Make Easy Handmade Ceramic Pottery Dishes Without Fancy Tools! | Cindy Guajardo | Skillshare

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Make Easy Handmade Ceramic Pottery Dishes Without Fancy Tools!

teacher avatar Cindy Guajardo, Mixed Media + Ceramic Artist

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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.



    • 2.

      Supplies + Tools


    • 3.

      About Clay


    • 4.

      Roll an Even Slab of Clay


    • 5.

      Texture Clay Slab


    • 6.

      Cut the Shapes Out


    • 7.

      Format and Print Text on Clay


    • 8.

      Make the Pottery Dishes


    • 9.

      Free Form Pottery Dishes


    • 10.

      Final Steps


    • 11.

      Thank you


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About This Class

Skill lever: Beginner

Pottery has never been more popular and now you can make easy clay dishes at home without having a pottery wheel or any other pottery specific equipment*. 

Join me in my home studio where I will demonstrate how to make slab built dishes in different shapes that can be impressed with texture, personalized text, special dates and more.

When I was a beginning clay student, the pottery wheel was super frustrating to me. After learning a few hand building techniques and best practices for working with wet clay, I had instant success. It was just enough to keep me going to enable me to graduate with a degree in ceramics.

Keep in mind, that a degree isn't necessary - just a willingness to try and you can be on your way making pottery to keep for yourself, gift and even sell.

Warning: Clay is very addicting!


* I use a cone 6 white stoneware clay body that needs to be fired in a kiln to approximately 2232 degrees F for durability. If you do not have access to a kiln, many community pottery studios and/or private studios will often fire work for you for a small fee. Alternately, you may use air dry clay and acrylic paint or polymer clay, but these materials are not food or dishwasher safe.

Meet Your Teacher

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Cindy Guajardo

Mixed Media + Ceramic Artist


Hi - I am the creative force behind Ceramicscapes (an art and clay studio) and have been a member of the Colorado Potters Guild since 2008. I also love sharing my love of clay with others young and old alike.

I have a BFA in Art with a concentration in ceramics and have been working with clay since 2001. I have previously taught after school kid's clay classes at a Denver Public School, The Art Student's League of Denver and Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, CO. In addition, I have also taught basic clay "crafty happy hours" at client's homes.

I am currently in my fourth year as a high school visual arts teacher and teach intro level studio and digital art classes.

