How to make Ceramics on a Budget | Ashley Hills | Skillshare

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How to make Ceramics on a Budget

teacher avatar Ashley Hills, Polymer clay sculptor and painter

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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

    • 1.

      How to make Ceramics on a budget


    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      Clay and where to buy supplies


    • 5.

      Where to fire


    • 6.

      Pinch Pot Cup


    • 7.

      Carved Cup


    • 8.

      Slab Building


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Watch clay dry


    • 11.



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About This Class

Are you enamored with the idea of making ceramics and never thought it was attainable? I wanted to try it for over 20 years before I realized it was something I could try before sinking serious money into the gear! In this tutorial I go over where to buy supplies, what tools you likely already have around your house, some techniques you don't need to invest in a ceramic wheel to try, and where you can fire your creations without buying a kiln yourself! Or, if you fall in love as I did, how you can invest in the gear more economically. :) I hope sharing my own research and experience enables you to try this incredible medium too! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Ashley Hills

Polymer clay sculptor and painter


Hello all you wonderful creative people!! I'm Ashley, you can also call me Ash. :) I've loved art my whole life, and have been sculpting nearly non-stop for 6 going on 7 years now. I'm so excited to be able to share some of my experience with you all!! I am a firm believer that every single person is artistic in some way, you just need to find what medium lets you express yourself the best. Let's see if clay/multimedia is your niche! 

