Big Ceramic Store Blog
  • 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.
      Thanks!

    • 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 | http://Www.poterielaurel.com

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

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

      I ONLY KNOW HoW TO DO SLAB WORK BUT WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE

    • 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."

  • In our post on June 17, 2015, we talked about where to find inspiration for your pottery projects. In this post, we want to talk about what to do when you're in "inspiration overload."

    Have you ever gone to bed, hoping to get some much needed sleep, just to wake in the middle of the night with a racing mind? You've got all these great ideas for projects, swirling around in your brain, and you just can't shut them off.

    Tossing and turning, flipping and flopping, pulling the covers up then pushing them down, UGH... you just want to get some sleep! At this point, my husband usually wakes up and says, "Will you just get your sketchbook and draw it out already?"

    What a smart man. I used to lay there and draw it out in my mind, however; that didn't help me get back to sleep. Now, I pick up that sketchbook, write a few notes or draw a picture.

    Whew! Now I can go back to sleep... or can I? Most of the time, putting it down on paper, solidifies my thoughts and stops my mind from spinning. Sometimes however; it just isn't that easy. That's when I say, "I'm in inspiration overload."

    Inspiration overload, for me, is when the picture in my mind is so awesome, a sketch just won't do it justice (really, I'm just not that good at sketching). Time to put on my slippers, head out to the studio, and put it down in clay. With a little luck, it will turn out as envisioned, and I can catch a nap a little later in the day.

    Do you have any suggestions for getting back to sleep when your mind is racing? If so, we'd love to hear them. I think we've all had a sleepless night (or 20), and would be willing to try just about anything. Help out your fellow mind-racer by posting a comment.

    Do you have an idea or project you'd like to share with us? Shoot us an e-mail at bcscommunity@bigceramicstore.com

  •  

    I've been making pottery since I was a kid, but until a few months ago, I never had my own studio. Now I have a few wheels, a kiln and some shelves, but I had never thought about all of the little things other studios had that made producing pottery a little easier and more efficient. Here are the five things I did to make my home studio feel more like a real studio.

  • If you are anything like me,  you have a scoring system for the level of enjoyment you get from each step of your work. For instance, throwing = 7, hand-building = 8, sculpting = 10, and so on.

    On a scale of 1-10, what score would you give glazing? For me, I'd probably go with a (-2), that's if my scoring system went that low! Glazing is definitely my least favorite aspect of the job.

    I look forward to sitting at the wheel, rolling out a new slab, or sculpting a great piece. I don't even mind the bisque firing process, although, I do find it a bit time consuming, and a little boring. So, I had to ask myself, "what can I do to make glazing fun?"

    Here are a few tricks I've tried:

  • Every now and again I find myself sitting in the studio with "Potter's Block." I just can't seem to come up with a creative idea for the blank slab laid out in front of me.

    I pull out my stack of templates, dig through my "texture trove," and look at the sketches I've made. Still, nothing pops out at me. What to do now?

  • Last year, I was invited to be a vendor at a local wine festival. While trying to decide which pieces I would take, I thought it would be nice to make something tailored to the event.

    I'm a huge fan of hummingbirds, and at first, considered a wine bottle shaped hummingbird feeder. While designing it (in my head) I thought, this is a wine festival duh, there will be hundreds of empty bottles why not make something to hold them? So, I sat down and drew up a template for hand-building a decorative strap system.

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