I love learning as much as teaching - Skillshare has been a wonderful place to le... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello. My name is Cindy Guajardo, and I am the creative force behind my business called Ceramics Capes. I'd like to welcome you to my home studio, where I spent a good part of my day making work and also dreaming up new ideas and my still share class. I'm going to be demonstrating how to make easy and elegant ceramic dishes that don't require any special equipment. After taking my first clay class in 2001 I was hooked on clay. I ended up taking a leave of absence from my job and return to school to finish a bachelor's degree in studio that had been abandoned years ago. When I first started out in my click classes, I was super frustrated with Pottery Wheel, and I struggled quite a bit to master it. What I ended up doing is learning a few hand building techniques, and that gave me just enough success that it motivated me to continue on to learn how to make different things and also Teoh finish my degree and ceramics in this class. We are going to make ceramic dishes using a hand building techniques. I'll show you how to roll out and even slap a claim, have cut out the shapes and then also how to the endless ways that you can personalize your dishes with textures or text. And then finally, how to finish your work and prepare it to be fired or killed. Thank you for joining my beginning pottery class here on skill share. 2. Supplies + Tools: everyone before we get started, let's talk about some of the supplies you're gonna need to complete this project. What I like to dio is I work in a dedicated space in my garage. I have a work table set up that I've covered in duct canvas. If you don't have a dedicated space, other options are a piece of drywall. Make sure you I put duct tape on the just so you don't get any of the gypsum and clay work . Another option is a portable sled roller, Matt, that you get at a place supply store. I just want to make sure that you cover your space up, especially if you're working inside the house that you have at least covered with newspaper plastic or something else. Next thing you're gonna need some sort of guide way wall slabs. I like to use these pieces there about 1/4 inch thick. And I got them at an art supply store. However, like pence, lattice would work too, or even maybe just some wood dowels. But you might have some of the stuff just letting around. House. Next thing you're gonna need is a rolling pin. Now, this is a pretty big, heavy duty rolling pin. I handled all my slabs. I don't have a slab roller, so if you have a slab ruler, you can use that. But if you're rolling by hand, you need a rolling pin or something around that you can roll up the clay. I have really good luck finding rolling pins. That store. Next thing you're gonna need is a sponge, something you could wipe up the edges of your claim work and also maybe some water. I just took an old spray bottle filled with water. The next thing I like to also have on hand are variety of ribs. If you don't have ribs at home, you can use an old credit card or a library card or anything like that. Something rigid plastic small and has a strange you'll need a wire cutting tool to cut your play. String also works in a pinch. The next thing you're going to need is a variety of text retools. I have rubber stamps like alphabets. I have some middle like middle stamping tools with alphabet and numbers. Um, you can use any other kind of rubber stamp that she'd like to use that you normally use for crafting you can use to texture play, and then I have a variety of texture maps that I like to use if I want to do it all over texture. This is a dish sink, man. I think I picked it up. Yeah, it's store. These are in Boston papers. They have a really nice texture. It's raised a variety of different types of Boston papers that I like to use in my business . The next thing you're going to need our cookie cutters to make your little dish shapes. If you don't have cookie cutters, you can also do freeform and you'll need either a wire Excuse me, needle tool or a an Exacto knife, and then you can also freeform. Or you could make little templates. Here's a little heart template that I made that you can use to cut out. If you're going to do some freeform work, you'll need something to lay your slap over. So in this case, I just have an old piece of this thing. But you could put it in a bowl or anything, like, next thing you're going to need this plastic, you're gonna need to cover your workout after you finish it on. Keep keep it, Teoh. Make sure it drives another. I don't That film you for this class is a piece of foam. I have a couple of different ones here. I think I may have picked these up at a craft store. Some of them were donated to me, but just in old piece of phone should probably worked to finally force. We're gonna play. Um, Claire can be found in any place supply store, er, and even order it on line. I think even Amazon sells right now, and that's about it. I'm going to have a sheet with all the tools that I have a gorgeous for this class that will be available in the project section. This class that you can download and say, All right, let's get on and talk about play 3. About Clay: So let's talk about your click choices trying to basically use a white clay on by fire to a temperature that's roughly six that is 2232 degrees Fahrenheit. But clay comes in. All kinds of temperatures typically refer to US cones, so you want to make sure you're using one one type of clay body that you label your play bodies because you do not want to fire an earthenware presentable. The stretch here, two concepts for 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, you're playing is going to melt to come shell. And if you're firing at someone else's studio, they're not gonna be happy about. It's always whenever you open your box of play up and block played typically comes in £50 boxes and 25 come implements. So whenever I open a bag of play, even though I always use pretty much the same white clay body, I always label it so. In this instance, it's Continental play Super White, and this play actually fires between Cohn five and 10. So this one is pretty multipurpose plan. One of the reasons why it's one of my favorites. But if you are using a different play body to make sure you keep it labeled. And also, if you're firing in someone else's killed, make sure that they know what type of play it ISS so that they do not misfire your work. All right, let's get started. 