Let us flash for a moment on the first day of school. It doesn’t matter if the school in question is an elementary school, high school or if you’re starting on the path to your Bachelor of Fine Arts...

Inevitably, there will be a run on school supplies, shopping for new clothes and perhaps even a little treat to make resuming studies more palatable. A nice lunch and maybe a new haircut?

Would you need to make such purchases before starting pottery for beginners?

Should you clutter your home with clays and pottery wheels? Maybe build a kiln in your back yard? Perhaps even make a bid for a slab roller or that extruder you found for sale on Gumtree?

All of those would be good purchases if you were setting up your own ceramic studio but if you’re proposing to learn about ceramic art, you probably don’t need to go quite that far.

In fact, learning how to make beautiful terracotta figurines or functional yet decorative earthenware really does not call for you to invest a lot of money, at least at the outset.

Once you get really good at creating art ceramics, then you might consider setting up an art studio!

This article deals with what you might need to get started with pottery-making and we can’t wait to amaze you with how little you need to purchase before your first lesson.

That being said, why don’t we just get on with it?

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Learn Pottery for Beginners - Consider Your Apparel

working with pottery is a messy affair
Nobody could every claim that working with terra cotta was an exercise in neatness! Image by ENRIC SAGARRA from Pixabay

Nobody has ever claimed that creating ceramic products is a tidy affair.

Ceramics used in science and engineering applications do require an element of cleanliness to prevent contamination of the end product or, in the case of ceramic tile production, to prevent them becoming too brittle.

Ceramic artists need not be quite so fastidious.

In fact, they would be the first to tell you that theirs is a messy business that involves gooey earthen materials, water and a fair amount of grit. Going to class dressed to impress is obviously not a good idea.

Suggestion #1: wear something you won’t mind getting dirty.

If you are taking a pottery painting ideas for beginners, most likely you will be provided with an apron but there’s nothing wrong with you bringing one of your own; in fact, you might be instructed to do so.

You may also be warned to wear something loose-fitting and comfortable... but not too loose – no flyaway sleeves, scarves, ties or anything that could get caught up in any of the equipment.

On the flip side of that coin, you don’t want to wear anything too confining, either.

Working with clay involves long periods of sitting with a pottery wheel between your knees. If your trousers are too tight to make extended sitting and leaning forward uncomfortable, you might want to reconsider your wardrobe choices.

If you usually wear skirts, you should consider wearing one with enough flare to permit your knees being far apart.

Suggestion #2: choose your clothing with an eye toward comfort.

As for shoes, obviously, you would go with ‘sensible’. High heels would be out and, for safety reasons, it might not be acceptable to wear open-toed shoes.

While an artist’s studio is not quite an industrial area, there are still industrial elements like kilns and heavy materials that, should your foot come in contact with them, might result in serious injury.

In a similar vein, be cautious about jewellery. Especially in adult classes, participants are reminded that wearing rings is not a good idea: not only could a ring gouge your design but you might not ever get it clean again!

You may take that idea further and leave off earrings, too, especially dangling ones and if you choose to wear a necklace, be sure that it stays tucked inside your top or doesn’t hang so low it gets mixed up in the clay you’re working.

Finally: if you wear your hair long, you will most likely be instructed to tie it back, both for safety reasons and for convenience – you really don’t want a stray hair in your eye or mouth while your hands are full of clay!

Suggestion #3: safety first! Don’t wear anything that might snag, impede or expose you to injury.

Time to challenge your knowledge about pottery ideas for beginners, consider ceramics history and modern uses!

don't worry about perfection
Even those not-so-perfect pieces have a purpose! Image by Oliver Huber from Pixabay

Pottery Ideas for Beginners - the Right Attitude Will Make it Work

The first step is to know how to make yourself comfortable with the materials of pottery. It helps to be able to understand the basics of pottery and the surrounding elements surrounding its creation. If you're taking up pottery for the first time, it's important to consider what lessons are best suited for your mental state. You can play with different pottery ideas for beginners as you come across them until you are able to select the one that best suits their needs.

Intensely competitive learners may have an easier time with a class that offers feedback on individual progress. If you have a task that needs to be completed, before moving on, try looking for undertakings that are split into manageable chunks.

Also, if you're having trouble staying motivated, look into a pottery project that interests you and involves painting or adding unique finishes. You should know that having the right attitude is the key to your success in your pottery lessons.

The right attitude starts with a strong sense of self-confidence. Confidence and will power is what will drive you through the challenges and obstacles you'll encounter in your pottery class. You don't have to be too hard on yourself, but you should be aware that even if something doesn't go as planned, things can still turn out good for you.

