Pottery

Making beautiful pottery out of clay

Since time began, man has been making vessels and art out of clay. Clay is readily available as a medium, requiring only water to enable it to be shaped into usable art. A good example of this art is the beautiful Polish pottery for sale in stores around the world. Nowadays, pottery is a class given to just about anyone, from children to adult. It's easy to learn the techniques, and you can make dishes and works of art to grace your home and even sell. Learning to sculpt isn't hard, but it can be messy. Try taking a pottery class to begin with, and that will help you learn what you need to know to be successful.

Ceramics and pottery supplies you'll need

To begin making any kind of pottery, you will need certain supplies. They include:

  • Clay. Clay is the medium in which you will work. There are many different types of clay available, and they will fire differently. Choose the clay you like best to work with.
  • A kiln. While this is not necessary to make pottery, kilns are necessary to make ceramics. A kiln works by firing, or baking, the clay to a specific temperature to turn it into a hard, unyielding substance not unlike glass.
  • Glazes. Aagain, this is optional, but can add a shiny or crackled effect to your art
  • Tools and knives. Essential implements for many crafts.
  • Pottery wheel. An optional device. Many people choose to make vases and bowls on a wheel, since it is easier to keep the consistency and the thickness of the clay stable, but you can learn to make art and dishes using other techniques as well.
  • Instructions. These can be found online

Learning to do art pottery

Many people begin learning to do pottery by taking a pottery or ceramics class, which is normally offered with other arts and crafts classes. This will teach them the basics, how to use the wheel, and how to build pottery using techniques like the roll technique. Consistency and balance is important when learning to sculpt, because the kiln is unforgiving -- one weak wall or inconsistent rim and your piece can crack beyond repair.

Your teacher will help you to make pieces that you can be proud of and display. Some people get so good at pottery that they can sell their pieces and teach others. It is a hobby that many enjoy, and is relatively inexpensive to do.