4. Roll an Even Slab of Clay: All right, everyone, start by opening up your bag of clay on. Make sure you have your wire tool handy. Then we're going to cut off about an inch of clay from the bag of the bag. Put it to the side, make sure you wrap up your clay so that it doesn't dry out in between sessions that you're gonna be making work. Grab your wooden guides or dowels or whatever you using, and then we're going to start to roll out the clay into uneven slab. One of the reasons we use the guides is so that the clay stays the same thickness and it can't. It can never be rolled out less than 1/4 inch because that's the size of my guides. You'll see this clay us a little bit on the wet side, so I just keep turning it over. It's a little bit like rolling out pie crust. If you've ever done that or pizza dough, it takes a little bit of practice. Finally, I get sort of uneven slab. I flip it over, Then I'm gonna miss the clay just a little bit and take my ceramic rib and I'm going to start to smooth down, um, the clay slab. What? What that does is it compresses the clay a little bit, but it also removes the canvas marks from my, um, table. You might not have that if you're using a smoother surface, but it's still good practice. Now here's something. What if you're clears a little on the dry side or you rolled out a really extra thick piece of clay, you can use a rubber mallet or something similar. Maybe even your rolling pin. Soften up that clay. Keep moving it around, turning it over, and that gets the clay particles moving and makes it a little bit easier to work with. Let's start making some dishes now. 5. Texture Clay Slab: Now comes the fun part. Let's add some texture to the place lab. We just rolled out. Gently lift up the slab and place whatever you're going to use as your texture underneath. In this case, I'm using in Boston paper. Gently pat down the clay slab onto the texture and use a rolling pin. Teoh. Gently roll over. You don't want exert too much pressure on the clay slap because otherwise the texture could double print. And then I use a clay rib to go over that slab. Smooth it out. I want as much texture to come through, and then I roll in the opposite direction again, using my clay rib Teoh, smooth out the slab. Gently lift up the slab and voila! There's your texture. It's printed beautifully, but don't forget the Boston papers aren't the only texture items you can use can also use lace, rubber stamps, um, rubber mats or anything else you can find around the house. 6. Cut the Shapes Out: Now we're going to cut the shapes out of the two different types of slabs that we've made. First, take your slab with a no texture. I like to put it on a drywall board. So I have a good surface to work on and something that will be able to store my little shapes on later. Once again, I Whenever I touched the clay, I smooth it out again with one of my ribs so that there aren't any finger marks or anything else like that. I'm gonna what? This slab I'm gonna do a little bit of freeform cutting using my, uh, template that I made of the heart. But I'm also going to use some of my cookie cutters when I want to maximize my space. It's a lot like making sugar cookies. If you've ever done any baking to hear gently push those shapes out. I really try not to handle my little shapes as much as possible. It helps to pull away some of the extra excess clay from the pieces. Now, this is gonna be a total freeform no template whatsoever. I'm just using my exacto knife to cut out actually shape. I use quite often for little dishes. Now we're gonna wanna take those free form shapes. And I'm gonna draped, um, very gently over some of my unglazed best pieces. And I'll set those aside and I'll come back to those later in this class. Do the same thing with the heart. Can I just gently drape it over, patted down, get get it to where I wanted to be? So we'll have a nice shape and then put those aside. Now let's look at the slabs that we textured on how we cut them out. So after a texture again, I put the slab on Teoh, a drywall board. I like drywall because things don't stick to it and it has drying properties. And then I'm going to use my cookie cutters again. I'm maximizing the space so I could get as many cuts out of there as possible. And I'll just make his many shapes, different types of shapes. You could use all hearts, all clouds, whatever you have that works for you. These air about three inches, maybe at its widest, maybe 3.5 inches. So they make great little ring dishes or tea bag holders. Now The important part is you need to let your shape set up. I like to let them set up for about an hour and you can follow the tips in the slide. Don't forget to recycle all those clay scraps you're accumulating, too. You can use them again in the future. 