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Level: Intermediate

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1. How to make Ceramics on a budget: Have you ever wanted to try making pottery, but thought it would be too big of a commitment, too heavy of an investment. If so, this class is for you. I'm so excited to share my personal experience. I wanted to try pottery for over 20 years and I always thought it was out of reach. It would be too expensive if an investment. But after loads of research and years of experience, I discovered it was way more attainable than I thought. I'm so excited to share these tips and tricks with you guys today. I really am all about enabling artists trying out new mediums. Who knows this could be your new favorite medium. By the end of this class, you'll have a clear path of how to find all the unnecessary local resources to create ceramics. Now, while this class is great for people who have already done some digging and research into ceramics. It's also a perfect starting point for beginners that are just kind of getting interested. In this lesson. I'll cover places that you can buy supplies both online and locally depending on where you live. Techniques that you can do with minimal tools and more. I can't wait to see your concepts for ceramics that you want to make. Various stages of that development of your creation. Let's get started. 2. Techniques: So as I mentioned, some of the techniques that you only need, clay in your hands and maybe tools that you would find around the house or relatively cheap would be such techniques as sculpting, pinch pots, Slab Building, and carving. Now, sculpting, I've actually already done a couple of videos on. It was more focusing on the medium of polymer clay. But the techniques used are very similar. You can go and watch those if you're interested in the sculpting part, I'm just adjust it with polymer clay. Of course you don't have to use water to keep it workable. It just stays until you bake it. Whereas with ceramic clay, just adding the element of water regularly with either spirits sing it with a spray bottle or I often just have a cup of water next to me and either dip my fingers in it or my tools to keep it working smoothly. So if you're interested in sculpting, you can refer to those videos for some different techniques and ideas. Today I'm not going to touch on techniques for throwing on the wheel just because I'm focusing more on ways you can test out ceramics before committing to a wheel. If you'd be interested though in future tutorials and we'll throwing, let me know, drop a comment, let me know. That's something that you might like to see. Now, one thing that I want to preface all of these techniques with is to have your vision clear in mind and to handle the clay with intention. Now the reason I say that is clay has a memory that may sound funny, but the particles in the clay particles a line a specific way. Once you handle it. As an example, you may have a piece of clay that's straight and you bend it all the way this way but decided no, no, I actually want it straight. Once it's in the kiln, if you aren't careful and go through compression and all of these different steps, it will want to go back to that original, more, more bent position. This is just something to keep in mind that it's very useful to have a clear vision of what you want. Sometimes it happens that you do something and you're like, Oh, I don't like that. And you need to fix it. That's okay. Be prepared for sometimes it having a strong memory of that position though and wanting to go back to that once it's in high heat. 3. Tools: Next, let's talk about what tools you'll need. You can get away with literally just ceramic clay and your fingers and water. That's all you need to try out ceramics to get a feel for the medium. Of course, there are some tools that can add to the experience depending on what techniques you want to do. Let me show you a few of my favorite tools and replacement options that you probably have around the house. Now, a lot of these are redundant and you can get away with much fewer than you see right now. But Let's just show you the range. And then I'll take away the redundant ones so you can see just how few tools you can get away with to really do so many techniques in ceramics. So the first one I'm going to talk about is a roller. This is very helpful if you're doing things like Slab Building, which we'll touch on later. A roller is great when you want to get relatively uniform thickness, big sheets of clay that you can then sculpt into 3D objects or pots or anything like that. So you can use something like this double-ended. It's quite nice because there's a straight end and a curved end. You have options. You can also use a heavy-duty cardboard ruler center that can be in different types of paper products. Or you can use a glass bottle or a glass jar. There's so many options that you can use as rollers. You can use an actual rolling pin for, for baking. You can usually pick those up super cheap at a thrift store. So I'm going to take this away because there's so many options that you don't need to buy a specific clay roller. The next thing I'm going to talk about is clay ribs. Now a lot of these are used more for wheel throwing, but they also can be very helpful for getting a smooth uniform surface when you're rolling out slabs. You can use it as a way to smooth out the surface and compress it a bit. Now, this is an official clay rib. It is wooden. You can get these very cheap on Amazon or online at different ceramic stores. This is actually a baking rib used for smoothing out frosting are fondant, things like that. You can get those quite cheap. Or you can also use any plastic card. This is a library card. You can use an old credit card and you can cut it to specifically whatever shape you want, which is cool. If you want to get some cool effects, you can do a wavy line. And then when you pull it across the clay, it will get some different cool effects. So you can have a lot of fun with just some old plastic cards you have lying around the house. Next thing is a paintbrush. This, you can use really any type. It does not have to be expensive. But if I paint brushes are invaluable with smoothing, I'm