• Use a metric ruler for measuring the openings of teapots, etc. It's much easier to get an accurate measurement in mm than in inches.

  • When pots are removed from the wheel they often become distorted at the rim. In order to avoid this place a piece of newspaper on the rim and run a finger over it. Air is trapped inside the bowl, allowing it to be moved without distortion.

  • Use white tissue paper to transfer a design onto clay. Draw the design with a felt-tipped pen. Lay the paper on the damp pot; the water in the clay absorbs the ink from the design. Remove the tissue carefully to be used for a second transfer.

  • Dry clay bowls/tiles on plaster board (dry wall). The plaster board can be easily cut to any size and cleans with a damp cloth. You can also make portable shelves from this material.

  • The edges of fired cones make efficient burnishing tools for polishing greenware which will be saw-dust or pit-fired.

  • To test a glaze, just dip the bottom of a cylinder in the glaze and fire upside down. This shows how the glaze acts on both vertical and horizontal surfaces.

  • An old guitar string makes an excellent wedging wire as it is very strong and will not rust.

- From Dan Severance


  • To return a recently thrown pot to the wheel, it must be perfectly centred.  To do this, place a thin layer of clay on the wheel.  Then measure the base of your pot with calipers.  Now mark the clay on the wheel with a circle from the calipers measurement.  You now have the perfect spot to set the pot.

  • Add a few drops of food colouring to your tub of wax resist so you can see it better on your pots.

- From Linda Lebrun