Basic Pottery Tools for Beginners
Pottery is a challenging, but rewarding and relaxing activity that can be turned into a profitable business once you have mastered the techniques. But first, you need to gather the necessary items to start practicing this art form.
Pottery Item List
These are the items you will need to begin pottery. Make sure that you have enough space in your workroom for the kiln, worktable, wheel, storage cabinets, and others.
- Clay Extruder
- Trimming Tool
- Potter’s Needle
- Cut-Off Wire
- Wooden and Rubber Ribs
- Wooden Knife
- Potter’s Kiln
- Pottery Wheel
- Coloring Oxide
- Ribbon Cutter
- Glazing Tongs
- Buckets, Sponges, and Towels
- Rulers and Calipers
- Storage Shelf
Clay for Pottery
There are various clays you can use for pottery, but you have to take note of the differences in the temperature of clay maturation and the matching glazes for the different materials. Clays are divided into classes based on the firing temperature and characteristics; these are earthenware, mid-fire stoneware, and porcelain.
Most potters will suggest that you begin with earthenware, such as terracotta, because it’s the cheapest and can be fired at low temperatures.
Glaze for Pottery
If you begin with earthenware clay, the glaze should be for low-fire clay to avoid cracks. Beginners are advised to use under-glaze colors covered with clear glaze until they can master the technique. Later you can try other glaze finishes, effects, and colors.
Glazes can be bought in powder form from ceramics stores, but purchase only small amounts that are enough to make tableware. Make sure to wear a mask when working with glazes as well. Later, you can experiment with glaze mixes or create your own to achieve different textures and colors.
Kiln for Pottery
The kiln you will pick for your first project should be based on the type of clay you will use. For earthenware, the kiln will need fewer resources to produce low firing, while you will need a bigger kiln for stoneware, which can be fired at middle temperature range. Pick the smallest and most portable kiln you can find that can be plugged into standard sockets.
A small kiln will allow you to save more, because firing can be done often with fewer resources. Place the kilns in areas away from flammable materials and other appliances, because it will produce extreme temperatures. Then check the condition of the firebricks regularly to determine if your kiln needs to be replaced.
Beginners will not need a huge potter’s wheel yet, so start with the smallest electric wheel you can find in craft shops. Make sure that it has options to control its speed in increments and controls for wheel direction reversal. A kick-wheel might be more attractive to some potters if they don’t want to use the electric wheel, but these are usually bigger than the electric models.