adding clay to join us, different things like that. You can get if you don't have a little paintbrush in your house, you can get one for super cheap. Even Dollar Store if you want. You don't have to spend the big bucks on this. Same with the sponge. Sponges are super-helpful when working with ceramics. Again, you can go as cheapest you like. You can get a big pack at the dollar store of like just the normal square sponges, even it doesn't matter. They're useful to have needle tool. This is it was only a few dollars when I bought it from an actual ceramic supply store. But again, if you have sewing arterioles and you have some thicker gauge needles, you can just use a big needle. You don't need to buy an actual tool. I it was worth it for the extra few dollars for me because of this handle, it makes it much easier to use, less stress on the hand. A lot of people have an exacto knife. If you don't, I would highly suggest it because they are so useful in ceramics and crafts in general, most people do. But again, you can get them for a few dollars at the Dollar Store. They don't have to be super high-end. You don't have to go crazy. But really useful to have a blade when you're working in ceramics. This tool is I, again, super cheap, few bucks, it was worth it for me. You can just take a fuse thin needles and put them together into like tape them together. This is called a scoring tool. You can see there's lots of little fine wires. This type of tool, whether you make it or buy it, is invaluable and ceramics because anything, any two pieces that you join, it's really helpful to score both sides and then squished together and it helps it adhere really strongly. So again, this was a few bucks. You can get it online or at a specific pottery supply store, or you can just make it yourself. The last item is a personal favorite. This is called a silicone shaper. As you can see, the tip is very flexible. I use this tool all the time. You can get these. They are used across many mediums. You can get some used for oil painting. You can get some that are used for nail art, some for clay sculpting. They're all the same. Certain paint silicone shapers will have different levels of stiffness. Some will be stiffer than others. I prefer fairly soft because I love using this for not only blending where you join two pieces of clay together, but also adding little sculpted details, little, little concave, dense where I want them and stuff like that. This is something that is not really easy to make yourself. But again, a few bucks, you can often get a set of five or ten different tips. This one is the main one that I use. You can also get a flat that I occasionally use, but this kernel shape is my go-to. Everyday I sculpt. Those are a few suggestions. Most useful tools you can really get away with just your hands though, if you don't have a big budget and just want to buy ceramic clay and use your hands, you can 100% get away with that. 4. Clay and where to buy supplies: Besides tools, of course, you need clay, ceramic clay. So there's so many different types of clay. I'm not going to get super into it. The main thing I'm going to say is there's low fire clay, which is cone O6. There is mid fire clay, which is cone six. There's also high fire clay, which is content. Not as many people fire to content. So you would probably have a harder time finding someone willing to fire your wares if you were working with content clay, usually concepts is safe. It's much easier to find people around to be able to fire. Cone 04 is even safer because many people fire their best Square to that. So you might, it would be very easy to find someone who would be willing to fire to that temperature because they usually do anyways, as far as where to buy clay. If you're in Canada, there are quite a few different options are the same with the states. I personally have used Tucker pottery, e-shop dot com, pottery supply house, which is P S H dot ca, the sounding There's so many different types that are all very similarly priced. Unfortunately, shipping is expensive no matter what in Canada. But I have had excellent experiences with all of those. Specifically pottery supply house and tigers pottery locally, There's a pottery guilt here, Nova Scotia. And joining it, it's a very, very small membership fee. And this is something that when you get more serious, it would be worth it more probably. But for a very small membership fee, I can get it on their group orders and save significantly on shipping prices. It's 100% worth it. I save so much money every year ordering Clay, different dry materials because I also make my own glazes, different things like that. So it's worth looking, googling to see in your area. If there is a Pottery Guild, you can get connections that way. It's such a fabulous community if you're excited about the medium and want to try it out. Often, there's other potters in your area that want to help you fall in love with the same medium. They have one supply company in the States, but I highly recommend and have used myself is clicking. Their prices are phenomenal. Their customer service is phenomenal. Shipping, pricing, everything. I have had such wonderful experiences working with them. But again, the states, there are so many different options. So if you want to see if there's any local pottery supply stores, Google it, find your area. Also, many places will actually sell sample sizes of clay. So you can try 12£3 instead of a 25-pound sleeve or a £50 box. If you want to just try a bit. If you're doing sculpting or pinch pots or even slide building, £5 will go along way. You will be able to try out what you want and really decide if you like the medium before committing to a large amount of clay. Another resource that I would suggest looking into is there's a lot of Facebook groups on ceramic supplies. There's clay buddies and loads of different Facebook groups. Google or search on Facebook and see if there's any specific local ones. There's quite a few worldwide ones, but you can even search within the group to narrow the search field to see if there's specific things in your area. You can make a post and ask. I'm in this area of the world and I'm looking to get into firing and making ceramics. Would anyone like to connect