Questions about getting started in making pots

Mikee002

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I don’t need anything else to occupy time I don’t have, but I’ve been drawn to getting into pot making. Pottery was my favorite class in high school, but I remember very little of it 😂.

I don’t even know where to start with this wormhole. Techniques. Materials. Access to a kiln. Etc.

Any guidance would be great!
 

Godschick

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Well if you’re not 100% certain you want to dive in and buy everything for a home studio, perhaps take a class locally and see if you still have a love for it and learn a few things there. While you’re doing that, start researching. When it comes to pottery, watching videos is great, but nothing like getting your hands on it and learning technique in person. It’s just as addicting as bonsai. It can take up tons of time (and money) and seem like no time at all, but so rewarding. Good luck with this new endeavor!
 

HorseloverFat

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Everything said so far is wise, indeed.

But if you WANTED to try a "Nature Boy" approach to learning.... Florida'd be a good place to do it.

I did it In Wisconsin.. failing for a year STRAIGHT to learn the most gruelingly organic way possible. this.... isn't... for everyone.

But @Crawforde has the scoop on native clays.. AS WELL AS "Pit-firing" in Florida.

I'd recommend a kiln, first, also... (co-ops don't exactly fire the same way bonsai-ware-makers fire)

Figure out what KIND of firing you are able to accommodate, handle, and afford.

If you're doing gas reduction... the largest thing you'd need to find is the "shell"

For electric.. that "shell" needs to be in much better shape.

For NATURAL gas... your LARGEST investment is the INITIAL one... and it's.. a pretty hefty, but "worth it", investment.

For pit firing, you INSTANTLY increase your probability of ware breakage, and inconsistent firings... but the folks who are GOOD at it... swear by it.
 

LuZiKui

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If you haven't read through this thread it's a great place to start. I have too many hobbies and too little time otherwise this thread alone would have got me into making my own pots. I've got it starred and when the kids get a little bit older and by some miracle I find myself with some more free time I'm going to follow his methods:

 

Mikee002

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Well if you’re not 100% certain you want to dive in and buy everything for a home studio, perhaps take a class locally and see if you still have a love for it and learn a few things there. While you’re doing that, start researching. When it comes to pottery, watching videos is great, but nothing like getting your hands on it and learning technique in person. It’s just as addicting as bonsai. It can take up tons of time (and money) and seem like no time at all, but so rewarding. Good luck with this new endeavor!
This seems like a much more conservative approach than source. Lol. Probably the correct choice for me, and my wife would definitely appreciate me not going nuts
Everything said so far is wise, indeed.

But if you WANTED to try a "Nature Boy" approach to learning.... Florida'd be a good place to do it.

I did it In Wisconsin.. failing for a year STRAIGHT to learn the most gruelingly organic way possible. this.... isn't... for everyone.

But @Crawforde has the scoop on native clays.. AS WELL AS "Pit-firing" in Florida.

I'd recommend a kiln, first, also... (co-ops don't exactly fire the same way bonsai-ware-makers fire)

Figure out what KIND of firing you are able to accommodate, handle, and afford.

If you're doing gas reduction... the largest thing you'd need to find is the "shell"

For electric.. that "shell" needs to be in much better shape.

For NATURAL gas... your LARGEST investment is the INITIAL one... and it's.. a pretty hefty, but "worth it", investment.

For pit firing, you INSTANTLY increase your probability of ware breakage, and inconsistent firings... but the folks who are GOOD at it... swear by it.
great info. Thanks
 

Mikee002

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If you haven't read through this thread it's a great place to start. I have too many hobbies and too little time otherwise this thread alone would have got me into making my own pots. I've got it starred and when the kids get a little bit older and by some miracle I find myself with some more free time I'm going to follow his methods:

And down the rabbit hole I will go. Thanks
 

Godschick

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This seems like a much more conservative approach than source. Lol. Probably the correct choice for me, and my wife would definitely appreciate me not going nuts
While you are taking the class, take Sorce’s advice and create a plan. Learning backwards to what creates the most successful and functional pieces sounds solid to me. And as far as the wife, if you get her into doing pottery, that studio will get up in running in no time 😜
 

Mikee002

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While you are taking the class, take Sorce’s advice and create a plan. Learning backwards to what creates the most successful and functional pieces sounds solid to me. And as far as the wife, if you get her into doing pottery, that studio will get up in running in no time 😜
Yeah, solid advice for sure.
 

mwar15

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Look in your area for a community collage, co-op or community center. Often these will have basic classes. Get the basics and then it will get you started and save time, money, headaches and put you in a better position to have success
 

Mikee002

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Look in your area for a community collage, co-op or community center. Often these will have basic classes. Get the basics and then it will get you started and save time, money, headaches and put you in a better position to have success
Yes sir, doing that as we speak. I have a few places found.
 

Colorado

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I started pottery from scratch a few months ago. Zero experience.

What I did was find a local pottery store, picked up some clay and basic tools, and started making pots at my desk in my home office. And a bunch of YouTube/internet research.

It would be great to have a kiln, dedicated studio, etc but I just don’t have the resources or space for that right now. Instead I have my work fired at the pottery shop.

You can get started for a pretty limited investment this way.
 

Crawforde

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What I do requires no investment, or knowledge, or equipment, or skill. Jus a hole in the ground and some stuff that needs to be burned.
the results, given the effort, are as you would expect.
but I enjoy it.
Any excuse to sit out in the back yard and watch the embers glow is cool with me.
 

Mikee002

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So, I have gone down the rabbit hole of wanting to get into pot making. Hopefully what I learned in high school will come back to me and it’ll be a semi-painless experience.

What are some of the good resources out there for pottery and ceramics in general, not just related to bonsai pot making, but suggestions on those would be welcome also.. Any forums or Facebook groups or similar do you recommend?
 

W3rk

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I don’t need anything else to occupy time I don’t have, but I’ve been drawn to getting into pot making. Pottery was my favorite class in high school, but I remember very little of it 😂.

I don’t even know where to start with this wormhole. Techniques. Materials. Access to a kiln. Etc.

Any guidance would be great!
Find a local Clay Co-op where you can take a class and just work with clay and make some stuff to warm up. Then you can decide where you want to go from there.
 
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