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Exploring Clay: Pottery & Ceramics
Arts & Crafts : Working with Natural Clay – Pottery & Ceramics

Natural Clay Art Medium: Explore Pottery & Ceramics

Wheel-Thrown Pottery Bowl

Beginner's Wheel-Thrown Pottery: Tips for a Clay Novice

By Chris Dunmire
Have you ever watched someone work on a potter's wheel, and found yourself captivated by the smooth vessel pulled up from a mound of clay? Are you curious about what it would be like to make your own wheel-thrown pottery?

See also: Polymer Clay

Pottery is a clay sculpting art form that dates back to ancient times. Whether hand-built or wheel-thrown, this art medium is still popular today.

Traditional pottery is made by forming bowls, cups, and other vessels from stoneware, terra cotta, or other clay by hand or on a wheel. The clay is then allowed to air dry before being fired in a kiln. After the firing, the clay is glazed (painted), and fired for a second time before ready to use.

The following resources point you to leading online pottery and ceramics publications and Web sites that are informative as well as instructional to those seeking to explore this enduring craft.

Pottery & Ceramics How-to Sources

Out of the Fire Studios Presents How to Make Pottery
"A step-by-step look at pottery making in a small production pottery studio." Includes sections with free videos on Centering and opening; Throwing a Bowl, Trimming, and Drying; Glazing and Firing.

Pottery Making Illustrated
Web site of the world's #1 ceramics technique magazine. Features an informative techniques, recipes, articles, kiln plans section, and wonderful resources for the ceramics enthusiast.

Ceramics Monthly
Web site of the ceramics arts magazine. Features a library of current issue and archived articles geared towards ceramics and pottery making, including a rich collection of visually inspiring pieces.

Ceramic Review
The International Magazine of Ceramic Art and Craft. Features an archive with over 30 years of knowledge — a mix of practical and critical features on contemporary ceramic art and craft for potters, collectors, students, teachers, artists, and designers.

Clay Times Magazine
A journal of ceramic trends and techniques. A super resource for pottery research, glaze recipes & analyses, online articles and projects.

A beginner's guide to the art of ceramics. Has tutorials for making your own custom hand thrown pottery. Includes pinch pots, coils, pressed coil pots, slab pots, throwing on the wheel, and making and attaching handles.

Learning Wheel-Thrown Pottery
An illustrative-rich online demonstration of wheel-thrown pottery techniques by Marvin Bartel. Learn about clay wedging, throwing, centering, opening, raising, shaping, and removing a pottery vessel from a wheel.

Pottery from Wikipedia
An extensive online encyclopedia article and cross references on the types of pottery, techniques, production stages, and history.