Make a Clay Mug: Handbuilding Pottery for Beginners | Mia Moss | Skillshare

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Make a Clay Mug: Handbuilding Pottery for Beginners

teacher avatar Mia Moss, Slinging pots in Berlin

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:30
    • 2. Tools & Materials

      2:36
    • 3. Make your Template

      2:52
    • 4. Rolling Coils & Making the Base

      6:15
    • 5. Building up the Walls

      7:10
    • 6. Shaping your Pot

      3:26
    • 7. Drying tips

      1:31
    • 8. Smoothing your Pot

      5:17
    • 9. Adding a Handle

      7:32
    • 10. Preparing for the First Firing

      3:24
    • 11. All about Bisqueware

      1:40
    • 12. How to Glaze

      6:17
    • 13. Glaze Firing

      1:41
    • 14. The Great Reveal!

      2:04
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About This Class

Time to get muddy!

Have you ever wanted to craft your own pottery? There is a lot to learn about ceramics, but this video is designed for absolute beginners to jumpstart your pottery journey. 

Join professional ceramicist Mia Moss, founder of Pottery to the People, in this 53-minute video making a clay mug from start to finish. Craft your mug along with her in her sunny studio in Berlin, Germany.

This class will cover how to make a clay mug using the coiling technique, which can be applied to creating all kinds of ceramics, from the humble mug, to as far as your imagination can take you! This type of handbuilding is great for beginners, because it requires very few tools, but it’s also an ancient technique that will root your work within the history of this craft.

Meet Your Teacher

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Mia Moss

Slinging pots in Berlin

Teacher

Mia is the founder and owner of Berlin-based pottery studio Pottery to the People. She is an artist, teacher, & community-builder.

After receiving her BFA in the United States, Mia joined a community pottery studio. She channels the enthusiasm of her first instructors in the classes she now teaches today, passionate about paying it forward and spreading the love of her craft.

Now she is moving beyond the studio to bring online classes and youtube tutorials to pottery lovers all over the world!

