After reading articles on our website and posts on social media, you’ve decided to give it a go and make ceramics. This is wonderful!
There are useful videos on Youtube showing how to make pottery pieces and providing guidance on the techniques that you can use. But deciding where to start and navigating through these steps can be quite difficult. So here are our recommendations based on our own experience.
Starting making pottery at home
If you are potting at home, we recommend you to purchase a beginners activity box. This is a great way of exploring sculpting and hand-building with clay. The box will include air-drying clay unless you have access to a pottery kiln to fire your pieces.
For instance, the box pictured is from Bath Potters’ Supply. It includes 1 Kg of smooth air-drying clay, 1 steel scraper, 1 cookie cutter, 1 rolling pin, 1 rubber smoothing tool, 1 metal loop tool, 1 plunger cutter, 1 fine wood modelling tool, 1 mini potters pin, 1 small Indian wooden pattern, and 2 stamps, but no instructions how to start with clay.
Look at the offers from the following suppliers:
Bath Potters’ Supplies
Pottery activity box including air-drying clay and tools. £17.99 incl. VAT excl. shipping.
The Clay Club
Home pottery kit with air-drying clay, tools and leaflet. From £42.99 up to £62.99 incl. VAT excl. shipping.
At home clay kit with air-drying clay. From £40.00 up to £70.00 incl. VAT and UK shipping.
Sculpt and paint pottery kit with air-drying clay. £28.00 incl. VAT excl. shipping.
Muddy Fingers Pottery
Home pottery kit with air-drying clay, tools and leaflet. £26.00 incl. VAT and UK shipping.
Home pottery kit containing everything you’ll need to sculpt, carve, paint and seal four smaller pinch pots or two larger plant pots. £39.00 incl. VAT excl. shipping.
Depending on the content of the starter box, you will need to source additional tools and air-drying clay. Have a look at the list of tools you need to get started on this page. Most of the tools can be found or made at home. You will find where to purchase air-drying clay on this page.
Joining a beginner pottery class
It is relatively easy to start making pots but you need to learn the basics around clay, hand-building and decoration techniques, and if you want to make food-safe pieces, to get your pieces fired.
Our recommendation is joining a beginner pottery class, either face-to-face at your local pottery or craft studio or online. This is the easiest way to give it a try under the supervision of a skilled practitioner and without investing in materials and equipment.
Most of us at Ceramics Today started pottery joining a beginner class, then moved to intermediate and advance levels and got hooked!
The alternative is to join a class online. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, several pottery studios have moved their classes online. Some offer a starter kit containing clay and the tools needed, and supervision via regular conference calls.