Top Ten Pottery Techniques

This list can apply to any pottery technique, as interesting, fun, easy or intriquing.

The Top Ten

1 Throwing

Throwing means making it on a wheel. Throwing involves using a lot of water, which means the piece takes more time to dry out them a hand built piece. And because you use so much water, it makes a huge mess so you need a apron and should avoid wearing your nicest clothes. Throwing involves very expensive wheels, which most people don't have in their home, so you usually need to go to a studio to throw.
And throwing is quite a challenge. Especially centering it and making the sides look nice. Depending on how much you touch the piece, your hands leave imprints on the sides. If you piece is thin or too moist, your can tear the piece by over handling it. Perfect edges are also nearly impossible to make so your piece can turn out jagged and even sharp if you don't cut the edges down.
When it comes to throwing the amount of clay also helps. Anything smaller then your hands is generally going to be very hard to work with, as it anything to big. My first piece was a three point wheel ...more - Lucretia

Lucretia, seems you know a lot about it. I know nothing but it was interesting reading your item descriptions. - Metal_Treasure

2 Coiling

Coiling can get very time consuming.You need all your coils to be a uniform size, the thickness or your pinky finger, you need to use not to much pressure though not to little. And they must stay moist or they will break later on. And another less obvious one, you should only use one hand or they will break. And if they break they tend to break later in the kiln or be more brittle in general after they have dried or have been fired. Coiling needs perfect scratching and attaching or the coils break or fall of. It happened to me twice on my coil pots when a chunk or the top coil breaks off, and I don't like those pieces much. They look terrible to me. But whats interesting about coiling is you can make a more interesting shape, where some of the coils stick out and some sink in and that tends to look interesting, so that's why I do my coil pots thin coils with less uniform placement. And the coolest thing about coiling is that you can make round, square shaped, or another shaped coils ...more - Lucretia

3 Dipping

Dipping involves stirring a big bucket of glaze, with these metal mixers similar to the kitchen appliance you may or may not use. You then use the tongs on your piece, usually a side. You then get to put the entire piece in the glaze, making sure enough glaze is on the piece. But before you do this you need to wax the bottom and in between you have to clean all of your materials. Both are a bit simple. Waxing is just using a stiff brush to apply this glue like wax to the bottom, and you can not get glaze on your piece or you have write spots, and cleaning the tongs and buckets and stuff gets messy. - Lucretia

4 Pinching

Making a pinch pot is easy. Making it good shaped is not... mine look very handmade (in a bad way) and have cracks all in them. The sides are also messed up, uneven. You need to also make sure the sides are even, not thick in some places and more thin in the other. If you do not, it can look bad. Also you need to make sure your sides are not sharp or it will become sharp and rough, enough to hurt you. Probably one of the harder techniques to perfect, but decently easy to make in general. - Lucretia

5 Slab Construction

One of the best ways to make stuff like plates and fairly easy to make and perfect,but there is one hard thing about it, the actual shape. You want a flat bottom to your piece and even edges so again they don't get rough and sharp. You can make useful stuff like a mug or plate this way. Plates are simple but they do take a lot of kiln space so you can not make that may at once. - Lucretia

6 Spraying

It is one of three popular methods of glazing. It makes a mess, but so do most pottery techniques. In spraying, my pottery teachers use a turn table in a box, the box for catching extra glaze and the turn table to move the piece. Spraying only invloves one round rather then regular glazing. - Lucretia

7 Splattering

Splattering is very fun. All you need is not a very full container of glaze and a firm toothbrush, and if you don't want to make a huge mess, a simple box. And if you don't want your clothes to get dirty, a apron. that's about it, and if you use a contrasting dark color it looks interesting. If you use a similar color it can look nice as well. - Lucretia

8 Glazing

General glazing takes a while but its alright. You need three coats for it to look nice. The best thing is that the colors really do change after they are fired. It can go from red to brown, gray to green, gray to black, etc. But the three coat thing is not very fun. - Lucretia

9 Molds

Molds are these things where you add clay and let it dry and then take it out, then scratch and attach it on to your piece. It is hard. You need to let them dry but not get to dry... and you can not break the molds, which is quite common. Not to mention molds are expensive. Not quite a easy thing to do, but looks very cool. - Lucretia

10 Stamping

Pretty much when you stamp letters or symbols on to your pieces, easy but a bit plain. - Lucretia

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