See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Maya. I run a studio in Berlin called Pottery to the People, and in this class I want to show you how you can turn this into this. I've been doing pottery for 10 years now and I opened a studio here in Berlin in 2018. Our mission here is to bring pottery to the people, and we help potters from all over the world to come and realize their dreams in clay. There's hundreds of ways to work with clay from the wheel to slab building, but today I want to show you one of the most approachable ways to work with clay and that is called coil building. You don't need a studio or anything. All you need is a few simple handheld tools and your hands. You don't need any experience to join this class, this is for absolute beginners. We're going to be making real pottery in this course, so you're going to need a professional kiln to fire your pieces. It's not going to work in your conventional oven. But I'm sure there is a pottery studio near you that's willing to fire your works for you. 2. Tools & Materials: The first thing is to assemble all the tools that you need. First thing is your work surface. Now here I have some fabric that is just stretched around a wooden board. This is really handy because it keeps the fabric really tight but if you don't have that, you can also just lay some fabric down on the table. If you work directly on a surface of a non porous table, then your clay will stick to the table so unless you have untreated wood or something porous, otherwise I would recommend just putting some fabric down. First we're going to be sketching out the mug that we want to make so for that we want a piece of cardboard, a pencil or a pen, and a marker, and a ruler and a scissors. Eventually we're going to cut this out and use it as a template. Next we need something for serving the clay. Now in the pottery studio we have these things, they're called ribs. But if you don't have these, you can just use a spoon for that. That's totally fine. Next, we need something to scratch the clay. So again, we have these two pottery tools that are here that are really helpful but once again, we can replace that with a fork if you don't have these particular tools. Then you need a knife, a small bowl of water with a sponge in it, if you don't have a sponge, you can also use a rag. That's fine as well. Then it's also really helpful to have a turn table to elevate your project. Again, if you don't have this, that's totally fine. It's more about elevating your project than it is to turn it. So you can also use a jar or a stack of books or whatever. Last thing is you need a glaze and brush to apply your glaze. I recommend a paint on glaze for this project, but we'll talk more about that later. Of course, now you need some clay. We're going to be working with a stoneware for this project, there's actually three main categories of clay. There's earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Now stoneware is right in the middle of all of those qualities. It's really nice to work with for this project but of course, if you don't have stoneware, you can work with anything that you have. Make sure you check with the studio that you're firing your works at before you go and buy any clay. For this project, most clays will work. 3. Make your Template: Before you even touch the clay, we want to make a template that will be your guide throughout making this mug. First you want some cardboard, a ruler and marker, pencil and scissors. I'm just going to start by drawing a line. This will be the bottom, and we're going to draw the mug up here. Now I invite you to just be creative and loose with your movements. Basically we're going to draw the mug straight on from the side. I don't need to draw the opening, I'm just going to draw a line for the top, and then start shaping it. You can just go crazy with it, see what you like, see what you don't like. You can add a handle if you think that that will help make your decision. Keep in mind that your mug is going to shrink in the kiln as well. You want to be drawing about 10 percent larger than you want the final piece to be. Every clay shrinks a little bit different though. Now that you have your sketch more or less finished, you want to draw a line right down the middle. Now you can actually decide which side is looking more accurate to what you want. From me, it's the left side, this looks a little bit of a nicer curve than this right side here. Now I'm going to take my marker and trace over the line that I want. This is now the profile of the mug that we're going to make. Now I'm just going to cut it out. I'll just cut straight down the middle first. This is the side that we want, we can actually discard this now. Now I'm just going to cut off the mug. We're actually going for the outside, the outside is the important part. If you mess up the cardboard on the inside, it's fine. This is going to be the profile of our mug. 4. Rolling Coils & Making the Base: Now you want to lay your fabric down and we're going to get into the clay. This type of hand-building is called coil building and that's because you use coils to make double walls of your mug. I'll show you what a coil is now. A coil is basically a long, wormy shape, we're going to use long pieces like this to make the walls of your mug. The key to a good coil is to not put too much downward pressure while you're rolling it out; really, you should just be pushing back and forth and the weight of your hands will make the coil condensed and longer automatically. So when you push too hard downward, you end up with coils that are a little bit flatter on one end and too long on