How to Make a Ceramic Ashtray

ceramic ashtray

In this video, we see George Sifounios from Sifoutv Pottery demonstrating how to make an ashtray.

George Sifounios is a potter from Leros Island, Greece. He has been a potter since he was 25. George focuses on teaching others how to do pottery through instructional videos. These videos cover topics from throwing, glazing, decorating, and other methods such as raku firing.

Making Throwing on Potter’s Wheel Clay – Pottery Ceramic Ashtray

George starts off with a small ball of clay on the wheel and compresses it down with both hands. He then opens up the form using both of his thumbs but leaves a pillar of clay in the middle. The pillar in the middle is left untouched as the bottom is compressed down and the sides are pulled up. The rim is then compressed down slightly and then the pillar of clay in the middle is touched. This pillar is smoothed and centered with two fingers and then excess clay is removed from the bottom using a metal rib. The form is finalized with a final pull to the outside, the rim getting compressed, and then the base of the pillar getting smoothed down. The ashtray is the cut from the wheel, measured, and lifted off the wheel onto a board.

ceramic ashtray
George Remeasures, Cleans The Rim of The Ceramic Ashtray, and Measures Again.

The second part of the ashtray is thrown on the wheel now. It starts off as a small ball of clay that is compressed down and opened quickly using two thumbs. George then goes halfway down into the clay and widens the top part of the form, measures it, and then cuts off the excess clay that is more than he needs at the top. After the excess is cut from the rim George remeasures, cleans the rim, and measures again. George cuts the rim several more times until he reaches the exact measurement that is needed for the top part of the ashtray. The rim is then compressed and cleaned with his fingers and the lower half of the clay is straightened out in order for the lower area to be cut off. George uses a small knife and gently cuts off the rim while spinning the wheel. Once the rim is released George places it inside the first part of the ashtray. This rim will be a holder for cigarettes and prevent the ashes from getting blown around. After the rim is placed into the form George carves our four spots that cigarettes will rest and the ashtray is complete.

To see more of George’s work find him on YouTube as Sifoutv Pottery or on Facebook @sifoutvpottery.

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