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Altering Greenware

This is a technique in which you can change the looks of your clay pottery or a ceramic statue.
This process has to be done while the clay body is still wet.

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Sundancer Ceramic Piece
To keep your piece wet while you are working on it, store it in a plastic bag when not working on it.
If it starts to dry out on you, get a spray bottle of water and lightly spray your piece and return it to the plastic bag and let it set for a couple days.
A clay pottery or ceramic piece can be pushed out, cut out, twisted or bent, with a little care.
The pushed out clay can give depth and dimension to a finished piece, altering the clay body to get different artistic affects.

You can use the tools such as the ones pictured below to alter your piece of pottery or ceramic.
Greenware Altering Tools
You can carve a design in your piece or even add a piece to it.
When you are adding a piece be sure and score both surfaces and use slip to hold it on with.
If the piece you are adding on is very big, you will need to prop it while it is drying and during firing.

Ok, enough of this technical stuff, now I'm gonna tell you how I altered the ceramic piece pictured at the top of the page and changed it to look like the piece below!!!!

To do this I started with the gal that I buy all my greenware from and told her I wanted her to pour the ceramic piece called Sundancer heavy. I also wanted her to call me so I could pick it up wet because I had an idea for altering it.
I wanted to make a Indian Hoop Dancer.
When I got the ceramic piece home, the first thing I did was clean up all the mold lines. I had to be very careful, having it poured heavy I didn't want to bump the arms or legs, they could break off easy enough in it's fragile state.
The indian had buckskin pants on and the first thing I had to do was get his pants off.
This is the reason for the heavy pour. I had to carve on his legs keeping it in proportion to the rest of the body.
This is the only major altering that I did, and you can see how it made an entirely different piece out of it.
Before I set it in a safe place to dry, I check it all over to make sure I have gotten all the seams and blemishes from the piece.
I check for dryness by putting the piece up to my cheek or wrist and if it feels warm it is dry enough.
I fire it at Cone 06 for the allotted time.
I use ceramic acrylic paints and as soon it dries, I spread on a walnut oil stain and wipe it off with a soft Viva paper towel.
The water paint is slightly tinted from the stain and the stain stays in the crevices of the piece giving it more depth.
The hoops are large rubber O rings and I wiped them down with alcohol and painted them to look like wood and glued them onto the piece.


This is what the finished piece looks like, looks a lot different, huh?

Hoop Dancer Ceramic Piece

If you want a place in the sun, you have to put up with a few blisters.

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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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