the other end. We want nice round coils, so if you just push back and forth, then your coils will round out nicely. The thickness of your coils, you want them somewhere between the thickness of your finger and a pencil, so something like this is fine for our mug. Now, if you make a bigger piece, then you would want bigger coils, if you make a smaller piece, you'd want smaller coils. Now we're going to start with the base of our mug. Basically, I want this piece to be twice as long as this template here, this is where we get our ruler in. On our template, the base of the pot is 4.5 centimeters wide, so that means in reality, I'm going to make the base of the pot nine centimeters because it will be the other half. I'm going to start with my little [inaudible] here. Now, I'm going to use a scoring tool for this, but this is when you can also use your fork or whatever else you have that can scratch the clay. Scratching clay is how you get two parts of clay to stick together. It works like Velcro when you have two rough ends, they can grab on to each other. That means when we're going to make a spiral with this, you want to scratch one side and then the other side. When you're scoring, scoring is by the way just another word for scratching, when you're scoring your piece, you want to go in two directions at least. I did one long one here and now I'm going to do a bunch of little tiny ones along the way there. I just want to rough up the piece, don't be afraid to go quite deep, you just don't want to make too shallow scratches. Now, you just want to do one side and also the other side. We're just going to score that whole side just like we already did. We have two sides of our coil scored. Now we coil it up. I'm just going to start on one end, you want to make sure the end is really, really tight and I'm just going to roll it up like a snail. Make sure where you're rolling are the two scored ends touching one another. Hitting some cracks here, that's fine, but you definitely want to smooth them out. Now, I just need to roll another coil to keep making it wider because I want this to be nine centimeters wide. Also, while you're coiling, it can really help to expand your fingers while you do it, it really helps to pull the clay outward. We are going for more or less the same size as the coils that we started with; always about the same size throughout this whole project. Now, I'm going to score and the other side. Now, we will just add that to our coil. In the beginning, I'm just going to push the end in there and then just coil it up with the other. Now you want to measure, yeah, that's more or less nine centimeters now. Now, we just want to smooth out these coils into one another. I will just use my thumb for that and I'm just going to push from the inside out and from the outside in. I'll start in the middle, just push them out and then I'll go back with my finger to the top and I'll smooth these ones inward. You want to be pushing down lightly while you're doing this because this will help compress the clay and stop any cracks from forming. We're just trying to blend the coils into one another, and you want to also do the other side, of course. You can use a tool like this for that, but I like to just use my fingers. If you have an extra little bump here from the end of your last coil, you can just use a knife to smooth that out. I will just remove the clay and so they're trying to blend it in. You have a nice circular piece, so this will be the base. Now, the end of your template should be right in the middle of the base and we're just going to follow that line upwards. 5. Building up the Walls: Now I'm just going to roll out some more coils and start building up the walls. You want to score the outside of your base now so you can attach your first coil and of course, you want to score the one side of your coil that will touch the base. We're just going to lay it on top now and bring it all the way around and then when it's too much clay, I'll just pinch the extra clay off, we can use this coil later. Now I want to always be referring back to my template. Don't forget to use this, otherwise you're going to start going off on somewhere that you don't expect. I will hold this up and I'll see actually it's not quite reaching the outside of the template where we want to, I can maybe use a pencil. It's not quite reaching the outside of the template where we want to, we want this part to go out here. I'm actually going to turn the clay outward just a little bit, I'll angle that coil outward. Now it's nice and meeting the template. After each coil, we want to smooth in that coil into the surface below. I'm just going to use my finger on the inside and I'm going to push downward into the base. I want to fill that crack and I want to push clay all down to adhere it to the base. Then I can run my finger along this way to smooth it all out, just like that, and then on the outside, we'll do the exact same thing, but I like to use the side of my thumb for this one. You can also use [inaudible] , is also a really handy for this. It's really easy to sort the piece get away from you at this point and if that's what you want to do, that's totally fine, there's no problem, but if you do want to make this piece, you really need to constantly be checking in. I just straightened out this side because it looked like it was curving a little bit. Just have an eye out for these small details because they really define they shape of your piece. If the clay is too inward, you can squeeze the clay and use your thumb to turn it outward, like this, to bring it out towards your template. You can just manipulate the clay like