Big Ceramic Store Blog

Monthly Archives: July 2015

  • I'm not big on packing stuff up, hauling it to a show, and setting up. Not only does it take me away from the studio, but potential storms, poor attendance, and hundred degree weather just don't excite me!

    I have learned however; doing a few "select" shows a year, are an integral part of my business. I pick shows, that are fairly local and have a good track record. Today is the last day of one of those events.

    Has it been profitable? Keep reading to find out.

  • Handles used to be such a mystery to me. I saw some really cool ones, on other peoples' pots, but mine seemed so boring!

    I would see a neat handle, try to figure out how it was made, then give it a try. Undoubtedly; my way of making it, was always more difficult than how it was actually made.

    Over the last couple years, I've realized, trying to be perfect is really a mind set. The more carefree I am, the better they turn out.

    Here are a few samples of EASY coil built handles. We will go over extruded, and pulled handles, in upcoming posts.

  • I love bacon, and if I cook a pound, I can eat a pound. So, how do I get my bacon fix without clogging my arteries??? It's simple, I use a bacon cooker in the microwave. I still get the bacon I love, but since the cooker only holds 5-6 pieces, I don't go overboard.

    Not only, does using the cooker limit how much I eat, it's healthier. The bacon doesn't cook in it's own grease. The grease drains away, and is easy to pour out. It's also very easy to clean.

    So, how do you make a bacon cooker? Well, keep reading for instructions.

  • Hand-building is on the rise for many reasons. The biggest reason for me is, it's easier to teach a large group how to make something with a slab, then try and teach throwing skills in a short amount of time.

    Pitchers are one of my most often requested workshops.  Not only are they beautiful, and versatile, but they are really easy to make! I use them for beverages, cream, gravy, and my favorite... fresh flowers!

    They are such a wonderful addition, and bring out the "pretty" on your table. They also catch the eye of almost everyone that walks by, opening the door, to discussion on workshops and lessons.

    Keep reading for easy instructions on making a beautiful pitcher!

    • Dennis Bergkamp |

      Maintain the exceptional job !! Lovin' it!

  • I love sculpting, and if I had the choice, would do it every day! Unfortunately, sculptures are very time consuming, and it's hard to find a market for selling them at a price that pays for that time.

    Needless to say, I'm not wealthy enough to do what I love most for a living, so workshops, lessons and retail sales of my pots, are a necessary component of making clay my income. So how do I get my "sculpting fix?" I improvise!

    Embellishing pots, has become a way for me to do the sculpting I love, and turn out enough product to survive. I'm going to show you a few of the embellishments I do regularly, but feel free to "improvise" in your own way.

  • Did you ever wish you could make a large serving bowl, but don't have a pottery wheel? Or maybe you're not quite accomplished enough at the wheel to do it? Many new potters, and experienced ones as well, want to go bigger and better with bowls, but just don't know how to get there.

    Well, maybe it's time for you to consider hand-building one. The great thing is, you finally get that big bowl you've always wanted... but more importantly, there is a sense of pride with the completion of a project that has haunted you!

    Small, medium or large... a simple template with help you make a bowl to be proud of! Keep reading to learn how we do it.

    • Teresa Oliveira | #

      I would like to recive other classes by email.

    • Karen Mitchell | #

      I love that a decent piece can beade without a wheel. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Lori Henthorne | #

      Would love to get lesson plans!

    • Laurene Davidsburg | #

      I'm interested in learning new ideas.

    • Louise vigeant |

      When I make plates on a mold, the y often warp. How can I solve that problème?

    • BARBARA GREEN | http://HAVE%20NONE


    • Margaret Wilson, Australia | #

      Beautiful work, thank you for sharing

  • Simplicity... the little things in life are often the ones that stand out most. The same is true when it comes to pottery.  No need to go big, just put a luminary on the table and see what happens.

    You don't have a luminary? Why not? You'll be surprised how easy they are to make, and how many orders you get, just by having one on the table.

    Ready to light up your table? Grab some clay and head to your studio, we're going to teach you how!

  • Hooray, It's summertime! I don't know about where you live, but our winter was long and cold, and I was looking forward to some warm weather. Besides, who doesn't love the sunshine, swimming and picnics?

    Along with all that fun, though, there are those rainy days that keep us indoors. The kids are chomping at the bit to go outside, but the ground is too muddy. Attitudes and tempers are on the rise. Now what?

    Well, there are always the old stand-bys, puzzles, color books and crayons, reading etc... Why not try something different? How about pinch pot critters?

    We're going to teach you how to make a fish and a turtle, but feel free to use your imagination!

  • How many times have you heard, "I'd love to learn how to do that?" Have you ever been at a craft show where someone walks up and asks if you give lessons?

    I can't tell you how many times I've been approached about lessons. Seriously, who doesn't want to pretend they're in the movie "Ghost?"

    You probably have a lot of questions. Are you ready to teach others? Is now the right time? Should you learn a little more yourself first? Is your studio (or dining room) big enough? Where do you start? Let me try to answer. 

  • You're in the middle of a really special piece when you get a phone call that your daughter's car broke down, two hours away, or you have this really amazing sculpture started, but you're not quite sure on the ending... now what do you do?

    This type of thing happens to us all. The question is, how can you keep these pieces soft enough to finish, even if it's at a much later date?

    Well lucky for you, it's time to learn how to build a "Damp Box."

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