Self-confidence also means knowing that you have the desire to learn pottery. This implies that you have the need for beauty in your life. When you feel beauty in your actions, it gives you a sense of purpose and will help to push you forward. When you feel that your actions are beautiful, it is a reflection of your own worth. And when you feel that your worth is reflected in what you do, then you'll have than a reason to excel in pottery.

You may face some pressure while learning and some learners find it difficult to cope. If you need to relief yourself of stress, then ceramics lessons Canada will meet your requirements.

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Patience as a Useful Tool for Ceramics Lessons

As a beginner, there is a tendency to consider the short term alone, meaning it’s easy to abandon a pottery project because it’s challenging. This is a recipe for disaster in most areas of life. If you want to be more productive and effective with anything that takes time, you must leave the one-size-fits-all kind of mind-set at home whenever you come to pottery classes.

You must pursue learning that suits your personality type. You must approach the learning process with the understanding that for you to be successful, you have to work hard.

Though the journey might seem daunting at first glance, it's not difficult at all if you have a little patience and know how to persevere. Fortunately, with pottery lessons online on Superprof, there are no mountains on your mind. You can learn everything about pottery if you stay committed.

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A man fishing
Just as with many things in life, you need patience to see results in your efforts. Source: Pexels

Patience is a useful tool for your ceramics lesson. You have to be patient with yourself and your work. If you cannot create a perfect bowl on your first try, you need to be able to work at it for many more trials before you should get the hang of it.

While some people are more patient than others, they could work at it for years before they can perfect their skills. It is best to start small and begin with pottery ideas for beginners. And gradually work your way up to much bigger projects. This will make you much more proud of your creation when it is finally completed.

Another element that is especially important for you as a learner of pottery is the leisurely approach you take to working out your challenges. A speedier approach just makes mistakes more likely and sometimes even unavoidable.

This is because the student will be so anxious to fix what they just created that they're likely to do something wrong. And start all over again. To prevent that, learners are better off taking their time. That way, any mishap that occurs is easily fixed.

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Nikoo
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$30
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1st lesson is free!
Sherry
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Gauthier
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Gauthier
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Roop
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Roop
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Sadia
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Sadia
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Jenna
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Jenna
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Senka
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Andrea
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Andrea
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Nikoo
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5 (9 reviews)
Nikoo
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Sherry
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5 (6 reviews)
Sherry
$22
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Gauthier
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Gauthier
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Roop
4.9
4.9 (5 reviews)
Roop
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/h
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1st lesson is free!
Sadia
5
5 (12 reviews)
Sadia
$30
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Jenna
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5 (6 reviews)
Jenna
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Senka
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Senka
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How to Excel in Your Pottery Beginners Lessons

For you to excel in your pottery beginner class, it is helpful to focus on elements that will make a difference in the learning process.

One of these is self-control. If you can control your impulses and behavior, you will spend more time focusing on what you're doing rather than how bored or frustrated you might feel while trying to complete a task.

Speaking of tasks - some believe that setting achievable goals will help someone move closer to success. If you set goals, you should keep them realistic. This will help you reach your target without feeling frustrated over the tools/equipment or methods that are used to complete a project.

If you can't refine what you are doing, it will be harder to tell why some things turn out better than others. A way to avoid the frustration of feeling like you are not getting anywhere pottery painting ideas for beginners is to break down your tasks into smaller steps. Another way of reducing frustration is to relax your expectations of yourself or others that may be contributing to the learning experience.

What should you consider before you decide to become a potter?

  1. Cost

The best way to decide whether you can afford to take ceramics lessons is by assessing how much time you can spare for practicing each day. If you have a full-time job or are currently in school, you must understand that your time is limited. Find out how much time it will take before pottery classes start.

You also have to know how much you can afford to pay for lessons, as well as how long each session will take. In addition, you need to consider the equipment you need for pottery lessons Canada before signing up for the classes.

  1. Time

Another thing you must consider is whether you will find enough time in your schedule for exploring your hobby. If you work a 9-5, the ideal solution is to ask your boss for an extension of your lunch break, or if you’re currently in school, ask your teacher about more time for break to enable you attend your ceramics classes whether online or offline.

  1. Tutor

The next thing to have in mind when weighing your options of pottery lessons is how important it is for you to find the right teacher. Learning pottery doesn't come any easier than this, and there is a right way and a wrong way to take a pottery lesson. It is important that you get to know your instructor and his credibility as pottery lesson teacher.

When you are searching for pottery classes, it would be important to seek an instructor who knows how to work with a beginner such that your creative ideas are transformed into reality effortlessly.

Why Pottery is Right for You

Pottery classes are a lot like going to a buffet. There are variety of foodstuffs to choose from. And by choosing what you eat at the buffet, you'll be able to increase your chances of coming back for more. But, you also want to think about the choices to make sure that what you pick is will taste good.

