Making Pottery |
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I get my pottery supplies today from internet buying and home delivery. It makes it easy and is cost effective.
When I started, I went to a local pottery supply shop - I am lucky to have one less than 30 minutes away.
I started with basic school clay. Both stoneware and terracotta.The important thing for me is to have a versatile clay that I can use to hand build and throw on a pottery wheel.
I have experimented with a small number of other clays, but have to say that I have not been too adventurous to date. I do buy my clay in bulk - which does have the disadvantage of minimizing the possibilities to experiment.
I have, however, done tome slip casting with ceramics molds. The result is finer, lighter pieces.
My pottery wheel is a Shimpo wheel. I had had a number of different wheels when I was on various short courses. I decided I wanted my own wheel.
I started on the mammoth task of looking to see what was out there to buy. Only to find that there was a number of choices. Each with different benefits and prices.
Ii was hard to decide. In the end I looked back at the types of wheels that I had used and the shimpo stood out for me as one I had enjoyed using and suited me.
I therefore made a simple decision, and bought the one I had liked.
This has worked out well for me. My familiarity with this type of wheel meant that getting started was straight forward.
It is also a wheel that does not need to take up much space. And this has been good - as my studio is not huge.
Once I had my wheel, the kiln was the next purchase. I did the rounds again to find out what was there.
The main difference in buying a kiln rather than a wheel for me was the fact that I had not used one before.
This gave me a different challenge. When faced with all the information I did not have the fall back of picking one I'd used and liked.
I bought a Cromartie kiln. It is quite a large one as when I was looking I wanted to be able to create a large number of pots.
In one way it is great. I have in hindsight thought that a smaller one might have been better.
The making cycle for me involves making a large amount of pots, waiting until I have enough to fill the kiln. Then glazing them all and firing again.
The outcome is the same as buying clay in volume. You can have less variety in what you do.
A smaller kiln allows you to experiment.
Of course, the ideal solution is to have two. A test kiln and a production kiln.
Maybe, one day.
I have used my kiln to eperiment with glass as well.
I have made some of my own plaster molds and have bough others. I first used when I want in a 1 day mold making course where we were taught to make a mold and then slip cast a piece.
If you have not tried this - I would recommend. While you do not have the technique of throwing to conquer it allows you time to ponder and practice designs
Other Pottery Tools
I have a few other pottery supplies.
Go from Pottery supplies to see what I have created
- cutting wires - to cut the clay
- metal and plastic kidneys - to smooth the clay
- Sponge - to assist with throwing
- Turning tools - for turning n the wheel