What type of clay is good for a beginner learning to use a potter's wheel?

I am planning to purchase a few hundred pounds of clay for my wife, who bought a used potter's wheel a while back. Clay will be purchased from http://www.kentuckymudworks.com/clay.html. Suggestions are welcomed.

Question by Prfesser 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


I want to do some wood fired pottery anyone know a good clay for this I dont want my piece to crack ?

I am actually trying to fire my pottery in a metal trash can/ brick rig any suggestions either about type of clay or different make shift kiln would be great

Question by emmli2oo4 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Spl1nt3rC3ll's Artwork

I'm not quite sure about this to be honest, but I'm thinking about selling my art. I would like to know if there is any interest in my art at all, or if I'm shooting in the dark. I don't know the prices, so if you are interested, name a reasonable price and we'll work it out. My website is below if you would like to browse. Most of the stuff on there is a few years old, but there are some new pieces. I've got paintings and pottery. Note: the website editor I use crashed, so I cannot update the site. Updates will be placed here. http://www.smithartwork.com/The close-up of the Hand shows the neat emerald fraction effect of the glaze. This is a slideshow of some recent pottery: https://www.instructables.com/id/Pottery/Below is a video of my most recent project:

Topic by Spl1nt3rC3ll 11 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


What would be the best way to construct a kiln?

I'd like to build a kiln with an interior roughly 8 cubic feet (2' x 2' x 2'). Does anyone have any experience making such a device or have any suggestions on how to do it? If it is only practical to build a smaller one, that's perfectly fine as well. Thanks

Question by Neemund 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


How can I make a pottery wheel?

Does anyone know how to make a pottery wheel that will center about 50lbs? I would need to be able to control the speed and it would need to be powerful enough to move 50lbs while I work on it. Thanks for any ideas you might have

Question by bellespree 9 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


If I were building a pottery wheel, what would be the ideal situation in terms of motor specifications? Answered

Would the motor from a belt-drive circular saw be sufficient? Is there a simple way to regulate speed reliably and safely? Thanks for your time!

Question by Nate Cougill 7 years ago  |  last reply 19 days ago


Clay Contest Criteria

I have a question about the Clay contest criteria....debating whether to do an instructable for a DIY downdraft kiln vent for under $50 (cf $450-600 to buy) that I built. I've actually been waiting for the clay contest before publishing, however the contest criteria says:  "For the purpose of this contest, any project that uses a moldable, malleable, clay-like product will be eligible." So question is, would a kiln vent be eligible? Previous contest criteria has been "all things" related to said topic, but this seems more narrow in scope. Obviously a kiln vent is not made with clay, but it certainly fits the pottery topic. What to the contest gurus say?

Topic by craftycounterpart 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


should i make an instructable on how to make a electric potters wheel? and possibly a kiln

Should i post an instructable on how to make an electric potters wheel?(and possibly a kiln) I am reluctant because there are no that many artists(that i have noticed)on this site, let alone potters. plus a kiln and potters wheel are EXTREMELY expensive to buy.(i use the schools kiln and pottery wheel, i clean all the wheels and floor and stuff and i recycle the clay i pick up and they let me use the wheel sand kiln with the clay i pick up because i am not enrolled in the ceramics class) the methods that i have in mind will cost possibly less that 150 dollars US. compared to +5 thousand dollars. also, i will be using my phones 1.3 mega pixel camera to be taking the pictures(unless i have enough money to buy a DSLR, i haven't checked my bank account in several months) if you would rather have me wait until i buy a better camera, or if you would rather have me not post please speak up. it will take atleast 10 people in favor for me to do it

Topic by ledzep567 11 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


After I build a table of plaster to reuse and wedge my clay on, how do I attach a wire to cut the clay?

In the past I've seen plaster tables used to dry and wedge clay on. Most of them have had a metal pipe attached on the corner. At the top of this pipe there is a piano wire. The other end of the wire is attached to the table, so It is strung tightly at an angle. I'm not sure how to attach the pipe to the table and the wire to the pipe. It must be very sturdy. Thanks for your help.