that. If you squeeze the clay, the clay is going to need to expand. If you push the clay together, it's going to need to contract. You can bring the walls in by pushing the clay together like that and you can bring them out by stretching them out. Now, you might start to think that this is looking a little bit big for a coffee cup, but don't forget that it's going to actually shrink about 10 percent. The shrinkage rate depends on the clay and the temperature that you're firing to, but more or less 10 percent is definitely what you can expect and 10 percent is a surprising amount. If you want your pot to be nine centimeters tall, you should make it 10 centimeters tall. Something like that. It's a little bit wide on the top so I'm going to compress the clay inward again like this, so it curves in a little bit more. Pretty good and at the end, we're going to spend some time smoothing it all out, so don't worry that it's looking a little rough right now. One more coil, I'm thinking, let's see. Just there. Perfect. 6. Shaping your Pot: Now it's matching the template and now that we have our piece in 3D reality, you can still change a little bit of this. For example, I think that this opening here is a little too narrow. If you think about when you're drinking out of it, you don't want the top of the piece to hit your head or hit your nose even. I'm just going to pinch this outward just a touch, so what I'll do is I'll push in with my thumbs and pull it back with my fingers and I'll give it a little bit of a flare on the top. You can see now it's just a little bit of a flare at the top, I think that looks much better. Now, I'm just going to spend a little bit of time smoothing it out. I want to get rid of any big cracks right now. It doesn't need to be perfect right now because we're going to smooth out the rest of it when it's a little bit drier. It's hard to smooth it completely right now because the clay is so wet but it's important that we get rid of all the large cracks. I'll start with the inside, just smoothing that out. When you're smoothing the inside, make sure you're supporting the outside with your hands so you're not changing the shape. You just put light pressure and you're just swiping the inside, smoothing it out. Now, with the outside, I can use my finger but I think I'm going to go for the rib and I will just slowly and lightly drag it along here and give it a rough smoothing. Later on, it will be a lot easier to smooth out all those leftover cracks. You can also remove some extra clay if you have it. If you don't have a tool like this, as I said earlier, you can use a spoon and this is how you do that. You want to use the round side of the spoon and you're just going to smooth it out like that. It really does the exact same thing. There's no reason to go out and buy something that you don't need. This is all the smoothing out that I need to do right now. When it's a little bit drier, we'll do the rest of it and we'll also be adding a handle. Now, you want to actually just set your piece aside for a couple of hours. You can also leave it for a couple of days if you want to. But in that case, you want to wrap it in some plastic so it doesn't dry out too much. If you leave it more than a day, it's probably going to be too dry to work with. Just keep checking on it and when it's still wet but more stiff, like you can't move this so easily, that's when you want to do the rest of the smoothing. We'll also add a handle on at that point. 7. Drying tips: If you're not going to finish your pot on the same day, you want to wrap it in some plastic so it doesn't dry out too much. I would recommend getting a wooden board like this and then a trash bag or any kind of plastic that you have. Lay the plastic down on top of the board, place your piece inside, then wrap the plastic over and tuck it underneath on all sides so no air can get in. Then make sure you put it out of the way somewhere where it's safe. Now I'm just going to wait here until it's a little bit drier. What we want is that it's firm but you can still feel the moisture inside of it. You shouldn't be able to move the walls at all. But you can still feel that it's wet. That's the ideal stage where we will finish smoothing it out and adding a handle. This is what in the pottery world we call leather hard stage. Just leave it on your shelf, keep checking on it. If you want to work on it in the afternoon, maybe you want to unwrap it that morning depending on how dry it is at that point. There's no fixed time that you should let it sit here like this. It really depends on the climate in your area and how warm it is and all of that. Just keep checking on it and wait until it gets to that leather hard stage. 8. Smoothing your Pot: Now our pot is a little bit dried out. For me, it's been three days since it's been drying. I actually just put it in front of the fan towards the end because it was just a little bit too wet still. I had it under plastic this whole time so that really slowed down the drying process. You can also just do this immediately after building it, just wait a few hours, and you can do it actually all in the same day. What you're looking for is the level of dryness. Regardless of how many days, everywhere, every clay is different. But you want to be looking for that your pot is quite firm now. Now, I can touch it without it moving, I can flip it over and it's not collapsing. What I really look for here is that I can squeeze the rim a little bit, and I can move it just a little bit and not making any big changes to the rim when I push on it. That's the perfect level of drying for smoothing and attaching a handle. That's