Get creative with Pottery
Taking up a hobby is an exciting opportunity to learn something new and when it comes to crafts pottery is one of the most popular pastimes for people who want to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty.
It’s a simple and satisfying way to get creative, and even beginners find it easy to create beautiful pieces with a little practice.
Dating as far back as 29,000 BC – the earliest known example of ceramics and pottery in history are the Gravettian figurines found in Europe – pottery has had practical uses for thousands of years. Today it’s still used to make tableware of all kinds and is a favourite with artists around the world to create everything from bespoke vases to large sculptures.
Starting out with pottery isn’t difficult to do, and even if you’ve never tried it before after a little practice you can create bowls, mugs and other simple shapes without difficulty.
There are two basic types of pottery; throwing and handbuilding. Throwing is the most familiar method and involves a potter’s wheel – pieces are shaped while the wheel quickly spins to create a symmetrical piece like a bowl or vase. Handbuilding on the other hand is a little more free form – coils of clay are joined together in layers and shaped by hand into everything from tiles to intricate sculptures.
After pieces are fired they can be decorated using a glaze. The glaze serves two important functions; first, to seal and waterproof an object, and second to decorate and add detail. If decorating pottery and ceramics interests you most there are centres all over the country like Ceramic Café that offer drop in sessions where you can choose a premade piece and paint it as you like.
Many cities offer community classes in throwing and handbuilding and most are affordable and offer discounts for seniors – here you can learn basic techniques with an expert teacher who will suggest pieces to practice with and can offer guidance as you’re working. You can also find private studios that offer more individual lessons – resources like this guide from Kirstie’s Vintage Home offer a good overview of some of the studios offering classes around the UK.
Pottery at home
You can easily do handbuilding at your kitchen table – all you need is a surface to work on, some clay, water and a few tools. Using a potter’s wheel will take up more space – a garage, garden shed, basement or conservatory are all ideal choices when setting up a studio at home. Materials can be expensive so make sure you’re serious before purchasing everything – the best thing to do is build up your collection of tools and glazes slowly over time.
The most expensive purchase you’ll need to make is a kiln to fire your pieces – although it’s possible to purchase small top-loading kilns they still cost thousands of pounds to buy. What many pottery enthusiasts opt to do instead is find a local studio that has the equipment and will fire your pieces for you, usually for a small fee. Before you transport any pieces though you’ll need to wait about a week for them to fully dry and place them carefully – at this stage the clay is still extremely delicate and is prone to cracking or breaking.
Latest posts by Sally - Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Have the new coronavirus rules gone far enough? - September 23, 2020
- How to Help People With Dementia - September 20, 2020
- Preparing your home for Winter - September 17, 2020
- Blackberry Lemon Layer Cake - September 17, 2020
- Funeral plans guarantee so much more than Over 50s policies - September 17, 2020
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!