Question by rosylee 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago



Anyone made a pottery wheel from a dryer?

My kids took apart an old dryer. I began wondering how to use the parts. I was thinking there may be a way to use the motor and the mechanism that turns the dryer to turn the platform of a pottery wheel. Can anyone figure out how to do this?

Question by ngio64 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Can Terracotta be fired in microkilns?

Can a small terracotta pendant be fired in a microkiln? I know most use them for glass but I have seen where clay can be fired in one so being that terracotta is an earthen clay I just want to be sure before I purchase one.

Question by lynnfm 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


project for a human skull replica need to make a skull and i need idea how to make one does any body have an idea Answered

I need to make a replica of a skull  for biology can anyone maybe help me with an idea or an instructable need to give it in at the 30th of august

Question by tokol 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


How to make a Butter Bell?

Butter Bell keeps your butter fresh out of the fridge. How to make this myself? Ideas how to make it not using pottery? Help with doing it with pottery?

Question by Miqel 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Virtual potter's wheel controls 3d printer

From UnFold via NOTCOT: For L’Artisan Electronique, Unfold created - aside from the ceramic printer - a virtual pottery wheel in collaboration with Tim Knapen. This pottery wheel gives visitors a chance to ‘turn’ their own forms. At regular intervals, a selection of these designs is printed in clay and exhibited in the space. In L’Artisan Electronique, pottery, one of the oldest artisanal techniques for making utilitarian objects, is combined with new digital techniques. The virtual pottery wheel was realised by means of a 3D-scanner and digital design software. However, the installation still clearly refers to the artisanal process of working in clay. The printing process imitates the traditional technique used by ceramicists, in which the form is built up by stacking coils of clay. It looks fun, and even potentially genuinely artistic, but I would like to see a much higher resolution on the scan, to give a less "digital" look to the final object. Designguide.tv interview from Unfold on Vimeo.

Topic by Kiteman 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


how is a message center made? (similar to a pottery barn style for teen girls room)

Question by 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Turntable for pottery wheel? What do you think?

I have been wanting to build my own potters wheel.  It would need to be cheap to build.  Very cheap....  I have looked at kick wheels and Leach wheels.  They will not work in my situation.  They are either too big or too heavy.  I rent my home and these would not be good.  I started looking at banding wheels.  They are small enough that I could use them on a table etc.  I have seen videos of them being successfully used as wheels.  I will definately try the banding wheel, but I am also interested in a potters wheel.  I had an idea tonight, and that was to use a record player/turntable, but I am not sure of the torque or the RPMs.  I am interested in making small pieces. like mugs and small vases, etc.  Please let me know what you think.  Thank you.

Question by nwerts 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


cold porcelain tree

steps to make cold porcelain tree

Topic by halla 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Sealing stone

I was just wondering if anyone out there knew how to seal stone in such a way as to make it useful as a food service platter or maybe a cup. I know its possible to use glaze like one would on a piece of pottery (or maybe tile sealant?) but I would like to find some way that 1)doesn't require a kiln and 2) leaves the rock looking like regular rock. Best would be a way that makes the rock look wet but matte and doesn't change the texture.

Topic by finfan7 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Ever seen a rotary tool that used a large flywheel?

Has anyone ever seen or built any kind of rotary tool that was driven by the inertia of a large, heavy flywheel? I have seen kick wheels for pottery, but i am curious about a vertical flywheel. Lathe, Grinder, pump.... Seems like you could attach a treadle to a pedal assebly of an old bicycle to drive the flywheel....if the pedal assembly was the free wheeling kind, and there was something pulling the treadle back up, it would only power the flywheel when the treadle was pushed down.

Question by ClandestineIntestine 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Where can I get potassium ferrocyanide?

