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Thread: Is anyone here a potter?

  1. #1
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    Is anyone here a potter?

    Just curious: Is anyone here a potter? About 20 years ago, I took pottery lessons from two different instructors. One was a local arts center that went belly-up, the other was at my alma mater (I had some electives to fulfill for my BA). Now I'd like to get back into it. It's not easy finding a class that's affordable, works with my weird work schedule, and is close by.

    My husband said we could put a wheel and kiln in our basement but wow...I had really better be into it before I make that sort of investment!

    Plus I need a refresher course.

  2. #2
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    CL is .

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    Yes.
    ...?

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    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    I threw some pots when I was younger, but nothing since then and I didn't have my own set-up.

    You need to think about clay and glazes. I think it would be a wonderful hobby, but don't know how expensive it might get. A kiln in your basement? I've only heard of them outside.
    Even though it might be a hassle to find a close-by class that works with your schedule, it might be worth it, in order to find out if you don't like it enough to invest the money.
    Plus, being in another class might give you lots of good info from others on what you need and other useful info about brand, companies, glazes, kilns, etc. Good luck!

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    I understand that to have an indoor kiln, you've got to have the proper wiring in your house or it'll explode. And glazes are toxic, if I'm correct. There's a local college that teaches a whole series of classes on pottery, including making glazes. Maybe when I retire.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    You might dabble in polymer clay if sculpting sounds like fun. The possibilities are endless.
    It's a wonderful medium.

    Karolina Dziwota octopus.jpgKarolina Dziwota shrimp.jpg Karolina Dziwota wee figures

    Donna Greenberg assemblage.jpg Donna Greenberg assemblage

  7. #7
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    I am a potter. Every bowl, dish plate and mug in my house is handmade by me. I used to sell stuff but finally decided I had enough. Also my hands were getting arthritic.
    I had a wheel in my basement and kiln in the garage with a vent. I was also able to work for space in a wood kiln by tending it and helping load and unload. I loved it but all crafts are getting increasingly harder to sell.
    Check how much each firing of the kiln would cost. The initial outlay for equipment, clay, glaze materials (pre made glazes are expensive) is high. When I stopped selling I sold my equipment. An artist coop bought my kiln and a high school art teacher my wheel and I gave him my bats, clay, glazes, big wedging board and tools because he had the best intentions. He had limited wheel experience but had a kiln at school. He wanted to become proficient at throwing so he could help the kids much more. He was so excited to get my stuff it was as much of a thrill for me. The back of his truck was jamm packed with goodies. He was planning on setting up the wheel at school so kids could try it.
    I would first look at a community college or studio before I invested in equipment. Is there a pottery guild near you?

    I also do some hand building but i but I loved the wheel. The biggest decision is what do you want to accomplish. I made lots of functional ware and was able to throw a really big bowl, tall vase, nice dishes and so on. At the time I had reached FI and was working part time with developmentally disabled kids so I had the time and even if I just broke even it was OK. Now I work exclusively in textiles.

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    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Forgot to add YouTube has tons of instructional videos. One of my favorite teachers that I got to take some classes from is Tim See. But there are lots of generous people who have put up instructional videos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerseverywhere View Post
    Forgot to add YouTube has tons of instructional videos. One of my favorite teachers that I got to take some classes from is Tim See. But there are lots of generous people who have put up instructional videos.
    I've seen Tim See's videos, yes. They're very good. I also saw a couple of good ones by a woman named Tracie but she decided to go into cake and pastry arts instead of clay!

    I've done a few small pieces in Creative Paperclay. It's fun to work with and not expensive. Also made a bracelet with charms made of PMC (precious metal clay).

    I'll look into a pottery guild.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalone View Post
    I've seen Tim See's videos, yes. They're very good. I also saw a couple of good ones by a woman named Tracie but she decided to go into cake and pastry arts instead of clay!

    I've done a few small pieces in Creative Paperclay. It's fun to work with and not expensive. Also made a bracelet with charms made of PMC (precious metal clay).

    I'll look into a pottery guild.
    I took a one day intro to PMC. I'm surprised I didn't buy a kiln then and there! As I recall, a lot of makers use Paperclay for lovely flowers.

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