Creating beautiful objects takes a willingness to learn new methods of crafting. Working with ceramics is a challenging craft that often turns into an artistic endeavor. Modern ceramic crafts require various levels of expertise and experience. Many of the requirements have to do with the finished project the crafter desires and the amount of work they want to put into their project. The beauty of learning to craft modern ceramics is the choices a crafter has available.
All ceramic pieces begin as a lump of clay. It must be readied to be formed by various methods and then used in some way. Once the form has been set and dried, it must be fired until it becomes bisque. Bisque pieces are then decorated, glazed and fired again. Modern crafters have the choice to learn all or only part of the skills necessary to complete a ceramic piece. They can learn only how to decorate and glaze. Kiln firing is a craft in itself. Learning to form ceramic pieces from clay is also an entire craft. The crafter must choose a starting point and learn from there.
For crafters who prefer the decorative aspects of ceramics, figurines are a good place to begin. They must be painted or stained and many are glazed. Once dry, the piece will be fired in a kiln to set the glaze. It is not necessary to learn how to use a kiln in this craft application. Most studios have their own commercial kilns where many pieces are fired at the same time. This relieves the crafter of the task of learning how to fire objects in a kiln.
Crafters who prefer to hand mold their own ceramic pieces will find there are several methods they can use. A wheel is often the most popular way to shape clay. This requires learning how to control the clay while it spins on the flat top of the wheel. Crafting shapes that are not round requires a different approach. Working with clay pieces can be done by pressing and pulling on a block of clay, or rolling clay and pinching it to get the desired shape and is just one aspect of crafting ceramic pieces.