with me and helped me out type thing. Another thing that here, Nova Scotia we have is IgG. Another, It's basically a local buy, sell and trade. So Facebook has a Facebook marketplace is another place. At Craigslist. There's a number of different names for them depending on where you live. You can also keep an eye out there for people that perhaps tried ceramics for, or we're in it for years and now they're looking to get out of it and re-home some of their old supplies. That's one way that you can get some really great deals on secondhand. Previously loved ceramics supplies. So it keeping an eye open there. Especially when you've already delved into ceramics and you know, you want to commit to it. I highly recommend keeping an eye open on the local buy, sell and trade for secondhand kilns, secondhand wheels. Often people, if they're selling that they also have a plethora leftover tools, maybe even some old clay that you'll just have to rehydrate. You can get excellent deals that you don't have to commit to the brand new price because these things are built to last. And if you, with the help of YouTube, find out how to do maintenance, especially with kilns replacing elements. It's, you can do it, it's so much more attainable a priced. The last thing to discuss for supplies is glazes. Now, glazes, again, you have to know what temperature clay you're using before you can go with what glaze you're using. Because they need to match. You can't use to hive temperature of glaze with too low of a temperature of clay because in order for the glaze to look right and be properly fired, the clay would melt before it reached proper temperature. There's a lot of factors that go into it. Just make sure that your clay and your glazes match. Now there are certain glazes called under glazes that have a very wide range of temperature, which is very useful if you're not sure exactly which and you wouldn't want to try both. The only thing is they are met under glazes, are met. So you would need, if you want a glossy glaze and you want to have the range, you would just need to buy a low fire and a med fire clear glaze. That's all very simple and you can get testers for relatively cheap. I know a speed ball has some good little small bottles that you can buy testers of. Again, if you get a great connection with a local studio or a local ceramic artists, they will often be willing to sell you small sample sizes of Glaser so that you can get a feel for the medium. 5. Where to fire: And just one other place that I somehow forgot to mention, one of the first places I actually bought clay from was just a local art supply store. Now makes sure that it is actual ceramic clay and this specific temperature that it needs to be fired two is written on the package because sometimes people can mislabel or mistake air dry clay or modeling clays, polymer clay for ceramic clay. So make sure it specifically says ceramic clay and a cone or a very high temperature that it should be fired tear. That was one suggestion that's very important. Another thing is if there are local ceramic studios or there can be also those you buy Bisk already, best ceramic wares and go glaze it yourself and they fire it for you. Often, you can work out a deal with them that you can rent kiln space. And as long as you make sure that you have the right type of clay for the right temperature that they're firing too. You can often rent for relatively reasonable, very cheap. I'm versus buying your own kilohm to fire your wares. Sometimes they'll even be willing to rent out some tools or sell you some clay or some little bits of glaze to use. Yeah, talk to your local connections because often they are there to help local artists flourish and get on their feet. One word of caution though, don't get disappointed or discouraged when it can be a little harder to find, especially local artist, small business that may not want to rent space in their county. You, there's a lot involved when you're firing someone else's work. It's a responsibility. If something blows up in the kiln. It's never your fault. But it can be hard to have to give someone else that news. Also something else that can be factored in is if something happens, your pieces too wet or the wrong temperature, heaven forbid. It can actually cause serious damage to that person's equipment, which can be quite expensive to replace. So if it's harder to find local artists who are willing to don't get disappointed, don't, don't get discouraged. Keep looking. Sometimes businesses, like I mentioned, um, actual ceramic studios that have multiple artists in them. Sometimes they're more willing for the risk because they have built-in insurance. Sometimes you can buy a cheap membership to have access to a fully stocked studio, which is incredible too. If you have that option locally, I would highly recommend it. 6. Pinch Pot Cup: So for today's demonstrations, I'll be making little espresso cups in a few different techniques. The first one is gonna be pinch pot, which is one of the easiest to start with. In my opinion. We're going to have the main cup and this will be the little handle over here. To start. Starting with a basic ball is helpful just as a basic starting point, I'm going to tap it on my desk to give it a good flat bottom to start. And we're going to roll it into essentially a cylinder. Now, if you want a more rounded mug, cup, of course, your technique will change. You don't need to get these flat sides to start. But if you're focusing, your goal is more of a straight sided cylinder, then this is a good base shape to start with. You can see the bottom is relatively flat and the sides are relatively straight. So to start, now that we have this base shape, you can stick your thumb into the center and rotate it around. Now, it's good to go in little increments. If the clay gets too dry, cracks can form. You can kind of pinch in-between. This is the motion I'm doing just more gently as I'm kind of gradually working my way around. It's gradually getting deeper into the clay as well. You don't want it to be too thin of a bottom. There's a, there's a happy medium in there. But we can just kinda work our way around where gradually determining the walls. And as we pinch the walls In-between her fingers, the