Potassium Ferrocyanide is a chemical that I can use to make Prussian Blue. I am currently looking for this so I can make some Prussian Blue or Laundry Blueing powder which I cannot find anywhere here. Prussian Blue will be used for making crystal tree's / forrest for my daughters. Anyone know where I can find it commonly or if I can do a synthesis of something else to extract it?  Is it used in pottery / ceramics ( this is the best source of my random chems )

Question by AtomRat 6 years ago  |  last reply 7 days ago


Those Who Make - a video series about makers

Tonight I found an amazing website. I was reading the Etsy blog, and they had this video: I was floored. How cool is that? SUPER COOL And so I found my way to the Those Who Make website. The videos are stunning, and they show a bit of the process of impressive makers - everything from pottery, sewing, leather working, woodworking, and even food! Have a look and share your favorite video. :D Right now I'm having a hard time making up my mind. So happy I found this.

Topic by jessyratfink 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


How do you

I was just wondering if anyone out there knew how to seal stone in such a way as to make it useful as a food service platter or maybe a cup. I know its possible to use glaze like one would on a piece of pottery (or maybe tile sealant?) but I would like to find some way that 1)doesn't require a kiln and 2) leaves the rock looking like regular rock. Best would be a way that makes the rock look wet but matte and doesn't change the texture. I was thinking something similar to what is used to seal wooden cups but I haven't been able to figure out what is used.

Topic by finfan7 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


heating elements for sale

I have two electric heating elements I would like to sell. they are good enough for melting metal and fireing pottery, they will also come with the control eletronics too. you can make gingerys "little Bertha" if you want. I pulled them out of a huge eletric furnes for heating a building, they are good but you would need to figure out the controls. they are quite long. there are two coils per stack, so you would get 4 coils. the first picture is with a 12 ruler to show the length ( it reads 10.5 inches)all I want is $30 and $25 for shipping..... the cost is hard to beat!just send me a comment if you want them!

Topic by Danielro10 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Fixing a built-in dimmer on a desk lamp? Aka: Retrofitting a California CFL compliant lamp? Answered

I live in California and just bought a Pottery Barn desk lamp designed to dim. However, because of the new law requiring CFL-compliant lamps, the dimmer has been tampered with to prevent it from actually dimming, even though the switch is the original. I opened the bottom and found the dimmer switch was encased in cardboard. I removed the cardboard, expecting this would fix the problem, but it didn't. Nothing else looks "tampered with." How can I make my lamp dim like it should A picture of the guts is here: http://www.talesofthepack.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/lamp-guts-e1332022609831.jpg And the model is here: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/architects-smart-technology-table-lamp/?pkey=ctask-lamps

Question by RevelryByNight 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Rip-offs from designers

We've all seen it, and for a lot of people, it's why we're here: simple, neat, easily-executed ideas presented as high art or grand design, and sold at jaw-dropping prices. The latest example I've come across is these coat-hooks.  Cut from brass and stainless steel, they are going to be "launched" at the London Design Festival but Visuallyod. A launch event.  For coat hooks? Cut and bent from a bit of brass sheet? I shudder to think of the price as well - there's no price on their own website, but they charge £490 ($750) for some sticks cast in pottery and tied together with old string. Anyway, rant over (for now).  What examples of rip-off design have you seen?  What examples have you copied? EDIT: Sudden thought - even if you haven't made them yourselves, what are your favourite examples of Instructables recreating designer rip-offs at budget prices?

Topic by Kiteman 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Help! I need cheap work space!

Please help! I need room to work in. I live in a very crowded double wide with 4 kids and a spouse. I need space to myself and my artwork before I go mad or am forced to quit my beloved arts. I paint, make jewelry - both metal and pottery- this means fire and small kilns. I have a back porch and it is very small with an roof over half of it. I have almost 0 money. How can I have a workspace? With the kilns I can work thru winter (in the south- sorry to be a stereotype). I was thinking hoop house with one side being the roof of my house. Perhaps extending the porch, with donated or used lumber- to give me more space- but the enclosure is an issue. I need light and I need to be closed off from bugs. I can lay in a window cooling unit and a space heater. Please- Ya'll are geniuses! Please tell me how I can do this. I will go mad if I cannot have my art and my space! S

Topic by sscape 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Does anybody know about electrical relays, please? Bi-Switching Circuit Needed to Control 2 x 1000w Kilns On and Off.

