Things You'll Need
Clay pots are more attractive than their plastic counterparts, but much harder to cut down if you need to customize the size. High-tech tools like a wet tile saw will cut ceramic tiles like butter, but are not as safe for larger items such as pots. Fortunately, hand tools for cutting basic terra cotta ceramic items are available. Cut down your clay pot with a carbide rod saw. A carbide rod saw looks like a hacksaw, but the blade is made up of fine carbide grit, rather than metal teeth.
Draw the cut line where you want to sever your ceramic pot, using a wax pencil.
Place the ceramic pot on a work surface and use a clamp to secure it in place. Place foam rubber or a folded cloth between the jaws of the clamp and the pot to keep the clamp from breaking the pot.
Mist the area to be cut with a spray bottle filled with water. This will keep the saw blade from getting too hot while cutting and will keep ceramic sawdust down.
Place one hand on one side of the cut line to further secure the pot.
Set the blade along the cut line and lightly saw back and forth to start the cut.
Apply a bit more pressure once the cut is started. Do not apply too much force, from either the saw or your supporting hand, as this can break the pot. Apply light to medium pressure, and let the saw do most of the work.
Re-mist the pot with water as you cut to keep it damp.
Sand down the sharp edge once the cut is finished. Start with a coarse, 80-grit sandpaper to dull the edge. Then gradually move to 200-grit, then 400-grit sandpaper to finely polish the edge.
Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.