wall height is also going to gradually grow. As it gets thinner, this clay has to go somewhere, so we're kinda guiding it up as we go. So this is a very meditative, very repetitive technique that you can kinda just go around until you're happy with the thickness or thinness and shape of your vessel. And this isn't something that you want to Russia. You don't want to squish one side of the wall as thin as you want it and then work to the other stuff. Because you you want to gradually build this vessel this size that you want. So it's uniform on all sides as much as possible. And as it opens up, you can move your thumb in a pushing motion around the base to push out the base of it a bit more. So it's not as just one thumb size in the bottom. You can widen it out. And as you go it helps to kind of continue to smack it to help flatten that bottom. Now, just one last thing. As you see these little cracks forming. This is when you can take a bit of water and just lightly rub it over, kind of squish it gently. Just kinda run your fingers over it and that will help compress those cracks, rehydrate the clay a little bit as it's going through the stress of being molded. And now we'll speed up a bit. So you can see this cup come to life. Their technique that you can use when you see these little cracks forming is instead of just squishing your thumb, you can actually hold the inside fingers stationary and smooth it. You can see this compresses the clay beautifully, making a smoother surface. And that helps actually strengthened the vessel because you're you're getting rid of those cracks. You're compressing it to be a stronger vessel by the end. It can also make the walls be more visually appealing if you like the smoother effect. Now, because I don't want the cup flared out quite as much. All I'm doing is going putting my thumb in the center, not at the bottom, not at the top in the center of the wall. And pushing out a bit while I roll the rim in. So this is how I'm making this slightly more rounded of a cup shape. As we go. A little trick that you can use. To test the thickness of your base because it can take a little while for you to get used to knowing how thick it should be and being able to gauge. If you take a needle, any, any type of needle and put it, what you're gonna be doing is putting it down through. Don't do this in your hand. Do it on a flat surface, but put it down through until it hits, until it stops. So I'm gonna do it. And then you slide your finger down until your fingernail just rests rate where the needle goes. On the bottom here you can see the needle is poking through. So right now I'm just waiting until I hit resistance. And then I slide my finger nail down until it hits the clay. So this is how thick my Flores right now, because it's an easy way to measure. Now you may be worried now, oh no, there's a hole in the bottom. The good thing with clay though, is it's very easy to just smash over that hole. And since clay shrinks as well when going through the high heat, There's no worry of that whole leaking afterwards. Now if you want to keep a more organic rim, that's good, or you can also turn it over and do the same thing as we've been doing with the bottom. Kind of helped square off the rim by gently dropping it. You can see that cost of flatness and the rim. Of course, some parts will be thicker than the other. So you can kinda go, go back over and make it a little more uniform. You can really have fun with this though. You can, you can cut the edge to be more, more organic, more floral shapes. You can, you can really let your creativity go with clay. It is such a beautiful medium. This is a good enough cup to have shown you the basic techniques of making a pinch. But you can make bowls, tall cylinders, vases. You can make all kinds of things with this pinch pot method. So nets. Next, let's make the handle. Now, this, we can just make a snake by rolling it out little by little all trying to not let the camera wiggle too much. Something that helps strengthen the handle. Compress it a bit. After rolling is once you have it to thinness that you're pretty happy with, you can just wet your fingertips and lightly run it along. And this will help compress the clay, strengthen it. Just be careful not to get it too wet because it is a water-based medium so it can get soggy, get hurt or to work with if you make it too wet. This helps just kinda compress and, and make it a little bit stronger. I'm going to use my exact a knife. You can use technically anything you want to cut it. Now, it's good to have a rough idea of how big you'd like the handle to be so you can kinda curve it around and hold it up to your, your cup. Now, I'm going to make this a little bit bigger because I'm going to do something a little extra to the joins to where these two will attach. And again, this is where intention comes in. You've already curved this clay in this area, keep this curve because otherwise, if you try and curve it the other way all of a sudden and make it a flipped handle. The stress on the clay will very possibly become evident in the kiln and the whole handle can actually pop off if you're not careful. Favorite way to join is actually making the ends a little bit thicker. So I just gently clasp it in, tap it a bit and you can see it's flattening out, making a wider join area, which means more strength for the joints. And I personally like to do it on both ends. You can also just cut on a bias and smooth it into the cup, but I'm gonna do it. Now. This is where I highly recommend using or making a scoring tool. I just got a little wet. And you can see how it's roughing up that clay and almost make it a bit of a clue like substance. This is exactly what we want. Now to figure out where we want it to line up. Don't drop it. Now to figure out where we want it to line up. I often like to place it gently. I'll be reshaping this afterwards. But just you can have a look mixture. Straight exactly how you want it. And then just very, very lightly with your needle tool or you can use a fine sharpened pencil or anything. Just mark where this handle lines up so that when you remove it, you have these two circles that you know exactly where it's going to be lining up. And you can add a bit of water and scored