7. Format and Print Text on Clay: Now I'm going to demonstrate to you how I format and then print personalized text. You might want to do something like this for a gift, for to personalize like a wedding gift for, like, a ring dish to commemorate an anniversary baptism, a special date or just to say something, Um, in clay. So here I am going to use an example of a wedding ring dish. Um, and it's going to be a hypothetical Mr and Mrs Smith and they got married in 2016. So I work from the center. I traced the shape of the ring dish that I'm using, find its center, and then I count out the number of letters and then I start in the center and then work onto the right side and then the left of center so that the text is not sq. Now I'm gonna work on the last name Smith, and here you can see So there's five letters on the eyes in the center, so I'm going to print that, and I like to do this on paper before I start with Clay because at least I can erase here and then 2016 again. There's four characters. So the space between zero and the one is going to be this big place where I center it. Now let's grab some of Let's grab that heart cut out that I made earlier. I'm just gonna make a very like mark down the center with the rib barely marking it. And then I'm going to start on the top line using my sketch as a guide. So I'm doing the 1st 1 I'm using metal stamps to do this. I like the font on them, but they're also don't tell me what letter I'm using, so I have to constantly look and see which one it is when you're using letter stamps, especially these metal ones. They're typically used for jewelry. You want to make sure you check your letter so that you're not printing it upside down or sideways. I've done both, um, but I guess it's a hazards of printing with text, all right, and finally, I'm going to do the 2016 find and I even though I placed all my correct letters and numbers out on my board, I still have to double check, and it's just a little time consuming 8. Make the Pottery Dishes: in this demonstration, I'm going to show you how to turn all your little clay shapes into dishes. Gather up all your shapes, and as you'll notice they've set up a little while so they're no longer floppy or flimsy feeling. Grab your piece of foam and then place one of the shapes on to the phone and grab your ball . I'm sure you're wondering what it's for, and we're going to push down on the shape to make the dish. This is what's called the pounds or push method of making ceramic dishes. It's really easy. It goes fast. That's a great project. If you wanted to involve your kids in making some of these little dishes, you could see it goes really fast once you have all your shapes lined up and you couldn't give quite a bit of force. And it's not going, Teoh obscure the text or the texture. At this point. Oops, I forgot one. You can see. I can add quite a bit of pressure on there. If you're shape gets a little deformed, just move the little wayward piece back into place. From there you have it ceramic dishes perfect to give away or gift, and you can see they raise up just a little bit off the, uh, surface. Also, don't forget to sign the back or add your initials to make thes a really personal A project . 9. Free Form Pottery Dishes: Do you remember the freeform this ships that we cut out in video six. Well, in this case, if you'll notice, I don't need Teoh make the disk shape using the phone because they're already curved after they've dried on the form not completely dried. They're still workable. So in this case, I'm gonna write a personal message using my own handwriting. Um, and a sharp pencil. But this one I'm writing, I love you. A great way to have, ah, super personal gift to give someone because they're familiar with your handwriting, presumably for the heart shape. I am going to pretend that I'm making a I'm going to propose to my significant other and I'm going to write, Marry me. You could also add a name to make that even more personal. It's just one more way that you couldn't personalized your dishes. Other options might be I love your grandma. Happy Mother's Day. The sky's the limit of whatever you can think of 10. Final Steps: Now I'm going to walk you through some of the final steps to finish your work. One thing about, uh, making potteries, it's really important to have an attention to the craft and the quality of the peace. With that in mind, we need to smooth out, uh, the edges of the ceramic dishes so that they're not sharp. Get rid of any debris. Now would be a good time that if there's any little things in there, you could smooth them out with a damp sponge, being really careful just to go over each edge. But not Teoh obscure the texture or the, um, the text you may have done. Make sure, you know, hit the corners so that nothing sharp. You want anyone to hurt themselves when they pick up your piece of work? This doesn't take very long. I want to do this to each dish, so just go around the edges, re wet your sponge if you need it. If you don't have a spray bottle, you can also use just a small bowl of water dish of water. I use lots of recycled items for little water dishes. You want to make sure you hit the edges of each and every one owned, by the way. Like I said before, do not forget to sign your work. It's gonna make it that much more valuable to your recipients. So now it's time to wrap up your work. We want to cover it with the piece of plastic, either shopping bag or dry old dry cleaning bag. And this just slows down the drawing process so that nothing drives too fast. When things when ceramics drive too fast, they can warp. After a day or two, you can uncover your work, and once it's dry enough, your work will be ready to be fired in a kiln. 11. Thank you: I had so much fun sharing this project with you. If you can take your clay pieces on If you have a kiln it home, fire them in your killed. If you don't have a kiln at home, oftentimes you can access one other pottery studios where art centers are willing to. Sometimes fire students work for a small fee. There's a lot of different ways you can get your work fired after firing your you can glaze your work. And here's an example of some of the dishes that I've made in the past. Glazed in a future skill share class, I'm going to show you some different finishing techniques. What I love about Clay is that so versatile and can be used to make different objects like functional pottery, decorative items like my wall pods, jewelry, ceramic tile and so much more. Thank you for joining my beginning pottery class here on skill share