Over the next few weeks, I will go over some unique handmade ceramic products I find online and go over why it’s so unique and some of the techniques in creating such items.
That way, you can try and make them yourself as a home project.
Today, I’ll be going over unique tea light holders like what I found from the Soulful Ceramics website. A new store that I am loving with all the creative and artistic ceramic wonders.
All these products are pottery items so the basics of what you need are going to be
- good quality clay
- pottery wheel
- pottery clay tools
Glazing, firing and other aspects won’t be included as that’s for another time.
Doing pottery has so any processes.
If it’s your first time, you tend to think that just throwing clay on a wheel and molding it into shape is all there is, but the preparation, the throwing, glazing, firing, reglazing, refiring etc.
It’s an extremely time intensive and difficult process.
Lakeside Pottery has a great step by step tutorial on what it takes to just throw a pot.
It doesn’t describe the pre work and post work required after throwing the pot. But it’s already 50 steps!
Making Your Own Candle Holder
I’m specifically focusing on tea light holders as regular candle holders are rather cumbersome to make and in my opinion, not that pretty to make for a craft project.
Let’s take you through the process of making something like this owl tea light holder.
The first step before beginning anything is to first mentally break down how to create this pottery candle holder.
If you look at the image, it’s basically a rounded “pot” with lots of holes in the side.
Ignore all the paint and glaze work.
Just focus on the big picture first.
It’s like learning how to draw. When you first go to drawing school, you don’t try to paint a live person. You first learn about circles and how a human body can be drawn with nothing but circles and ovals.
That’s what we are doing here.
Take a look at the owl candle holder and break it down piece by piece.
From what I see, there is one big body with a slightly narrow base.
Then ears have been added separately as well as the eyes.
Steps in Making the Owl Candle Holder
- Get your ready made clay and dump it on the wheel
- Start as if you are throwing a jar. Nothing fancy.
- Keep throwing and shaping until you can make a jar with a narrow top. Don’t make it into a vase with a tiny hole at the top. The top should be wide enough for your hand to fit.
- When done with the body, put it aside and let it dry. We’ll come back to that.
- With the ears, you can make it however you want. Whether it’s as artistic as what we are trying to replicate, or your very own Chihuahua ears or whatever. Let your imagination run wild.
- With the ears, stick it on narrower end of the jar you are currently drying.
- One the pottery has dried to about leather hardness, it’s time to do some fun carving.
- Grab your tools and make consistent holes horizontally around the belly of the owl. This is probably a little below the middle of the jar as it is.
- Then start putting on some feathers and the eyes.
Before you know it, you’ll have your own ceramic owl tealight candle holder.
Don’t worry too much about the details and ceramic carving at the moment. What we want to do is to get used to the idea of making a high level pottery object and then fine tuning it.
Other Ceramic Projects You can Try at Home
One of the best ways to improve is not by following tutorials, but to see what someone has made and trying to make the same thing yourself and then comparing.
Use the method I explained above.
Identify the project and then look at the item in terms of pieces. A building isn’t built from ground up all in one go. The foundation, framing, exterior, roofing, interior all take place separately.
Here’s a video of a nice collection of handmade ceramic crafts.