Pottery made to order | repair and restoration studio in Southern Delaware
Making a Large Ceramic Hookah / Shisha / Nargile Head

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Custom made hookah heads can be designed to meet your personal preferences such as: Size, depth of tobacco chamber, fitting socket and color. The clay and firing process used is "functional stoneware" which makes the product very durable, high resistance to temperature and can be used in a dishwasher.

(also called shisha or nargile)

1. Use about 1 3/4 lb. of clay for the dimensions you see here and throw the shape you prefer. This illustration is a hookah bowl 4-1/2" wide and 4" height wet (without the base neck). Leave a hole on the bottom as if it was a planting pot. Harden the bowl a bit prior to the next step using a torch or a dryer.

Throw a cylinder
cylinder on the wheel

Create the desired shape
create the desired shape

Use a calipers to verify size
create the shisha shape
To harden the bowl, torch a bit
use a torch to dry the base

2. Use about 1/2 lb. of clay to make the hookah bowl's top with about 1/4" thickness. It help if you have two wheels so that the bowl can remain on one wheel while throwing the base on a different wheel. Trim with a pin-tool to size and place on top. Make a hole with a pin-tool to allow air to escape as you create the proper hookah burning chamber's cavity.

Throw a flat form and trim to size
cut the flat form to size
Remove top
remove the flat top

Place on top of pot
place on top of hookah base
Make a hole for air to escape
make a hole in th emiddle

3. Connect two pieces by compressing and adjusting to required dimensions and depth. You may want to use a torch to harden the bowl before applying compression pressure to the top. Make sure the middle hole remains open through the process.

Connect bowl ant top
connect both hookah pieces

Verify size with calipers
use a calipers to measure pot
Push top to the desired depth
push down for the righ hookah cavity depth
Finalize shape and smooth
smooth pot's walls

4. Dry slowly partially covered. When clay is leather-hard, use a MKM decorating disk to mark where you wish the holes to be and drill / punch the holes. Then, flip bowl upside down for trimming.

Mark holes location
decorating disk-  mkm pottery tools

Use 1/4" clay hole puncher
hole punch tools
Make the holes
make holes
Flip bowl / head upside down
flip pot upside down

5. Trim bowl and spray a bit to keep the bottom wet to properly attach to the hookah's base neck. If making more than one hookah head, it is easier to throw the base neck off-the-hump. The inside dimensions of the base is very important for proper fitting and it is 1-1/8" after firing. Take shrinkage into account. In our case, our clay shrinks total of 11%. The base neck height in this example is 1-1/2" tall.

Trim bottom to shape
Throw base neck off-the-hump
small cylinder on the wheel
Measure for right fit (30mm wet clay)
use of calipers with pottery
Attach to hookah bowl
attach cylinder to pot

6. Make a coil to place between the bowl and the neck and smooth while the wheel is turning.

Use a coil for better attachment
use of coil on the wheel

integrate coil into bowl
smoothing the two pices

Dry covered and slowly
custom made commission hookah heads
Original sample provided
sample to be duplicated of a hookah bowl / shisha / nargile

7. Firing Process

Use wet pipe cleaner to clean glaze
Use wet pipe cleaner to clear holes from glaze to prevent clogging

Glazed and in the kiln to be fired
glazed pots in the ready  to be fired

After being fired to 2,230 degrees
custome made commission hookha heads glazed
Finished sample
finished hooka bowl / shisha / nargile

Ready for shipping
custome made commission hookha heads glazed

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