correctly there. Now, do be do be aware of when you're handling this because it's still very soft material, still very fragile. It's easy to bend out a shape, so just lightly clasp it. And we're going to put this back on. And we want to, something I like to do is if I can put it on a surface and then support it on the inside wall so I don't squish it out of shape. Push actually push the handle into the wall. That helps the Join be a bit stronger, same with the bottom. Now what I'm going to do, you can choose to do finish this in different ways. I like to use either a needle tool. I'll show you both to then smooth the joins. Like so. Or also, I particularly love using my silicone shaper for this, but like I said, I'll show you with both. This helps. Again, it depends on what a static you're going for, but if you want it to look more like it's from the same piece of clay. Sometimes a design will lend itself nicely for having the more separated look, which you can do just by instead of blending it out, just running your tool along it. Like so. You can still see a definition. This is why spine, which is useful as well to get get off that extra little bits of clay so it doesn't gum up where you don't want it. So yeah, you can either do it a smooth or a defined join depending on what style you want. And then what I love using a paintbrush four is going over with a bit of water and then just finishing out those areas that need just a bit of smoothing. You can use this on the top as well. Even if you're going for more defined look, there's areas that you can kinda get a more smooth look. Next is me just wanting to reshape, handle a little bit. So again, do this with intention. Cautious. Depending on how thin your handlers you might have to be really careful about supporting it so it doesn't flop around. Something I like to do is use a little bit of foam or a little bit of clay while it's drying slowly to prop it up so it doesn't slump while it's drying. You might need to gently push it back into the round. If it got squished. If the main cup got squished out of shape, there you have it. There is a little tiny espresso cup made from a pinch pot. 7. Carved Cup: The next tutorial will be a little bit simpler, shorter. This is to cover the carving method. Now, this is very similar to pinch pots and the way that you can start the same by getting the basic shape you want to begin with. But you're gonna go a bit extra. You want to get it fairly close to the overall shape you want. Then instead of pinching it, pinch, potting it outward, you're actually going to carve it out. So this is just a piece of wire that I used, a very stiff strong piece of wire that I just wrapped some duct tape around, bent it into the shape I want. This is a tool that you can use to make handles. You can drag it through a long piece of clay and then you get this beautiful round strip of clay. Or you can use it to carve out the center. Like so. I usually when I'm doing this type of technique, it's usually a combination of pinch padding and curving because I will get rid of the excess clay that I want. And then kinda go back in with my fingers and use similar techniques to the pinch pot to smooth and shape it how I want. There's another technique that uses this that when people want more rough, organic shapes and they actually don't go in at all to reshape it afterwards. And that is a really cool technique to you can cut jagged lines and get it looking almost like a rock or a boulder that has been carved out. Very cool. Like I said, there's no limits with clay. You can do anything, you can dream up. So this is just a very quick tutorial to show the curving element. And you can really go as nuts as you want. But there's the tool that I forgot to show earlier. And you can see already that it's coming into shape. 8. Slab Building: Now the last technique I'm going to show you guys today is Slab Building. There are many other techniques you can do without needing a wet. We'll, besides sculpting, there's also making coils, which is basically the same technique as the handle making long snakes. But kind of attaching them, stacking them one on top of each other, scoring in-between. And you can build quite tall, great shapes with that. Just kinda blending, smoothing the coils in-between the stack like this. And then kinda blend, smooth them out in-between. But I'm not gonna get into that today. You can always, of course, Google coil building techniques if you'd like to learn more about this. But today the last technique I'm going to show you is Slab Building, which involves a roller of whatever type you have, either a specific actual roller rolling pin or a glass jar, like anything that's relatively straight sided and strong enough that you can push down the clay. That's the main thing that you need for this. So bear with me as I slowly flatten this out. Here, we have a nice thin slab to work with. So I'm going to use my exacto knife. To the cool thing is you can do different shapes. You can do whatever you want. It's very cool the things you can do with slab. So I'm gonna go and make a square one because why not? So we need the base shape. You can decide, it can be whatever you want. And then you're going to do the walls. So you need to decide how tall you want it. You can either do it in four sections. I could technically do four different walls and then attach them all. But I prefer doing one big strip. Depending on the effect, you could do. A curved like this and that will make them more rounded mug what we're going for more straight sides today. Slab Building is helpful to do with just slightly dry clay. You don't want it to be sticky because that can make it much harder for you to do these techniques. Then we're going to make score marks along the top of the bottom. Not complicated at all. And then we're also gonna do it for the base that attaches the base of the wall that is attaching to the base. And then we're also gonna do score marks on the two edges, two walls that will be connecting. Now, I didn't measure, but it's helpful to actually measure how long the sides will be so you make sure you cut the right amount. I might not have. We'll see how close we get. Look at that. That's pretty great. Being able to eyeball it. Okay, So as