How To Make A DIY Electric Pottery Wheel

diy electric pottery wheel how to make

When it comes to learning how to make a DIY electric pottery wheel, there are a number of considerations that need to be made. There are those who may believe that making a reliable electric DIY pottery wheel is beyond their grasp. I myself used to believe that too, and not that long ago either. However, the process of creating a home made pottery wheel is much easier than you may have realized.

That’s why I am here to help out and share some tips with you on how to do this project. You do not have to be an expert as far as pottery or electrical knowledge is concerned and you do not need any prior experience. Learning how to make a DIY electric pottery wheel does not require any sort of massive tutorial.

It is important to remember that the electric wheel will be around water so you will need to take the proper precautions in order to avoid electrocution.

Other than that, the process is much easier than most realize. Be sure to read on and learn more about the best electric DIY portable pottery wheel and the steps that you can take in order to create one of your own.

Step 1: Gathering All of the Necessary Materials

Before you can get started in earnest, you need to make sure that you have all of the necessary tools. There are a few basic parts that those who are planning to create their own pottery wheel will need to gather in order to successfully complete the project in a timely fashion.

For starters, you are going to need a 3/8 drill bit. Once you have acquired this item, you are also going to require a decent amount of drywall screws. Grab a good sized handful so that you can be sure you have enough for the task at hand. Don’t worry about any overages. You can simply save these screws for other projects that you are going to complete.

After all, once you have learned how to make your own DIY pottery wheel, there is nothing that will be beyond your grasp. An old sewing machine pedal, a few wire nuts and and old drill are also needed. Get yourself some silicone caulk, a Lazy Susan (these are not that expensive, by the way), a carriage bolt and nuts and some extension cord receptacles as well. From there, you are good to go.

Step 2: Creating a Hole In Your Bucket

Obviously, the bucket is the centerpiece of the whole operation and it is impossible to proceed until you have procured the right one. Once you have obtained all of the items above, it is time to create a hole in your bucket. This is the step that just about anyone can accomplish, regardless of their skill level. Who can’t puncture a bucket if they need to?

However, it is important to note that there is a certain level of rhyme and reason taking place here. If you are using the typical five gallon bucket, there is a place where the hole can go that should be obvious to anyone with a functional set of eyes. There is a small molding mark on the vast majority of these buckets and this gives you an easy place to put your hole.

The hole should be 3/8″ once it is drilled and you will also need to drill a secondary hole roughly three quarters of the way down the bucket. This hole needs to be roughly 1/2″ wide so that the cord has plenty of space to go through. For those who have never taken on a task of this magnitude, this is one of the easiest steps of all.

Step 3: And Now….The Fun Can Truly Begin

This is where the true nitty gritty begins to take place. While just about anyone with functioning arms and legs can achieve the first two steps, this is where we separate the contenders from the pretenders. This is the step where the powered bit is going to come into play. Read closely because this is where mistakes are often made.

Don’t make the mistake of skimming and assuming that you are already well aware of how to handle this step. It is one of the most common mistakes that is made by those who wish to learn how to make their own DIY pottery wheel. The first and arguably most important thing that needs to be done is matching up the voltages.

The drill and the old foot pedal that you took from the old sewing machine will both need to be at the same level of voltage and amperage. If they are not, you are in for a world of hurt. In order to find out more about this aspect of the proceedings, you are going to need to look at the detail plates. They will let you know more about this important information.

sewing machine pedal for diy pottery wheel

Once you have taken a proper look at the detail plates, it is time to make sure that you are not going to catch on fire. Let’s say that you decide not to align the amperage and the voltage. You are actually placing yourself at serious risk. Overheating takes place when the amperage and voltage is not lined up. There is no reason to put yourself at increased risk by searching for wiggle room that simply is not there.

Make sure that to follow this particular step to the letter. If you do not, there is no telling what will happen next. With that being said, let us move on to the next step, shall we ?

Step 4: Time To Perform Plug Surgery

Pick up the plug that you are going to be using and take a moment to properly mark it. The two wires in the middle are the ones that are going to have to be marked because we will be returning to them later on. A failure to do will cause you a great deal of annoyance during the latter stages of the DIY pottery wheel building process.