what we'll do next. For this, you'll need either a rib or you can use a spoon at this point, something that's firm that you can use for smoothing. People also use old credit cards or gift cards as well, that also works. What you want to do is just angle it. You don't want to go directly into the clay, but angle it about 45 degrees and you want to drag it along here. This is going to help us smooth. You can use the different shapes of the rib to smooth it out differently. I always do the first smooth with the rib and then later on it always go back with my finger, because your finger just smooths best of all. Some people like to use a sponge for this process. I don't usually do that because I don't want to add any water to my piece now. It's already been drying out this whole time, and why would I go in now and add some water? That's counterproductive, I think. I just go around and smooth it out best I can. I'm also removing a little bit of extra clay here, that's fine. Just keep going around until it's as smooth as you want. Now you're never going to get a hand-built pot perfectly smooth. That's not the point of hand-building your ceramics. You should embrace the lumpiness, I would say. It's really hard to get it perfect and that's just fine. If you don't want to use your finger, you can also use a stone for this process, something round for basically burnishing the clay right now. We're smoothing it, compressing it, making it have a nice finish. Now you're just smoothing it to the point that you're happy with it. Everyone likes a different finish. It can be really rough and natural, organic, or you can make it as pristine as possible. I would encourage you to embrace the natural look of it. Now that it's dried out, I can really put a lot of pressure on with my thumb and really get in and smooth that out. Whereas if we had done this earlier when it was too wet, it would have definitely collapsed the walls. So that's why we want to wait until it's dry. Now, the outside is really nice and smooth. I'm just going to go in on the inside and smooth that all out. I'd just like to use my thumb here because I can really get my hand in there and move it around. But again, if you have a smaller rib, you can use that, or maybe a more flexible one than this, could also work, or a spoon would work at this point too. I'm just going to go by my hand because I really like to do it that way. Basically I'm happy with this now. It's nice and smooth. There's still a little bit of organic texture here, but nothing too crazy, if that's going to trap any dirt. Now we just need to add the handle. 9. Adding a Handle: I just grabbed a chunk like this. I'm definitely not going to use all of this, but I'd rather start with a bit more than I need. I'm just going to roll out a coil just like we did before. The main difference here though is that I want to have a thicker end on one side and a thinner end on the other. This will be the top of the handle and this will be the bottom of the handle. This is pretty much aesthetic choice. You can do it just a normal coil, it's also fine. Just whatever look you're going for. It's like a taper there. Then I think I'll probably cut it here. I'm just going to cut it, still using more than I think I need. This is quite a lot of handle here. Now, you always want to hold that up to your piece and see what the handle shape that you want. I'm going to just start forming into a handle and then I can see the shape. I think I'm going to need to cut it a little bit here because it's a little too much upward for me. We'll take it back down again and just cut off a little bit of extra clay at an angle to change the way it's touching the mug. Something like that I think is okay. You can always test it by putting your hand in here and imagining how you're going to hold the mug. I'm thinking because it's a big mug, it should get a pretty strong handle. Now, I've decided I'll put it here and now I'm just going to lay it on top, and with my knife I'll just make a few little reference points to where I'm attaching it. I'll just draw a few little dots with the knife and now I can remove it, and I'll see where I want to attach it. Now, I also know that the bottom attachment will just be directly below it on the bottom of the pot, so I don't need to mark that. Now, we go back to our little scoring tool and just like before, we'll just give it a few scratches in both directions. Don't be afraid to go quite deep and then make your lower scratches. We can also go a little bit beyond where the handle is going to be, it's fine. We'll see it all out in a moment. These two spots here and now also going to scour the two spots where the handle will attach. Because this has dried out just a little bit, now I'm going to add a little bit of water to these two points to help the two parts bind together. I literally would just take my finger and just tap a little bit of water in here. I just put it on the pot, not on the handle, because the handle is plenty wet since we used fresh clay for that. Now comes the tricky part. Important here is that you put your non-dominant hand, in that case my left-hand, inside of the pot to support the pot while you attach it. You don't want to hold it on the outside here because when you're pushing in, you might collapse your pot. Hold the wall and start with the top attachment. I will just set it on here, make sure everything's lined up, and then I'm going to push inward. I'm going to push as hard as I can without distorting the shape, and what should happen is that it squishes out like that. That's what we want. Then, I'll go around my finger and start blending those two sides