How to Make Stoneware Pottery

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How to Make Stoneware Pottery. Known for its scratch resistance and non-porous texture, stoneware pottery is gray or brownish in color. It is fired at high temperatures. While porcelain is thought by some to be a type of stoneware pottery, porcelain pottery is whiter than stoneware and is also always transparent or glass-like. Make your own stoneware by hand or using a pottery wheel, the preferred method.

Things You'll Need

  • Apron or overcoat
  • Flat work surface
  • Clay for stoneware
  • Water
  • Glaze
  • Brushes to apply glaze
  • Pottery wheel

Select Clay for Stoneware Pottery

Check the weight of the clay. Stoneware pottery is made of a heavier clay mixture, which gives it greater strength.

Look for specific clay best suited to stoneware. Colors include beige to white tones.

Consider red clay. It's easy to use and the rich red color will transfer well to your finished product.

Find your own clay in the great outdoors. Fire clay is a beige-colored clay that can be found near beds of coal and is ideal for stoneware since it can be fired at very high temperatures.

Buy only the best! Stoneware clay has a very high mixed mineral content which actually changes from gray to white when fired.

Make Stoneware Pottery

Knead and throw the clay. Using a flat surface and thin knife, cut the clay periodically to ensure that all air bubbles are removed.

Consider one of two methods. Stoneware can be molded by hand or thrown on a pottery wheel.

Apply a glaze to the pottery after it has dried to the desired shape. You can prepare your own glaze or buy it. The glaze will provide the coating on your stoneware and act as a seal for its color, brilliance and texture.

Place the pottery into the kiln. Consider how altering the temperature will affect the glazed clay. High temperatures sometimes enrich colors or darken them, while lower temperatures create the opposite effect.

Fire the stoneware in a kiln or pottery oven at a high temperature. Stoneware is fired at much higher temperatures, which gives it its characteristic hard finish.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to sign or initial your pottery while it is still wet. You can place your signature on the underside using a carving knife.
  • Stoneware is more symmetrical if you make it on a pottery wheel versus by hand.
  • Stoneware clay is very rare and also very expensive. It's best to save it for when you transcend from amateur to professional.
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