Already an expert?

Share your knowledge!

adult arts and crafts clay dirty

Pottery

as a hobby

Pottery is a hobby that involves shaping clay into various forms and objects, such as bowls, mugs, vases, and more. Pottery can offer many benefits for your mind, body, and soul, such as relieving stress, enhancing creativity, strengthening muscles, and connecting with others. To get started with pottery, you will need some basic tools and materials, such as clay, a potter’s wheel or a rolling pin, a kiln or an oven, and some glazes or paints. You can also join a pottery class or studio to learn from experienced potters and enjoy the company of fellow pottery lovers.

Helpful content to start pottery as a hobby

We aim to provide accurate information, but errors might be found. Always exercise judgment and discretion.

Videos

Short visual inspiration.

content placeholder image
YouTube | How my pottery journey started vs how it’s going…. #pottery #ceramics #shorts
content placeholder image
YouTube | POTTERY BASICS – A beginner’s guide to the stages of CLAY!
content placeholder image
YouTube | The Potter’s Meal, 1 of 3
content placeholder image
YouTube | EASY air dry clay ideas – DIY HOME DECOR SIMPLE & EFFECTIVE – texture

Podcasts

Play an episode while exploring the page.

content placeholder image
Spotify | #17 How to center your clay

Pottery can improve your physical health by strengthening your hands, wrists, and arms, improving your hand-eye coordination, and stimulating your brain activity.

Terms

Basic lingo for orientation.

  • Bisque: pottery that has been fired once but not glazed yet.
  • Clay: natural material that is used to make pottery.
  • Glaze: coating that is applied to pottery to give it color, texture, and durability.
  • Kiln: oven that is used to fire pottery at high temperatures.
  • Slip: liquid clay that is used to join pieces of pottery or to decorate them.
  • Throwing: making pottery on a wheel.
  • Wedging: kneading clay to remove air bubbles and make it more workable.

The three main techniques are:

  1. Wheel throwing: making pottery on a wheel by shaping a ball of clay with your hands while it spins. It is a fast and efficient way to make symmetrical and round shapes, such as bowls, cups, and vases.
  2. Hand building: making pottery by hand using techniques such as pinching, coiling, slabbing, and sculpting. It is a slow and creative way to make irregular and organic shapes, such as animals, boxes, and masks.
  3. Slip casting: making pottery by pouring liquid clay (slip) into a plaster mold. It is a simple and precise way to make identical and complex shapes, such as teapots, figurines, and tiles.

How to start pottery as a hobby

First moves for getting acquainted and breaking the ice.

  • The easiest way to start getting your hands dirty is with a pottery kit for beginners.
  • If you enjoyed the kit, you have a couple of options:
    • You can buy some more air-dry clay and continue exploring with the assistance of YouTube tutorials or books.
    • Alternatively, you could find a pottery class near you.

Books

Get read(y).

How-tos

Step-by-step tutorials.

Articles

Further reading.

Websites

Go-tos for information.

Movies

Nothing like a film for inspiration.

content placeholder image
YouTube | The Great Pottery Throw Down Season 5 | Official Trailer | HBO Max

FAQS

Get a clue.

What are the different ways of making pottery?

There are three main ways of making pottery: hand building, wheel throwing, and slip casting.

What are the types of clay and which one should I use as a beginner?

A good type of clay for beginners is air-dry clay, which hardens without firing or baking. It is easy to use and does not need a kiln or oven. However, it can also be less durable or strong than fired clay, and it may shrink or crack as it dries. Air-dry clay is not food-safe or waterproof, so it is best for making decorative items or small sculptures. It can be painted with acrylic paint after drying. Other types of clay that require firing are earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Each type of clay has different characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages that affect how it can be used and what they can make.

What equipment do I need to start?

At the very least, you will need a pottery wheel, clay, and some basic tools like a sponge, wire tool, and trimming tool. Unless you are using air-dry clay, a kiln is also necessary to fire your creations. You can start with a beginner pottery kit.

Apps

Smart assistance.

Products

Essentials to have.

content placeholder image
YouTube | Unbox the Pott’d™ Home Air-Dry Clay Pottery Kit with Us 📦
content placeholder image
YouTube Playlist | National Geographic Kid’s Pottery Wheel – Complete Pottery Kit for Beginners

Courses

Get smart.

Near You

Get together.

Newsletters

Subscribe for inspiration.

Tips

Additional advice for beginners.