How to Make a Ceramic Teapot

Make a shapely ceramic teapot with these simple steps.

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Materials and Tools:

stoneware clay
stoneware glazes
wax resist
potter's wheel
wooden and rubber ribs
carving tools
needle tool
knife
kiln
paintbrushes
paper
pencil
black marker
sponge
water
slab roller
slip
texturing tool
container for glaze

Steps:

1. Sketch a teapot shape on paper to serve as a guide.

2. Weigh 3 to 4 pounds of clay and wedge it well to remove all the air pockets.

3. Throw the ball of clay on the wheel and form the desired teapot shape. Squeeze the sides and push it up and down until the clay is centered. Open up the clay by pushing down on top with your thumbs. Then shape the teapot with your hands.

4. Throw a spout that will be attached later. Form 1 pound of clay into a slender cylindrical piece.

5. Let the teapot and spout set for a day to dry.

6. Flip the teapot over and draw a line all the way around it, about 3/8-inch from the top. This is where you will cut the lid in step 10.

7. Pinch the pot to give it an arched appearance. Push out from the inside to give it a voluptuous body. Let dry for 24 hours.

8. Carve away excess clay and use rubber ribs to smooth the shape of the teapot.

9. Roll out a slab of clay and attach it to the bottom of the teapot.

10. Cut out the lid. Then make a flange by pinching a coil of clay around the underside of the lid that will fit inside the teapot to keep the lid in place.

11. Position the spout and attach it to the pot.

12. Pull a handle from a ball of clay. Pull 2 pounds of clay up and down with your hands until you have the desired handle shape, and attach it so that it resembles an arm resting on a hip.

13. Attach a piece of clay to the lid and carve it with a wooden rib to make ridges in the top for lifting off the lid.

14. Let the teapot dry slowly for a week, and then bisque-fire it in the kiln to 1,945 degrees Fahrenheit.

15. After the teapot is cool, apply wax resist to the bottom. Glaze it by holding it with tongs and dipping it in a large container of glaze. Using a brush and a glaze of a different color, add a design to the sides of the teapot. Let it dry for 24 hours.

16. Fire the teapot again, to 2,185 degrees Fahrenheit, let cool and remove from kiln.

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