together. I'll let that dry out just a little bit while I work on the bottom piece. I'm not going to make it perfect yet, because I would like to let the water soak in a little bit first. Then I go to the bottom, make sure that's lined up, and again just blend it in. The bottom attachment requires a lot less thickness than the upper attachment because it's carrying a lot less weight than this. Most of the pressure is right under here when you're carrying a mug. Definitely watch the cracking here. You can expect a little bit of cracking as you turn the coil to form the handle, but definitely you want to smooth out those cracks to strengthen your handle, and it looks nicer too. Now, you can do some final touches on your handle. I'm going to actually change the shape just a little bit of it right now. You can still sculpt it quite a lot. I want to have this shape in here a little bit more rounded. I'm going to push up this bottom part of the upper handle, and see if I can get that a nicer shape. I think handles add a lot of personality to your pot. It's worth putting in some effort to make them nice. Just like before, it's just all about smoothing it out now and getting it to the point where you're happy with it. Definitely, you want to look straight on the handle like this, so you can make sure it's straight. Sometimes people accidentally attach the handle top up here the bottom down here, and then you have an angled handle, which is also fine. But if you want to be straight, let's make it straight. Final touches, final looks, and you're done. 10. Preparing for the First Firing: Once you've attached your handle, you just want to let your piece dry out a little bit more, and then you can sign your piece. I like to use a pencil for this, but you can use any sharp object that you want. Don't forget to date it, so you can see your progression over time. Now, we're going to let it dry, and actually, drying is a little bit more complicated than it might seem because this is where a lot of the problems come into play like cracking, like warping. So what we want to do is drive this slowly and we want every single part of the pot to dry at the same time. This is because as it's drying, it's going to shrink. It's going to lose all of that water and the whole piece will shrink together. But if you have the handle shrinking faster than the body of the pot, you're going to have a crack at that point where the handle meets the pot. This is a really common problem. My recommendation for how to avoid that is to wrap it under a plastic for 24 hours before, so it slows down that drying process, so it balances out all the moisture levels in the piece, and then you can take off the plastic and let it dry out normally in the air. You want to get your garbage bag again or whatever piece of plastic you have, and just like before, you want to lay the piece down onto the board. Now you want to flip your pot. Now, you definitely want to do this because then, all the sides are exposed to the air. If you leave it down like this, then the bottom is not getting any air. So you want to flip it like this, roll the plastic over, and touch the sides under. This will really slow down the drying process. It will still dry in here, but a lot slower. If you left it in here for a few days, you might come back and it hasn't dried at all. I would definitely leave it in here for 24 hours now, you can leave it for longer if you're really concerned about cracking, but then, eventually, you'll want to remove the plastic so it can dry up completely before you put it into the kiln. After at least 24 hours, you'll want to remove the plastic and let it dry out completely. Now, depending on the thickness of your pot, it can take anywhere from five days to two weeks. If it's a really thick pot, it will take longer than that. By then, it should be fully dried out and then you can transport it to your local potter and they can put it into the kiln for you so that it can get fired. 11. All about Bisqueware: Now we have our piece finished through the disc firing. Basically, this is what it looks like now. It's going to look a lot different later. If you remember, we had this color clay. This is what the clay looked like that we were working with. This is actually going to be the final clay color. You can see that it's a totally different color. Don't freak out when you're clay changes colors. A lot of chemistry is happening right now, and that's just the way of it. You got to use your imagination to think about what the final color will be. Next you want to do any sanding at this stage. Now sanding in pottery is a little bit controversial because when you sand, you produce really fine powdery dust and that's actually quite harmful to breathe in. I would discourage you from sanding your piece, unless absolutely necessary. The only time that I actually sand my piece is to clean up the signature on the bottom. Because I find at least when I scratch into the clay, it creates these sharp bumps. I will just take some sandpaper and just quickly do some sanding here. It's really just that quick like this is the benefit of sanding in the disk stage because that's really fragile. Just give it a few seconds of sanding and you're ready to go. 12. How to Glaze: Now we can glaze the piece. There's two different ways of glazing. One is what the more professional potters do which is dipping and pouring glaze, but what I recommend for beginners is actually just a simple paint on glaze. This is really user friendly and not quite as dangerous to work with. Get yourself some paint on glaze. We're using stoneware glaze because this is stoneware clay, but you definitely want