For best results, use a Sharpie or a piece of tape as a means of marking the wires. Now, we are at the point where some whacking and chopping can finally be done. This may seem deceptively simple to some but we are urging you to pay close attention before any mistakes are actually made. It is not as simple as grabbing your cutting implements and hacking away.

The foot from the old sewing machine that you are using will now be operated on. You are going to have to cut this part so that the surgery can take place. Cutting the plug’s end off should leave you with two separate piles that are both going to play a rather important role during the steps that are still to come. The end of the power plug and the foot pedal both need to be kept safe in the meantime.

This is where the hole that you drilled into the side of the bucket is going to come in handy. Now, you are going to have your chance to thread the wires through this hole. Do you remember the part of this step where you were told to mark the plug? Hopefully, you listened. Now you can simply twist them together and from there, you can also wire nut them.

There is a slight possibility that these wires could get wet and that is the last thing that we want, right? That is why you are advised to use a little bit of silicon as a means of sealing up the connection. Grab a female extension cord plug at this time and wire the two wires inside of it. One wire will be attached to the silver colored screw and the other wire will be attached to the copper colored screw.

Depending on whether the foot pedal has a ground wire or not, you may also need to attach this wire to the green colored screw. If not, then this wire will not need any further assistance. Take the time to properly seal each and every one of your connections during this step because this will allow you to avoid the dangers of electricity.

It is now time to test it all out. Plug the drill into the receptacle and the speed control into the wall. This will let you know if you have handled everything correctly. The drill should be speeding up or slowing down, depending on how you are manipulating the pedal. If it is not working, this is a sure sign that you need to be resetting your connections.

Step 5: Creating The Spinning Part Of Your Wheel

This is where the Lazy Susan that you were instructed to obtain before is going to be used. Much like the bucket that you placed a hole in before, there is also going to be a molding mark on the Lazy Susan. Please drill the hole in the center at this time. Once you have accomplished this task, take a moment to remove the cover plug before proceeding.

Grab the carriage bolt and push it through from the top side. At this time, turn over the turn table. There should be some space around the bolt if you look down into the pivot. In order to seal it back into its proper home, you must slide the cape back down into the bolt.

The two 1/4″ nuts that you definitely have on hand are needed to complete this step as well. The first one is going to be used to seal the top of the Lazy Susan. Place the first one on and make sure that it is properly tightened. Use as many of the nuts as needed when it comes to making sure that it is tight enough. Don’t be afraid to use a little bit of elbow grease.

Step 6: Where It All Comes Together

This step does take a fair amount of ingenuity so be forewarned. It is not for the faint of heart. You have already made it this far and I have the utmost faith in you. The drill now must be mounted and it needs to be mounted at the correct angle. The drill needs to be centered and it must also be placed at a right angle in relation to the bottom of your bucket.

If you would like to make this step easier on yourself, there is nothing wrong with using a mounting bracket. Is there one in your drill case? If so, you are able to use that one. If not, feel free to procure one if it makes this step any easier for you to accomplish.

Lining up the drill is easier than you may think. The drywall screws can be used for this purpose and you can also utilize a 2 x 4 wood shim. The Lazy Susan also must be tended to. Don’t be shy about applying a generous amount of silicone to the back of the Lazy Susan. After that step is handled, place the Lazy Susan on top of the bucket.

The bolt must slide into the drill chuck and then it is time for the chuck to be tightened. You can now plug your drill into the receptacle of the peddle. Once the trigger has been pulled on the drill, you can then lock it into its full on position.

Step 7: And Now For The Truly Fun Part!

This is where the true joy will now begin. It is time to test out your DIY pottery wheel and make sure that everything is fully operational. This is the culmination of all your hard work. After you are satisfied with all of the operational testing procedures, it is time to take a closer look at your handiwork to make sure that there are no avoidable mistakes being made.

Finally, you will need to make sure that your silicone is dry before making the final adjustments. After the silicone has fully dried, you must take the time to spray the machine with water. This is how you are going to find any and all leaks that are taking place. It is a step that cannot be skipped for any reason so do not make the mistake of assuming your machine is free of leaks.

Even the most experienced builders construct machines with leaks and chances are high that you are not an expert. I know that I am certainly not !

If any leaks are discovered, simply patch them up with silicon and you are good to go. Now that you have finished your DIY pottery wheel, it is time to put it into action. Take this time to go make some awesome gifts for your friends and loved ones.

