Big Ceramic Store Blog

Monthly Archives: September 2015

  • Who doesn't love candy dishes? I rarely use mine for candy though. It usually has hair ties, jewelry, loose change, or nuts and bolts in it. Every once in a while, if I know we are having company, I dump it out, wash it, and fill it with something sweet.

    Halloween, is one of those holidays, where you might find my candy dish filled with something edible. That is, unless I get to it before our little ghosts and goblins!

    I love to re-purpose molds. A seashell candy dish, I found at a local Dollar Tree, is one of those molds. In the warm months, it's used to make seashells, but in September... it's a "ghost in disguise."

  • I personally don't do a lot of decorating for holidays. A few pieces here and there, is all you will find at our house, however; I know a lot of people that go ALL OUT!

    Animated, light up and stationary props, along with window stickers, hanging sheets and scarecrows, are starting to show up all around our neighborhood.

    With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I'd share a really easy project with you. Not only is this mask super easy, it can be created to fit many occasions, interior decor, and sculptural pieces.

  • This post was submitted by Betsy Carina. An artist, that has primarily worked  in photography, and relatively new to pottery. Learn more about her and view her work by following one of these links,

    A couple years ago, I started studying ceramics at Harold Washington College in Chicago, under the instruction of Jessica Bader, Paul Andrew Wandless, and Heather Coffey -- all outstanding ceramists.

    Right out of the gate, I found it took me longer than other students to hand build with stiff slabs, they never lined up right. So, I invested extra time with a sureform, X-acto knife, and anything else that would help. I was told to bevel the ends of my slabs, but that only made things worse!

  • This post was submitted by Liz Krebil Fox. She can be reached at  Muddy Paw Farm/

    Taking inspiration from, Phillipa Threlfall, and her rich, textured surfaces, I designed a platter with a fall theme. Using leaves, and other natural materials, it has become one of my favorite platter projects.

    This platter adds a personal touch to your holiday table, makes a great hostess gift, and will have your guests talking about it every Thanksgiving!

    Ready to put one on your holiday table? Better get started, Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

  • In parts 1 and 2 of our basic throwing series, you learned how to make a cup and bowl. Now complete the set by learning how to throw a plate. look below for instructions you may have missed.

    Plates may be the easiest form to throw, but they can turn into the most frustrating to finish. Because plates are so wide, and have so much surface area on the base, they are prone to warping and cracking, but with practice plates can be a cake walk.

    Always throw plates on bats, unless you want to sacrifice your wheel for a day or two while you wait for the plate to get leather hard. Start your plate by centering your clay, just like the cup and bowl, but instead of opening, you will push the centered mound of clay down and out into a disk. Once the disk is nearly the intended diameter, use your index finger to lift up the edge to make a rim.

    Compress the middle with your hands, then a rib and then a sponge. This will give order to the clay platelets, and squeeze out excess water, which will prevent cracking and warping. Wire-tool your plate off the bat, but don't remove it yet. Let it dry slowly until it is stiff leather hard and it will come off cleanly, then trim and leave to dry thoroughly.

    Don't stack too many plates on top of each other in the bisque firing, three high should be ok. You can stack more plates on plate stilts, if you want

    Plates are not only functional pieces, but can be decorated and used as displays.

    Do you have an idea or project you'd like to share, or would you like to try your hand at writing an article for us? Shoot us an e-mail at

  • Some of you may be thinking, ceramic gift tags, why? Well, "why not?"  I love adding a personal touch to the gifts I give.  A little smooth white clay, glaze, string and a marker, are amazing tools to help you impress your friends!

    Not only does it show the recipient, that I took a little extra time for them, but it also helps promote my business. They love the personal touch, and often order some for the gifts they give.

    Gift tags don't have to be just for the holidays though, they are nice to add to birthday presents, thank you gifts, or that "just because" gift you give.

    In today's post, I'm going to show you just how easy they are to make...

  • This post was made by Lyndsay Rae Meiklem , check out her pottery at
    Twitter:, Instagram: @TheVeganPotter  and
    Facebook: Meiklem Kiln Works

    Procrastinate when it comes to glazing? Thought of dipping get you down? Here’s a glazing technique I’ve come to LOVE that has not only held my interest but is quick, easy and efficient!

    Glazing on the wheel works best with symmetrical work that is larger than 3 inches in diameter. It can be used for plates, bowls and upright forms such as vases but doesn’t not lend itself to forms with handles or sculptural surface decoration.

    Grab a cup of coffee and head to the studio, you're going to love this one!

  • I'm not one of those people that change all the decor in my house for the seasons, however; I do like to add a few pieces of art that lets the rest of the world know that I live in my house, not just my studio.

    I also like decor with multiple functions. If we are having a few people over for dinner, I may grab a platter off the wall, wash it up, and serve something edible on it! Most of our friends don't spend much time looking at our walls, but they sure notice the beautiful serving platter that piece of cake came from.

    Ready to make one of these pieces for your wall or table?

  • In part 1 of our basic throwing series, we learned how to make a cup. Here in part 2, we're learning how to throw a bowl. Enjoy the video and look below for instructions you may have missed.

    Bowls are another simple shape, great for practicing basic throwing skills.

    Start your bowl the same way you did the cup, by centering and opening your clay. Instead of drawing the clay straight up, to make a bowl you can draw it up and out. Be careful not to move too much clay from the base, if the base is too thin your bowl won't hold up. When making a cup, the goal is to have sides of an even thickness from top the bottom, but a bowl should have thicker sides on the bottom than on the top.

    Once you have achieved the basic bowl shape, use a metal rib or a bowl making rib on the inside to create an even curve, this can make a huge difference for the shape and functionality of your bowl. You can add a rim to your bowl, or use a hole tool to turn it into a colander. Bowls can be decorated on the inside or out to make them your own.

    Do you have an idea or project you'd like to share, or would you like to try your hand at writing an article for us? Shoot us an e-mail at

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