I have a workshop which has 2 x 1000w kilns. To fire my pottery etc, I need to put a kiln on for about 12 hours. No ordinary cheapo timer can handle the wattage load and so I am thinking of using a heavy-duty relay. Are you good with relays? If so, I would value your help, please. What I want to do is plug my timer into the mains socket, have the relay connected to the timer so that it knows when to switch on and off, and then I need two outlets (one for each kiln) so that when one is switched on, the other is off, and so on. I have thought of a 30A, 240v relay which is SPDT. I have deliberately over-specified the relay because I want it to be safe and to last, as well as use the thing for other applications where there may be a large inductive load (as opposed to resistive load). I can provide a link to the relay, but I'm not sure if this allowed. Many thanks. Kevin

Question by kevinhannan 9 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Blacksmithing, Woodworking, Old World Survival Manuals and more on DVD-ROM

Please take a look at our website at: http://www.dawnapproaches.com/woodworking.html We carry an excellent woodworking collection - 145+ books on DVD-Rom for $9.99.  Thousands of pages of old out of print woodworking books on 1 DVD-ROM. Out of print books on the old skills that are now basically lost that we have taken the time to gather and compile all in one place. We have cleaned up and procured the best copies of these old vintage books. It is a very good resource. We also carry Military & Survival Manuals - Hundreds of Manuals on DVD-Rom, Beekeeping Manuals - 109+ Books on DVD-Rom, Drawing and Painting Manuals - 92+ Book Collection on DVD-Rom and Rare Knowledge Collections on Dentistry, Glass Making, Horology, Blacksmithing. Gold Mining, Homesteading, Canning and Preserving, Dressmaking, Beer and Wine Brewing, Locomotives, Crystal Radio, Herbal Remedies, Cooking, Taxidermy, Leathercraft, Millinery, Boy Scouts, Horse Training, Pottery, Jewelry Making, Old World Survival Book Collections on DVD-Rom and much more. There is something for everyone who would like a library of old world skills at their fingertips. Take a look if you're interested in these materials. We are a verified paypal business and ship within 48 hours. Thank you.

Topic by BrookeKilby 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Sugru Build Night at Makers Local 256!

Hey Makers and Breakers, Tinkerers and... uh, Thinkerers! Tyler here, from the Makers Local 256 hackerspace in Huntsville, Alabama! I just wanted to share some of the projects and ideas we toyed around with on our monthly build night for July. Our theme was Sugru, thanks to some kind gifts from Carley and the rest of the folks at Instructables; you guys rock! We had a few different projects that were worked on, so I'll start with the ones with Instructables attached first! My project was to modify an AppleTV remote so that it would stop sliding between the cushions of the couch, but decided to allow it to stand up on its own as well. The mod was quick and simple and is described in my Instructable here. Another member grabbed a couple of those spinny whirlygig handcopter toys and set out to combine them into a single, more powerful, machine! Those of you who knit know the annoyance of losing stitches when transporting your works in progress. DeathRogue decided that enough was enough and fashioned some knitting needle endcaps out of Sugru! We also had other little projects, including adding a Sugru kickstand to a Galaxy Note 2 for watching Netflix, building a wooden spindle using Sugru for the kickwheel, creating rubber Sugru feet for a Raspberry Pi case, and even practicing the ancient Japanese art of breaking and mending pottery pieces: Kintsugi! Check out our pictures of the event, and if you're ever in the North Alabama region, come check us out!