As you can see, the process of creating your own pottery wheel is actually much simpler than you may have realized. While there are certain steps that need to be taken that will be more complex than others, there is nothing wrong with taking your time and reading the directions carefully.

No prizes are going to be given out for speed. There is also nothing wrong with asking questions at your local arts and crafts stores and hardware suppliers. Chances are high that there will be people there who have handled projects like these in the past and I have usually found that they are typically more than willing to help.

In the meantime, embrace the process and have a little fun with it. In time, you will find yourself wondering why you never decided to take on a project like this one in the past.

Thanks to this helpful guide I have presented to you here, the process of creating your own pottery wheel has never been simpler !

Glazes That Work Well Together On Ceramics

glazes that look good together on ceramics

The glazes used for ceramics tend to be of different varieties, since each one fulfills a special function and generates a different effect on the ceramic. This is something that all the pros with years of experience know about, but it is something that even a newbie will be able to learn, understand, identify and put into practice.

So, in this post, I will talk a little about the types of glazes that exist for ceramics and some that work very well together, so that the finish that the piece has is quite striking since that is what we look for when applying the glaze.

There are many reasons why we could decide to apply glaze to our ceramic pieces, either because we want it to have a different effect, so that it highlights a specific color or that its brightness is simply greater.

ceramic glazes that look nice togetherAnyway, if we need any of these things, all we have to do is go to any hardware store and ask for the glaze we want, be it a transparent glaze or any other one we choose.

Colors

There are some colored glazes that help to highlight more the base color of a ceramic piece. For example, if we have a ceramic cup that is entirely blue, we can buy a blue glaze so that both the brightness and the color are high in the piece. In the same way, we can get glazes of all kinds of colors that we can use on all kinds of pieces. So we do not have any kind of restriction when it comes to ceramic glaze, in fact, we have a wide range of glazes that will allow us to let our imagination fly before putting our hands in action.

Power, Liquid or Suspension Forms

One of the main classifications that glazes possess is the division of the same depending on their form or presentation, whether in powder, suspension or liquid. Those that come in powder simply must be mixed in water at the time of the glaze process, while those in liquid and in suspension forms are almost ready to be used on ceramic pieces.

Baking Time

They are also classified and divided depending on the length of time in which they require for baking. The choice of any ceramic glazes will depend for the most part on the type of pieces that we are going to glaze and the length of time that they should bake. So, after these main classification criteria there all kinds of glazes with beautiful effects that will help create impressive ceramic pieces.

Now, as I mentioned, there are transparent glazes and glazes with colors. While it is true that transparent glaze is usually the most used, and preferred by all thanks to its simplicity and the brightness that can be given to any type of piece. But we can also choose between other types of glazes if what we want is an interesting change from the common and every day ceramic items, generating an unexpected effect on the ceramic itself.

This is how we can get interesting glazes with crackle effects, mottled, that will give an appearance to the ceramic piece as if a rain of colors had passed over it. We can start playing with these types of glazes and create combinations that allow us to unleash our imagination, and be able to capture and create what we want the ceramic piece to be. Like these, you also find glazes that generate gout effects, some with gorgeous matte colors.

There are also some translucent glazes that can be perfectly combined with some colors, in such a way that in the final result we can see a layer of colorful glitters, which also allows us to see the original background of the piece. This last type of glaze can create wonderful effects in ceramic pieces for the kitchen such as plates, cups, water pitchers and many others items.

The glazes with colors can also have a beautiful result when placed together, giving the piece first a layer of the color and then the transparent, so that the brightness and depth of color we are going to use is much more striking.

In the same way, it is good to place a layer of transparent glaze to any ceramic that has been glazed with other effects, because this will cause it to have double brightness, something that usually gets a lot of attention from people. I came to realize that the transparent glaze is one of the best that can be combined with others.

The same thing can happen with the glaze with crackle effect, since we can give it a layer of this effect, on some of matte, of drops, of crystals and so on, because it will allow the vision that we obtain from the main glaze to be different. It can also look good on ceramic ornaments that are large, so that the way in which the effects (other than the glazes with which it has been covered) are better seen and appreciated.

