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How to Carve a Porcelain Bowl

Use grid lines to make this intricate, elegant porcelain bowl inspired by nature.

Materials and Tools:

porcelain clay
underglaze
green glaze
string
trimming tools
dental tools
sponge
water pillow
kiln
safety glasses
respirator
spray-painting machine
potter's wheel
rib

Steps:

1. Throw the bowl on a potter's wheel. Smooth the outer sides with a rib.

2. Trim the bottom of the bowl. Allow the pot dry for about two weeks, until it reaches the bone-dry stage.

3. Draw horizontal grid lines on the bowl, using the wheel. Draw vertical grid lines on the bowl, using a string to measure.

4. Lightly mark the design — cascading overlapping flowers — on the grid with a needle-carving tool.

5. Dampen the clay. Carve the design, continually brushing away the dust.

6. Wipe the bowl with a damp sponge to remove the small scratch marks. Wearing safety gear, spray underglaze onto bowl to add color.

7. Bisque-fire the bowl to cone 05, about 1,850 degrees Fahrenheit. Note: The timing will be different for every kiln; a tiny kiln may take up to about six hours to fire, a larger kiln 12 hours.

8.. Heat the bowl in the kiln until it's too hot to touch. This evaporates the water in the glaze, causing the glaze to stick to the pot better and not drip. Then spray glaze on it.

9. Fire to cone 6, about 2,150 degrees Fahrenheit.

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