How to Make a Hand-Carved Stoneware Vase

Decorate and fire a piece of Asian-style pottery with these simple steps.

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Materials and Tools:

electric potter's wheel
cone 4-to-cone 6 stoneware clay
water and sponge
metal and wood ribs
triangular and round carving tools
loop tool
wire tool
ware cart and boards
various raw chemicals to make glazes
gram scale
10-gallon painter's bucket
sieve
respirator
mixed glaze and glazing tongs
cup
kiln

Steps:

1. Wedge the clay to condition it.

2. Center the clay on the potter's wheel and open the clay to throw the pot.

3. Throw the pot, shaping it with a wet sponge and using a rib to form the neck.

4. Press the center of the neck's sides to shape the opening.

5. Cut the vase from the wheel head with a wire tool.

6. Let the vase sit for a day or two until it's leather-hard.

7. Carve the vase with a triangle tool and cut swirling lines and notches in the sides of the vase.

8. Let the vase dry completely.

9. Bisque-fire the vase. This may require 10 hours or more. Remove the vase from the kiln when cool.

10. Mix the glaze with water in a bucket until it reaches the consistency of 2 percent milk. Sieve the glaze.

11. Dip the vase in the glaze to coat the inside and outside of the vase.

12. Clean the foot of the vase with water.

13. Stack the kiln again and fire the vase for its glaze firing.

14. When cool, remove the vase from the kiln.

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