If you want to be a little more creative, what you can do is mix the glazes that you want and try out what kind of defects are emerging on the ceramics, because in the midst of that spill of inspiration will generate effects that are quite beautiful and that we want to continue implementing in other pieces of ceramics.

ceramic glazes that look good together

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

All the available types of glazes that exist today will easily allow us to give free rein to our imagination and be able to mix whatever we want to generate different effects on any type of ceramic piece.

It can be something quite fun to do and we can do it with our relatives or loved ones, to have quality time together and create original and unique items as a family. Especially with the smallest member of the household, who usually has an imagination greater than our own.

Do not stop mixing glazes, effects and colors, because these will allow you to try new things and give a touch of originality to everything you do.

This is especially true when working with ceramic creations and selling them, because they can have unique and gorgeous effects that you create with these mixtures of glazes, which can make your business go much better. This way they will obtain more of a reputation for originality and people will want to buy their ceramics in bulk quantities from you.

Do not be afraid the next time you want to sit down to mix layers of different glazes. In fact, you should dare yourself to do it. We should not be afraid to let our imagination run free and let it send orders to our brain, since, after all, the greatest works of art were born as a simple experiment, a small practice in releasing creativity.

So it’s time for you to motivate yourself and start mixing some glazes for your ceramics. Get started today !

How to Make a Vase Out of Air Dry Clay

how to make a vase out of air dry clay

The best thing about creating a vase out of air dry clay is that the possibilities for decorating are endless.

 

Get Creative !

No matter how creative you are or aren`t, you can probably think of various designs and sizes suited for your needs. And, there is no need for you to fire the vase in a hot kiln.

Since it’s air dried rather than baked, the clay is a bit fragile. To make your vase sturdier, you can use a real glass vase that you can purchase at a thrift store and model the clay around it. This serves a dual purpose to prevent the possibility that the vase might leak.

This might seem daunting, yet the vase is easy to make and probably would take you an hour to craft it. The clay needs to dry for one to two days before you paint it, so always keep that in your mind.

 

Supplies You Will Need

To make a vase out of air dry clay, you will need some things and these include some good air dry modeling clay, vase for shaping, rolling pin, paint, wax paper and a butter knife or carving tool.

 

Roll Up Your Sleeves

The first thing that you should do is to protect the surface you will be working on. You can tape down big sections of the wax paper, which you can use for covering your rolling pin. Wash it and dry your vase thoroughly. Get rid of the clay from the package and use the sticker for sealing the remaining clay so it does not dry out. Then, warm up the air dry clay in your hands through kneading it so it’ll be much easier to roll out.

When the clay is malleable, try placing it at the center of your work surface and start rolling it out. It could take a little patience and time, yet go slow so you do not tear the clay. Remember that it’s different from the pottery clay in that isn’t as simple to meld the pieces and that using some water does not seal imperfections easily.

Continue rolling out the clay in the same manner that you’d roll pie dough with controlled rolls from the circle’s center working towards outside. In that case, you would want to roll your clay in a rectangular shape. Lift consistently and flip the clay over while you are rolling out to avoid it from sticking on a side.

 

Important Tips

If your clay is thick, use the vase as the ruler to cut the excess clay on the bottom and top. After that, cut the clean edge on a side and roll the vase until this meets the clay on the side.

You must be careful not to roll the clay too much. The clay might shrink a bit once it dries and rolling it very tightly would cause its outer vase to crack. Leave the short lip for overlay and cut the excess clay.

Using a small amount of water, wet its bottom edge and cover an overlapping clay. With the use of your fingers, press and try sealing the edge. Cut off any excess clay at the bottom and smooth the edges under the vase.

diy air dry vase

Roll the excess clay over its top and in your vase to make a rounded lip. Then, start designing your vase. You may use anything to carve. You can use a butter knife and draw some simple ridges around your vase. Paint your vase with any designs, patterns and colors that your heart desires. Take your time and make your creation something that will make people catch their breath !

How To Make Ceramics At Home Without A Kiln

make ceramics without a kiln
Making ceramics at home without a kiln may not seem like an achievable task but even those who find themselves on a smaller budget are able to do so.

While most would expect not to be able to carry out this process without the usage of a kiln, there are ways around this issue. In this article, I will try to point out what I think are the most important things to keep in mind, based on my experience.

Be Safe !