Topic by tylercrumpton 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Bio-Char Pellets

I didn't see a speel on this topic yet so now we have one. I wrote this to a forum for bio-pellet maker's and thought that I would pass it along to you to read. Enjoy. ______________________________________________________ Hello, I am new to the forum and to pellet making altogether really. I am an open researcher of the net at the present time have become interested in many topics I come across. The downfall of the net, for some, is that there so much information, it can boggle the mind. I ran across the videos put out by the web site on YouTube and decided to pose a question to the site administrator. They still have not gotten back to me, but I think from the posts on the forum you are a pretty busy group - he is likely looking into it. The newest thing on the 'Save the World' front is Bio-char. I asked if the pellet machine would be able to convert bio-char into a pellet form. I do know that the bio-char can be hand pressed, or screw extruded into briquettes. This is done in many countries around the world. What I think would work the best is the small pellets that your group are making. I will give a little bit of back ground for my idea. Researchers who have explored the rain forests of the Amazon have come across a soil type which is man-made. They call it 'Terra-Preta' or 'Dark Earth'. I have found out that the soil of the rain forest is not particularly suited to growing vegetation (this surprised me) and the ancient civilizations in the area would treat the soils. These plots of land they are finding today are estimated to be 100's of years old (in terms of last use) and are amazingly fertile as compared to other soils in the immediate area. They only run 4-5 feet in depth and cover the known growing plot area of the period. Today’s natives actually hunt out these plots and sell the fertile soil as an income. The keys to this fertile soil is a high carbon content and pottery chards. Both materials are very porous in nature. What happens is the nutrients that come to the treated soil gets trapped in the pores of the material and are held there, rather than being washed straight through the soil. These nutrients are then extracted from the material be the root systems of the plants as they grow. As the spaces in the material open up again they are refilled with newly arrived nutrients. This material has proven that it can remain in the soil for 100's of years - as is found in the 'Terra-Preta' plots. By the way these plots are not isolated to the Amazon they are found around the World in different areas. The thing is that the way they are made - the technique was lost. These plots around the World are being used up and the farmers are running out of nutrient rich natural (organic) soil. Some feel that the burning of the fields in the way to go as it has been done that way for ages. Well, the soil is dying and it working. The soils are being depleted. Plant matter which is made of carbon, takes its building blocks from the soil and therefore the soil is lacking carbon after centuries of use. But, because we had one lazy, or work saving generation, who knows how long ago, we have lost the technique of how to care for the soils. Tests run in Africa are showing an amazing 500+% increase in crop yields in the first year. They are still using un-organic fertilizers as that is what they thought they needed, but that can change now. Their soil is so bad in some areas that nothing would grow. If any farmer could get a 20% increase in annual yields they would be happy. The reason that the use of chemicals came into large use was because of the depleted soils. If the chemicals did not wash away (trapped in the carbon for future use) there would be less need in the future. Ideally there would be none needed in the future. So what are we doing? At present we grow plant material, burn it, and release the carbon into the atmosphere. I don't go for the global warming thing, but do feel it is not a good thing happening. The dirt on my car every day tells me that things are changing for the worse - I didn't see that as a child. What we can do is grow the plant material, burn a portion of it to covert another portion of the material back into carbon, and put that carbon back into the soil. This cuts emissions to the air (from that aspect of society) to 50% of what it was. Pellets can play a big part in this. My idea was to convert plant matter to char and the char to pellets. The pellets would be good as they are finding in test fields that the microbes in the soils like to grow in the larger pieces. 'It makes the soil happy' - they have a community of their own. You do not want too large of chunks as that makes the soil difficult to work with. Too small of piece (on surface soil) will be blown away on windy days. The windblown soil may not seem like a big thing, but the carbon has the nutrients now remember. Keep all you can on the fields instead of the forest. If you wish to recarbonize the forest soil, spread it through the forest in your spare time. It should be said here that the carbon upon introduction to the soil will deplete the soil of nutrients at first. This is the carbon 'charging' itself. The pores of the carbon are filling and will have the nutrients there; it just looks like the nutrients are gone. This is why it is a good idea to pre-charge the carbon before introduction to the soil. Mix it with compost or manure for a couple of weeks and let the pores fill. The nutrients will then be added to the soil with the carbon. This where the pottery chars they find in 'Terra-Preta' come from. They are the holding vessels from the indoor urinals and toilets - charged and stinky they were broken in the fields. This may not work as far as making pellets from bio-char goes. What about bio-char from pellets. This would be easy to test for you people. You have the machines and the wits to do it. The market is there if you want to sell the end material. Every back-yard composter, in every city will want this stuff. I hope I wasn't too long winded on this. It is an important topic, especially if you are a rural resident. City dwellers with a green thumb can help, but the rural residents hold a majority of the bio-matter. For more information Google 'bio-char' also 'making charcoal from wood' you can get into the worm castings and all that, but once the nutrients are in your soil the rest of the good things will come and live there without help.

