Clay Pot People and
Other Fun Clay Pot Projects
An eclectic collection of pottery tips and techniques. Includes ideas for creative clay pot people, the history of ceramics, pottery magazines, and ceramics molds.
Clay Pot People
Here's a very fun project. This is a groovy twist on the clay pot people that you see all around.
I imagine you know the ones I'm talking about.
They are formed by connecting terracotta flower pots of varying sizes to make a human figure.
As a potter, I prefer hand thrown pots.
So, this project substitutes hand thrown pots for store bought pots.
You can throw various sizes of pots on the wheel and use them to assemble a figure.
Throw a larger pot for the torso, medium pots for the limbs and head, and smaller pots for hands and feet.
Learn more about making clay pot people.
Speaking of tiny pots, I like throwing what are called
or "Pinky Pots" off the hump. Throwing off the hump is a great way to throw a similar sized small pot over and over consistently without having to center a new ball of clay.
Begin by centering 5-10 pounds of clay on the wheel and forming it into a cone. Then, center just the top of the cone into a round of clay big enough for a small pot. Throw the mini pot normally.
The trick to creating a little vase is to first throw a cylinder. Dry out the inside. Then close in the rim.
You won't be able to fit your finger into the neck once it has been closed in. That's why they're often called pinky pots.
I learned about throwing off the hump years ago from a random magazine article. The thing I love about magazines is the surprises you get.
There you are, flipping through pages with interesting
and you come across something crazy that you've never heard of, like throwing off the hump.
History of Ceramics
As I read magazine articles I'm constantly finding interesting facts about
the history of ceramics.
For instance, Japanese potters used to throw tea bowls off the hump.
They would then raku fire them, and the tea bowls would be used only once in a tea ceremony. After the ceremony they would be discarded.
Discarded pottery reminds me of another bit of fascinating history in Italy, along the Amalfi coast. Pottery shops in the area often throw broken and blemished pots into the Mediterranean Sea.
The pots are broken further by the waves. Over time the shards are rounded and smoothed, like river pebbles. You can find these shards washed up on the beaches near town.
Each shard has it's own miniature design preserved in the surface of the glaze. They're truly special little gems.
Ceramics molds deserve mention as well because of the great opportunities they provide for easy, fun clay pot projects. Various things can be used as molds, such as existing objects and plaster molds.
Existing objects are extremely easy to use as molds. You can lay clay inside a bowl and allow it to dry slightly until it can support itself. You can also drape clay over an object.
You can even make your own plaster mold with just a few simple tools.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this melting pot of clay pot people and other ideas. I'll add more as they come to me. Thanks for reading, and Happy Potting.
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