Since the kiln is used to contain the heat so that higher temperatures can be reached without the excessive usage of fuel, it is important to follow all of the safety regulations when making ceramics at home without a kiln. Be sure to research the local regulations and fire safety codes before proceeding.

Keeping a sizable amount of water close by is also in your best interests. Don’t leave the fire unattended and have a shovel and some dirt handy. In order to get started, you will need a pile of wood. Some dry kindling is the perfect choice. Place this dry kindling inside of a stone or brick ring.

Clean the area first so that the fire is not at risk of spreading. The pottery is then place on top of the dry kindling pile. Once the wood begins to burn, the pots may be at risk of tumbling into the ashes so bear this in mind while arranging it. Believe me, when this happens it is extremely frustrating !

make diy ceramics at home

More Common Sense Tips

If you have any additional stones and bricks that can be used as a means of supporting the pile, it is a good idea to add them at this time. Leaving enough space for the kindling to successfully fuel the fire is a crucial step in the process. Some may decide that they wish to place broken pottery pieces onto the fire as well. I usually do this as well.

Tin roof scraps and old tin cans are also used by many people. Create an exhaust opening at the top and provide the proper coverage. By using animal dung or swamp grass as an added layer, this will trap the heat inside. The moisture will keep the heat in and allow you to avoid the annoyances associated with having the fire burn off too soon.

Proper Ventilation Tips

Vent openings need to be added to the bottom of the fire. The wood needs to get air so that the clay can bake and burn at its hottest. When creating the top exhaust opening, remember the importance of allowing air flow to take place at the bottom. To start the fire, wads of paper can be lit at the vents.

Having worries about breakage ? Providing the top vent with some partial coverage serves to restrict the burn. Do not close the vent for long, though. Otherwise, the fuel will not burn as quickly or reach the proper temperature. As soon as the fuel has finished burning, cover up the area with some dry dirt.

Those who are looking to create black ceramics enjoy this tactic because it chokes off the air and gives them darker pots. Wait until the temperature has cooled before attempting to retrieve your handiwork. You don`t want any burned fingers because of your impatience. I had to learn this patience the hard way (by burning my fingers at least 5 or 6 times). There are going to be mistakes along the way but there is nothing wrong with simply enjoying the process as much as possible.

Trial And Error

Experimentation is the name of the game. Some mistakes are going to be made. Believe me when I tell you : I probably made dozens of mistakes in my first 3 or 4 months trying to make my own pottery at home. This process is all about trial and error. The pots need to be crafted at a uniform level of thickness so that they will not break. If limestone is included, this is going to cause serious problems. Lime contaminants cause pieces of the clay to pop off when they are exposed to the atmosphere.

Pre-Dry Pieces In Your Kitchen Stove

While a kitchen stove is never going to provide the temperatures that are needed for a project of this magnitude, these stoves can play a very important role in the process. Pre-drying the pieces before they are taken outside to be fired is a pivotal step. Setting the oven at 190 degrees is a great way to dry them so that accidents do not take place in an outdoor setting.

Resist the temptation to use a kitchen stove in place of a kiln. This may seem like a smart idea in the moment but you are only placing yourself at risk of having a fire take place. The temperatures that are needed to handle this task are simply not attainable indoors. Clay needs to be fired at a temperature of at least 1,000 degrees.

There is no oven in your home that can replicate these temperatures safely. The safety features that have been designed for the stove are not going to allow you to reach these temperatures. The clay is not going to turn into ceramics that can be sold to a willing customer and this will serve as a waste of money and supplies, as well as probably having angry customers demanding refunds !

Continue With Your Experiments

If the pots that are created end up dissolving in water, this a sign that you did not make the fire hot enough. The color and texture is going to be much different when you create ceramics at home without a kiln and you need to be willing to experiment. Colors and textures are always going to vary. These are not defects, this is just simply part of the learning stage. I did a lot of experimentation when I began making pottery at home, and I also started without having a kiln.

Water may soak through the pot and this is not a defect either. As long as the clay was fired at the proper temperature, this is not an issue that will lead to any long term damages. Pieces can still be created from home to sell to potential customers even if you do not have a kiln. Just be sure you are 100% honest with your customers about this. All you need to do is follow the aforementioned directions and you are well on your way to creating some really nice ceramics !

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