Topic by strmrnnr 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


What do humans *need* to know? (Edited OP)

Without a core set of really basic skills, civilisation is impossible.What do we really, as human beings, need to know in order to maintain a healthy, happy, stable society?I don't mean "how to solder" or "how to change a tyre", but really basic, grass-roots skills.You may be wondering where this question came from, but I was inspired by the Long Now Foundation's concept of future deep-time storage and its Digital Dark-Age Blog.So, let's have your ideas - list skills we need to preserve, in any area of expertise.If you can, provide a reference as well - a link or the name of a book....and maybe we'll inspire a few Instructables as well.Another thing to think about as well - how could we store this information in an enduring, millenia-stable way?I recently voiced my fears to the team involved in The Clock of the Long Now, and they agreed:...I cannot help but think, though, that something is missing.What is missing is hard copy.The Long Viewer and Long Server will only work as long as we are able to maintain power to the computer network that supports them.If humanity loses the ability to generate electricity, these projects will be lost.Even if the loss is short-term, a few years following some global disaster, then there will be a huge loss of information - knowledge and skills will die with those that know them.Those skills - even things as basic as farming and obtaining metals from the raw materials - need to be preserved in a way that will outlast any traditional or foreseeable computer network.It needs to be recorded in a form as unmistakeably monumental as the Pyramids or Stonehenge, but even more durable, and in ways less obscure.Indeed, I picture "the ultimate hard copy" to be henge-like in nature - strong, metres-high slabs of a material such as titanium or a durable glass. Arranged in a spiral or labyrinth pathway, the first slabs will have the most basic skills explained in pictographic forms, images of farming and metalwork, carpentry and building, hunting and weaving, with times of year shown with icons of Sun and Moon.More and more detailed information would be encountered in a variety of languages as people find the need to venture deeper and deeper into the monument.Glassmaking, pottery, medicines, animal husbandry, generating electricity, navigation, brewing and distilling, no skill should be considered too basic to be included, and it would be impossible for a single individual such as myself to even begin to list all the subject areas that would need to be covered, or even to decide what order they should be recorded.What is clear to me, though, is the need for this permanent archive, something that would enable humanity to bring itself back from some unknowable future disaster, at least to the level of being able to preserve and extend life through surgical and chemical techniques, to feed significant populations and to travel and communicate long distances with relative ease and efficiency.It is also clear that there should be more than one of these archives - humans, being only human, could easily go to war to control a single archive, and fate, being fickle, could also ensure that a single archive could be destroyed by whatever catastrophe also reduced humanity to the point of needing its help.RegardsIn reply, they pointed me towards their Digital Dark Age blog, but that is not what I meant - they are talking about saving files. Skills are different, especially the kind of ground-up skills I'm talking about.If I google for "How to Make Iron", what I get are lots of references to "How to make Iron Oxide" and "How to make Iron-on transfers".What I do not get is a clear link to the knowledge I need to be able to turn a pile of brown rocks into metallic iron using only what I can find or make from what I find. Come the comet, though, that's the skill-set I'll need.Amazon is no better at coming up with paper books on the subject.Heretical though it sounds, even this website is not what is needed, simply because it is digital in nature. Come the comet, off goes the power and this entire, wonderful edifice vanishes with the dot on the CRT.Somewhere, somehow, we need to gather these skills into a huge and durable text book. With copies.The questions are, of course, what is stored, where, how, and who pays for it?

Topic by Kiteman 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago