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Pottery Making: How to Make Vases

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  • Description: Pottery Making: How to Make Vases - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.

    We are going to talk about vases. Vases are great. Of course, everyone needs a vase to put their flowers in. You can make and decorate them in all sorts of different sizes, shapes. This one tapers at the top and I have my throw rings I left in. I really like how that works especially with the glaze because the glaze pulls and accentuates the throw rings. This is just a pretty shape but it is all white. White seems to match everything. And these two are different. This is still in its greenware state, so it has not been fired.

    What I did was, after I threw the shape, I put a slip on, a colored slip. And the slip had been colored with mason stains. So I painted the slip on as it was turning on the wheel. I took the paint brush and just painted the slip on. Then I waxed the entire piece. And once I waxed it and it was dry, I took a carving tool and I carved in this design. And then I put some more under glazes in the design area and just wiped off what was left on the round. Because it was waxed, it just came off easily and what was left was the under glaze. So it needs to be fired and hopefully, it is going to be as pretty as I hope it is going to be but you never know with pottery. It can come out of the kiln and look absolutely stunning or it can come out of the kiln and you are just going to want to put it in your trash can. But that is the way it goes.

    Also, when you throw in a pitcher form or a vase form you can easily turn it into a pitcher by just manipulating the lip with your thumb and forefinger and pushing forward with a sponge and then pull your handle and attach. This is in it is green state. I am just smoothing out the handle area where I attached it and I will let it completely dry, bisque it and then fire it with a lead free, food safe glaze. And it will be a wonderful addition to anyone's kitchen.


    It is not necessarily force or strength that you need to center something this large. I think a lot of it is having your core nice and stable. And if your core is stable, then your arms will stabilize the clay. Now, I have opened it up. Always going to condense my bottom. I am going to pull the walls up. You really want to start with just a cylinder form. From a cylinder, you can turn it into a bowl. You can shape it any way you want to but it is best to start with a cylinder and then shape once you have established your walls. So, now my walls are stable. They are all a nice, even thickness and I am going to start to form my piece.

    I think I will just enclose the top a little bit and then belly out the bottom. I have taken my rib and I have got my throw lines out of the way. I want this to be smooth outside. I have got a nice lip here. It is going to be a nice vase to put a big, beautiful bouquet in and then again, as it dries and I trim it up, I can manipulate some of the looks of it. I am going to go ahead and cut if off the wheel now. Put the final shape into action. So there is my vase and now I am going to let it dry for probably a few days.
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