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Finishing Touches for Your Greenware

Have you ever forgotten about your pottery or ceramic and left it to dry to long and when you finally remembered about it, it was way past the trimming or leather hard?
And how about the pottery or ceramic pieces with uneven bottoms!
Or the bisque that you remove from the kiln, only to find little bits of debris stuck to the bottom or rim?
Well, here are some really helpful hints to deal with these and other situations that just about every pottery worker comes across eventually.



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LEVELING YOUR GREENWARE

After you have cleaned all the mold lines off of your ceramic and trimmed the pottery piece to your liking, here is a quick and simple way to straighten out the bottoms of your pottery or ceramic pieces that don't sit straight
Find a dry, level area of concrete, such as a driveway, sidewalk, floor of your garage or basement and holding the piece carefully, but firmly, remember it's greenware, rub the bottom in a circular motion on the concrete, checking it frequently, until it scuffs enough material from the bottom to allow it to sit evenly.
After it is completely dry, bisque fire it and then paint or glaze your piece.

Ceramics Cleaning Tool

BONE DRY GREENWARE

For pieces that are left to dry to long, try using a sureform to flatten the bottom of you pottery or ceramic.
These are used for auto body work and can be purchased very inexpensively at an auto parts or variety store.
A sureform can remove a lot of material very quickly, so it's great for rough finishing the bottom of your piece.

Ceramics Cleaning Tool 1

This kind of sanding and grinding will produce fine dust.
You should work outdoors or wear a suitable respirator to protect your lungs!


After you have completed your rough finishing, you can do finer detail work with a pot scrubber.
You can pick these up at your local grocery store and cut them into smaller, easier to handle sizes with scissors.
Holding the scrubber between your thumb and index finger, scrub, using small circular motions to get a smooth, even finish on your pottery or ceramic.
If you need to sand a contoured area, use two fingers, slightly seperated, to form a bridge with the scrubber.
You can bend the scrubber into just about any shape to reach just about any area you need to finish.

Ceramics Cleaning Tool 2 Ceramics Cleaning Tool 3

There is a tool called a spoolie that can clean all the small nooks and crannies.
Ceramics Tool Spoolie

For even finer finishing, a section of paper towel works great.
The dimpled texture of the towel allows you to remove finer amounts of material than the scubber for an ultra smooth surface.

Ceramics Cleaning Tool 4
When I am done with the sanding, I take a damp sponge and run all over my piece.


SMOOTHIN ON BISQUE

If you have uneven spots or bits of material stuck on your bisque or marks left by stilts, try using another piece of bisque to grind off this unwanted material.
A small, flat broken piece that you can hold comfortably is best.
Use this bisque piece like you would a file or rasp for woodworking, use short, strong strokes in one direction away from you.

Ceramics Cleaning Tool 5

There is a tool available commercially, which is called a stilt stone or bisque stone that is designed for this purpose.
It is easy to handle and does a nice job of grinding, but you can usually get just as good of a job done with a piece of ordinary bisque, and a lot cheaper too!!!
Ceramics Cleaning Tool 6
For bisque that needs smoothing or fine specks removed, a piece of 100 grit sandpaper works wonderfully.
Like the scubber, you can form it into different shapes to work on the rim, handle or foot.
You will not be able to remove material from bisque as fast as the greenware, of course, but sandpaper works great for small touchup jobs.

Ceramics Cleaning Tool 7

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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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