the motor when you need a break, or for detailed work.

    Note: Kickwheels are very heavy making them difficult to move. They also require a lot of leg action, which could lead to knee problems in the future.

    That being said, if you want to be "one with nature," this type of wheel will help you get there!

    Specialty Wheels

    Portable Wheels are great for those that want to take them along on vacation, or if you live in different homes throughout the year. They also make a great wheel for teachers!

    Rehabilitation Wheels are phenomenal for those that cannot use a regular wheel. They are wheelchair accessible, larger than other wheels, have casters that make them easy to move into position, and lock down feet to keep them stationary for throwing.

    Whatever your wheel needs are, don't hesitate to email our Customer Support Team, or call us toll free at 888-513-5303,for additional information and answers to any questions you may have!

  • Do you like the look of a large "thrown"platter,  versus a slab platter, but don't quite have the skills to start with a ball of clay to make one? Well, there is an alternative method that might just be the ticket!

    We are going to make an 18" platter with a slab and large coil finished off on the potters wheel. Not only is it going to look great, it will give you a sense of accomplishment!

    Grab a cup of coffee and follow me to the studio!

  • A few weeks back we sent an email asking our readers what they'd like to see in our posts. One thing we were asked is how to judge the thickness on pots thrown on the potters wheel.

    Here are two simple tricks that I've used in my quest for "perfection!" Mind you... I'm still on that quest but at least I believe I've mastered the thickness issue.

    Grab your coffee and apron and follow me to the studio!

  • Recently, our toothbrush holder decided it was too old to hold it together any longer, so I decided to try my hand at making one and you get to follow along with the experiment.

    First off I will tell you, now that I've made the first one, I realize that it's not exactly what I was looking for. I think a little tweaking is needed, before I fire and glaze one for the bathroom, but this should put you on the right track for your own.

    Put on your thinking cap, grab your coffee, and follow me to the studio!

  • One of the current trends is handmade soaps. They come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and scents. The problem is finding a good quality, aesthetically pleasing, soap dish for those pretty bars.

    With any bar soap it's important to have a holder that allows it to drain properly and keep it from getting too soft and slimy. Besides, who likes to clean a soap dish that's been collecting all that mess?

    Today we are going to make a two-piece soap dish, that will not only look awesome holding your soap, it will bring style and personality to wherever you choose to place it!

    Grab your coffee and follow me to the studio!

    • Clay Blog Review: March 2017 - Pottery Making Info |

      […] Big Ceramic Store: Pretty Little Soap Dishes […]

  • Are you looking for a clay project for your little ones? One that they will absolutely adore? How about an Easter Bunny? It is that time of year...

    Well, here is a really easy and super cute one for them, and all you need is a paint brush and popsicle stick. It can be made of air dry and self-hardening, stoneware, porcelain, earthenware, and even polymer clay! Heck, you can even make it out of play doh!

    Round up the kiddos and follow me to the studio!

  • Christians all around the world are decorating their homes with items that symbolize Easter. The one piece that symbolizes Easter best, is the cross, for that's where the Easter Festival begins.

    If you're looking for an Easter project that will add a special touch to your home, or to give as a gift, this is the one. You only need about a 1/2 pound of clay, your hands, a bit of water, a scoring tool, and the desire to bring Christ into your home this season.

    Grab your coffee and follow me to the studio!

    • Clay Blog Review: March 2017 - Pottery Making Info |

      […] Big Ceramic Store: The Cross On The Hill […]

  • Along with the meaning of Easter, one of the first things that come to mind when I think of Easter... is of course... eggs. Pink ones, purple ones, blue ones, yellow ones... you get what I'm saying right?

    When I think of the eggs, I also think of how to glaze them, then how to display them. I know... they go in the Easter basket... but what about all those cute little ones? I'm putting mine in a nest this year.

    Not only will it help me with Easter decorations, they can stay out all spring long as part of the decor´!

    • Clay Blog Review: March 2017 - Pottery Making Info |

      […] Big Ceramic Store: Slip Trailed Bird Nests For Easter Eggs And Spring Decor´ […]

  • With Easter only a few weeks away, I'm sure you have a couple projects sitting on the shelf waiting to be glazed. Why not put some of your underglaze to good use and give those projects a special touch!

    At Big Ceramic Store, we have many different underglaze colors, firing ranges, and manufactures, making it easy for you to choose the right ones for your work.

    Let's say you have a cute little chick you want to make a solid yellow... that's where an opaque underglaze like the Amaco LUG Series Yellow comes in handy. If it's too bright, just add a little white to tone it down.

  • Easter baskets are a must have! I'm not sure about you, but as Easter nears, I find myself trying to come up with ideas to "dress up" the Easter baskets I make.

    I've done all sorts of things in the past to dress them up... texture, applique', weaving, ropes, funky colors and shapes... but this year, I'm adding a new spin to them... cut-outs.

    Cut-outs can be added to wheel thrown or hand built projects. They can also be bent and twisted to make them stand out away from the body of the project for a 3D effect.

    You can get real creative with them or you can keep them real simple. How much effort you put into the design is your choice... I'm going to do a little simple and a little more detailed.

    Grab your coffee and follow me to the studio!

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