Pottery Making


Learn about Pottery Making

Learning how to make pottery can be a lot of fun.

It is an art which encompasses many other mediums such as paint and engraving and can be done by the very old, children as young as two or any age in between, but making pottery can also be incredibly messy and even dangerous in certain circumstances.

If the pottery making bug has bitten you and you want to give it a whirl here are a few tips to get you started.

Best place to work

The best place to work with clay and learn pottery techniques really depends on what you want to do. Those who only want to mold the clay and mess around with it a little can probably get away with the kitchen counter but those who want to explore pottery making in depth should probably dedicate a room or outbuilding to it.

Tip: Line you work surface in a non stick surface. Clay will not stick to mid- to heavy weight cotton duck canvas so you can line your work surface in it

Throwing pottery can be messy. The wet clay will stick to and stain any surface or fabric that it comes into contact with and clay dust is quite fine and gets into everything. Caution: A regular household vacuum cleaner will not pick up clay dust.

Here are a few tips for choosing a place to create pottery

Choose a room with floors that are water resistant or proof, and easy to clean, such as untextured linoleum and concrete.

You will need easy access to water.

You will need a solid and sturdy table with a surface that clay will not adhere to.

A shelf to dry your art.

A cabinet to store supplies out of reach of kids and pets.

Things you should know before buying clay and pottery glazes

There are a lot of variables in both clay and glazes, the most important of which is temperature. Before glazing pottery, glazes and clay must be matched according to what temperature the clay matures at. When choosing a glaze you also need to know that most glazes are rated by “cone.” “Cone” is a way to measure heat work and the 0's are important.

If you are planning to rent pottery kilns space from a local artist to fire your pottery projects then you may want to call and ask what temperature they usually fire at and what atmosphere they fire in then purchase your clay and glazes specifically for that temperature and atmosphere.

Tools and Pottery Supplies

Although many pottery techniques such as hand built pottery do not require the use of pottery tools there are a few things that you may want to pick up.

Towels and an apron

Small bucket for slurry or water

Several larger buckets for clean up

Sponges for clean up

Eight or ten piece pottery tool kit which includes a needle tool, ribbon tool, wood tool, wire clay cutter, steel scraper, loop tool, sponge, and a clay rib.

A large brush

Plaster bats (you can either purchase or make these)

Pottery making can be a lot of fun but it can also be incredibly messy. It pays to set up a work space and purchase any tools in advance so that your adventures in clay are rewarding.

Learn more about the Types of Pottery and Techniques

Learn the Language and definitions of Pottery Making

Find new and exciting Pottery Ideas and Pottery Projects

Leave Pottery Making for Pottery Mark Home

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