Hand thrown pottery pieces are priced highly for their unique beauty and are very popular as home decor items. There are many things that you can make; functional pieces like pitchers, mugs, plates, and pots as well as different decorative items. The basic requirements are good quality clay and a potter's wheel. The clay that you are using should be soft enough that it can be easily formed, and also hard enough that it does not stick to your hands.
Making Pottery Mugs
You will first need to work the clay so that it is malleable enough to work with. Knead the clay by placing it on a clean work surface like a table. Push it with the heels of your hands in an outward motion with equal pressure. When you have kneaded for 4 to 5 minutes, you will find the clay soft and more yielding. Now, shape the clay with your hand in the form of a cylinder and make sure that it is does not have any air pockets. The next step is to center it on the potter's wheel. Carefully place the clay as close to the center of the wheel as possible. As the potter's wheel begins to rotate with speed, douse the clay with water before you begin shaping it.
Shape the clay in such a way that its height and width are almost equal both at the top and at the base. Periodically moisten it with more water. When you are satisfied with the shape of the mug, take a strong clean piece of thread and gently work it between the base of the mug and the potter's wheel. Place the mug aside, and take a bit of extra clay to shape a handle and attach it to one side of the mug. Leave it in a cool place to dry. Once the mug is completely dry, place it in a kiln for firing.
You are now ready to glaze the mug. Make sure you clean the surface of the mug thoroughly before applying the glaze. Purchase a ready-to-use glaze from a hardware store and use a synthetic sable brush to apply it on the mug. You can also use a natural sponge for easier application. After you are done, put it back in the kiln and set it at a low temperature to allow the glaze to set. Do not set it at a very high temperature as this will make the glaze melt and run over the surface of the piece. A good idea is to check the glaze's temperature range first.
Mastering the art of pottery requires a lot of practice and patience. Enroll yourself in a good pottery class that will teach you the technique in detail. As you progress in your class, you will be able to make beautiful pottery bowls and other decorative items.