Afraid of clay? Make life easy with glazing bisque ceramics.

There are a lot of “paint your own” pottery shops that offer you the opportunity to try glazing bisque ceramics.

Bisqueware is clay that has been fired once and is ready for painting. The example here is a basic bique fired plate.This material is porous and fragile, but not as fragile as Greenware. If you haven’t figured out what firing means, it means to “cook” the clay in a special clay oven called a kiln.

I know when I have gone to these places I walk in, pick a piece of bisqueware (fired greenware or unpainted ceramics) , whether it be a plate, bowl, mug, or whatever, sit down and come to a brain block. I know there are all kinds of examples of cool things the shop owner has done, but I hate copying someone else's work step by step. Maybe that’s just me..... So what I do now is come to the shop with a plan in hand. That way it’s an idea I have made up or “borrowed” and changed to make it my own. I have included some patterns for you to "borrow” as well.

I am sure you will find some creative ways to make your creation unique and all yours. Always remember, in the firing process glazes change color so what you see isn't always what you will get! If you are glazing for the first time you may want to make a few clay tester tiles to see what the glazes will look like once they are fired. If you are glazing bisque fired ceramics at a paint your own pottery store make sure to ask to see the tester tiles to see what the glaze colors will look like once fired.

Another option to glazing bisque ceramics is greenware. Greenware is clay that has been formed into shape and allowed to dry to leather hardness, and has not yet been fired in a kiln. Greenware is extremely fragile. There are some places that sell molded greenware pieces that are usually cheaper that bisque ware because you have to clean up the seams yourself. It’s very easy to do with a wet sponge. Once the greenware is cleaned and dry it can be fired to turn it into bisqueware.

The great thing about glazing your own pottery is that you can personalize what you make. It’s so easy to add a name to a dish or a mug. When making this homemade gift you can use someone’s favorite colors or subject matter to match their decor.

Some ceramics places offer ceramics classes as well as sell ceramics and pottery supplies.... wet clay, greenware, bisque ceramics, glaze, idea books, ceramic magazines and more.

Painting pottery is great for all ages and no experience is necessary. Many times you are able to create a fabulous piece of pottery for yourself or to give as a gift. At most “paint your own pottery places the prices of the items include everything - paint, clear glaze and firing.


Make sure to call the store ahead just in case you need a reservation.

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