to be checking with your potter studio where you're going to be firing your work to get the right glaze that will match your clay, because everything needs to be the right temperature range. The clay need to be the right temperature range, the glaze and then of course what the kiln will be set to. Just make sure that you've got the right glaze. Just mix your glaze and you can really use any brush. I like these soft brushes because they pick up a lot of glaze and you don't have to dip them so often into the pot. But any brush will do, just use whatever you've got and then definitely you want to start on the inside first, so you're not touching the glaze while you're trying to paint the inside. What you're looking for here is thin layers, but multiple layers. We'll actually paint two or three layers of this, but I don't want to make any layer too thick, or you might have problems with the glaze flaking off later. As you're glazing, you'll notice that the glaze is actually drying super fast. That's actually totally normal and that's what we want. This is because at this stage, your brisk is acting like a sponge. It's really soaking up all the moisture from the glaze really fast. This is why we fire to the brisk firing. The whole point is so that it becomes sponge-like to absorb the glaze. You want to avoid getting glaze on the bottom of your piece. In fact, if you do accidentally get some glaze on the bottom, you want to remove that before you fire it. This is because as it's firing in the kiln, the glaze turns into liquid and then as it cools again, it hardens. If you don't remove the glaze from the bottom, it will actually get stuck to the kiln shelf where it sitting on as its firing and you will never be able to remove the piece. It will get totally stuck in the kiln shelf. Definitely you want to remove the glaze from the bottom. Now that we finished one layer completely, I'm just going to make sure that everything is dry and then I'll go back in and do a second layer. Always with glazes you want more thin layers than one very thick layer. I know this way, so I know I definitely need to add a second layer, typical paint on glazes you need between two and three but there should be a recommendation on the package for how many layers you need to put on. I know it looks gray now but it's actually going to turn blue later. It's like magic. You always have to look at the label and look at what the color is supposed to be, and use your imagination for now. It's going to be blue and it's going to have speckles coming through. You can touch the glaze when it's dry. Definitely don't touch it when it's wet, but when it's dry you can definitely move it around and touch it. Just try not to touch it too much because you can actually cause the glaze to come off or cause problems with the glaze if you get too much of your dirt or the oils from your fingers onto the glaze. Just try and limit how you touch it. Don't pick it up more than you have to. Definitely wash your hands before you eat or drink afterwards because you don't want to be ingesting this stuff. It's done now. I just have to clean up the bottom. I will just wipe it with a sponge and then we can put it into the kiln. 13. Glaze Firing: I just have a little container of water here, and I just take a white sponge and wipe off all of the extra glaze. What you want to do is just go a little bit around the edge that will make sure that the glaze doesn't flow into the kiln so while it's liquid state it's going to want to go down because of gravity. So I definitely recommend removing about a millimeter to two millimeters. A space just around that corner. It's not enough that you see it when you're just having your pot on the table, but it's enough to make sure that your pot doesn't get stuck to the kiln shelf. Next you will just put your pot into the kiln or transport it to your local ceramicist to fire it for you. If you need to wrap it in something for transportation I would rather choose something like plastic like a garbage bag or something like that rather than a textile or paper, and that's because you want something smooth not something very textured because that texture it scratch at the glaze and actually make it come off. But luckily I just have a few feet over to my kiln. 14. The Great Reveal!: I'm quite happy with this piece. Every time you finish a piece, you want to look at it. Examine it to see what went well, see what didn't go well. I'm really happy with how the glaze turned out. I like this clouding, it almost turns a bit lavender on this piece. Glazes are quite unpredictable, so you never really know what you're going to get and I'm quite happy with it. Another thing that is really interesting is that your piece will actually shrink quite a bit. You can see this was our template that we were working with. We followed this exactly, remember? The piece is about a centimeter shorter, so you should definitely expect that. Make your piece a little bit bigger than what you want in the end and then you'll be good. I hope you had fun with your project. Remember, pottery is all about trial and error. If you are not totally in love with your piece, just try over again because anytime you remake a piece, you make it better the second time. The only people who get better at pottery is the people who stick with it. We all make mistakes with pottery. It's a really hard thing to work with, so please stick with it. If you post your projects down below, I will be very happy to see them. Also, I can give you feedback on what may have gone wrong or some design decisions. I can definitely help you out there. I would love to see your pieces, so get making.