you can see, we have lightly placed it where we want it. Next up is gonna be blending it in. This is helpful to do on a flexible surface so you can lightly peel it off. And then you can lightly clasp it in your hand and use either your needle tool or the silicone shaper to then thoroughly blend any joins. Again, it might be helpful to hold it from the inside so it doesn't just cave onto itself. I can with the base two. This is for strength, making sure it doesn't disconnect in the kiln. You don't want to put all this effort into your piece only to have the seams come apart in the comb. This is the n-side, the seams. And we can't forget the inside. So that's where I love how flexible this tip is because I can put it in and push down and seal the inside side of all those seams. You might want to go back and employ some of the pinch pot methods to kind of shape it if you like the square bottom, but a rounder shape on top. This is good. Or if you want it to be a more square cup all over, you can go through and lightly pinch all the corners. So you get this more defined square effect. Then you just kinda wanna fidget and clean. Clean it up, you can run it, run the wet paint brush over. This seems again to help smooth and strengthen them a bit more. Looking from the top view, you can see where perhaps some of the shapes aren't exactly, right. So you can kinda fidget with them a little bit here and there. And then you can decide what you want to do from there. If you want to trim the top to make it a more even, or if you want to add a handle and have a cute little square cup, or you could add a handle on this end. And it can be a little picture because it already has a built-in poor corner. Like I say, over and over again, clay is the medium for creativity. There's no limit to what you can create and have fun with. So for me, I'm actually not even going to bother making a handle. I'm just going to squish one of the corners a bit more and make this into a little poor picture. So to make the spout a little bit better of a poor, I just wet my finger. I'm bracing it with this them. And I'm just kinda gently running it over to make that smooth transition from inside to outside. A lot of pension and poke in with us. And then once it's dried and fired, this will be where you pinch and handle, hold the handle to pour this cute little picture. 9. Project: For the class project, I'd love to see if you got a hold of ceramic materials. If you have clay, I'd love to see what you made. Either pinch pot, curved, slab, ruled, coiled, whatever you made, sculpted. I love to see it. Please share photo below. Or if you haven't yet got a hold of clay, maybe sketch out a few ideas of what you would like to make when you do have it. I'd love to see your concepts. Please share it below. 10. Watch clay dry: Just one last really important tip for ceramics is the step that takes the longest out of the whole process is the drying step. So there's the making, whatever technique you use when the clay is wet, then drawing slowly and painfully. So there's different stages. There's wet clay, There's leather hard when it's kinda like a hard cheese that you can still carve it easily. Then there's bone dry when it gets very brittle, very you have to be very gentle with it. Once it gets to bone dry, which can be hard to learn how to gauge. Some people gently put it against their cheek and feel if it's still cool. The coolness can indicate there's still moisture inside the clay. You want there to be as little moisture as possible when you fire it. Almost all explosions or disintegration in the kiln is due to wetness. People will say it's air bubbles and all those things. That's not true. It's wetness. And when you think about it, it makes sense because the film gets extremely hot. And it can get quite hot quite fast. Once the heat reaches the point that water turns into steam because it's literally boiling on a molecular level. And to escape, there's always gonna be a little bit in the clay that's unavoidable. But if there's too much of a water content when it starts boiling and turning into steam to evaporate off the clay. That's when these explosive reactions can happen. Bits of clay can go everywhere. So that's my last tip, is if you have your own kiln, you've found 1 second hand, you're renting killed space. The most important step is to let your piece dry thoroughly before firing it. Now unfortunately, I can't tell you how long to wait because there's so many factors that can change that. It matters how thick your pieces if you're sculpting something and it's a solid piece of clay and it's this big, it'll probably never, Never dry. So maybe don't do that. If you're sculpting large pieces, it's very helpful to ball up newspaper and use that as a core. So you can just have a very thin piece of clay to sculpt on the outside. It also matters the climate where you live. If you have a very humid or very dry climate, things will dry slower or more quickly. If you live in a very dry climate, you have to actually be careful that things don't dry too quickly. You can counteract that very easily by monitoring your pieces. I like to wrap thinner parts that might dry quicker than the thicker with just recycled Saran wrap. You can also missed it slightly with a little squirt bottle. If it dries too quickly, the thinner pieces and the wet pieces can actually crack apart because it's it's putting stress on the clay body. But yeah, unfortunately, I can't tell you a basic amount. Some people's pieces can dry in a day. Other pieces can take three weeks. It is just depending on circumstances, but either way, be patient, tested, feel it against your cheek, or It's also very helpful if you have a piece that you keep and you know, is completely dry, even just rolling out a little thin piece of clay so you can feel the difference of a totally dry piece and the piece that you're trying to gauge. It's helpful tips and avoids possible chaos and the curl. 11. Conclusion: And there you have it. This, I hope was really helpful to anyone that has been wanting to try ceramics, but thinking it wasn't necessarily attainable, I hope that you fall in love with this medium just as much as I have, have fun with it and create beautiful things. I'll see you guys next time.