If you throw a pot and it cracks because the clay was too dry, then you won't be back in seconds. You'll think twice before coming back to the pottery wheel again. You must think of what you are going to do with your time and what you have learned during your pottery lessons.

Pottery lessons are fun and offer a myriad of benefits, including creativity, stress relief, confidence-building and coping skills. However, there are some important aspects that learners need to consider when deciding whether pottery lessons are right for them.

The next thing to know about pottery is how important it is for you to ensure that you have everything in place before starting your pottery lesson. Being creative is not an easy task. It is not about having the right mind, but also investing in learning techniques that can help you realize your dreams.

When you start your pottery ideas for beginner lessons, you are using that creative power for yourself as well as others. The thing about pottery making is something about the physical act of creating things from scratch that brings people together. Pottery classes are group efforts designed to produce a final product that is then shared with others. You should anticipate that other people will be complimenting your work, asking questions, and giving you feedback.

There are equal parts of excitement, joy and happiness in pottery lessons. But there will also be plenty of hard work at the pottery wheel, especially when you begin taking lessons. This is where you should expect to make mistakes, or make something that doesn't look the way it should.

Students
Discussing your expectations with others could relief you of stress while learning how to make ceramics. Source: Pexels

Pottery for Beginners - Temper Your Expectations

Let’s suppose that you’ve decided on gifting everyone on your holiday list something made by your hand out of ceramic materials. What a thoughtful idea!

Clay artists make it look so easy: a lump of clay on a potter’s wheel, a bit of water and the curving of hands; a bit of pressure – we don’t know how much and, voila! Stoneware is fired and ready for use.

In truth, it’s not quite so easy to be that artist in residence.

You have to know a bit about the ceramic materials you’re working with:

  • Because of its toughness, common clay is usually used to make building materials – bricks, cement and aggregate (the base for concrete)
  • China clay, also known as kaolin clay is used to make glossy paper (and for stomach remedies)
  • Bentonite has many industrial uses and is also used in cat litter
    • Fuller’s Earth is also used in pet waste products
  • Ball clay is a high-quality clay used for ceramics including floor tile, wall tiles and bathroom fixtures such as sinks and loos.

Bear in mind that, even within these broad categories, there are infinite grades and qualities.

Now delve deeper into what ceramics actually are...

Most likely, you will be working with ball clay but even working with such quality material does not guarantee a good outcome of your first few tries.

You will have to learn the right amount of pressure to exert and how fast to turn the wheel. You will need to know how much water you will need to use you will need to learn how to recognize that your piece is in imminent danger of collapse.

You will have to keep from getting frustrated if, at first, you don’t succeed in creating the beautiful pieces you had envisioned.

In fact, it would be best if you set your mind to learning one aspect of ceramic sculpture per lesson... meaning that your goal to gift everyone art pottery this Christmas is a little ambitious.

However, nothing says that, if you have the time, money and inclination, you cannot take more than one class.

For instance, you might consider looking for a workshop in wheel throwing that can help you master the basics of working clay on a pottery wheel. Or, if you’re more advanced, look for a masterclass to learn glazing.

You can usually find such classes at your local art center; if you have an art institute in your city you may even check with them – sometimes they host open classes to address a particular skill.

To learn more about pottery classes in general, you should read our companion article...

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You probably shouldn't wear a bunch of jewellery
Your pottery instructor will likely advise against wearing a lot of jewellery Image by PDPics from Pixabay

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What to Expect from Pottery Classes

Unless you have some extraordinary talent – you know instinctively how much pressure to put on the clay as it spins, how wet your hands need to be and an intuitive sculptural technique, you can expect a few setbacks and frustrations on your way to being the ceramic artist you always knew you were.

Do you remember that scene from the movie, Ghost, when the vase Molly was making flopped over? It’s really not so unusual for a piece to flop, especially when you’re a beginner.

That is why the best ceramic and glass teachers recommend approaching your artistic aspirations by first embracing the creative process.

Focus on the materials and processes that go into making visual arts. Learn the various properties of that inorganic material you propose to work with, the various clay tools and what they’re used for.

Realise how taxing creating clay art can be.

You might be surprised to find that working with ceramic material is relaxing but physically challenging – from the amount of pressure you exert on the clay to maintaining a position for a long time.

In fact, your instructor will most likely address your posture in the very first class.

Ideally, your back would stay straight with your arms against your body and bent at the elbows to roughly 90 degrees. Any tools you might need should be close at hand.

You might work on your posture at home if you’re called out on it.

Once you get the basics of making pottery down in class, nothing says that you can’t practise clay sculpture at home. You might try your hand at coiling – an ancient technique that does not require a wheel.

The wonderful thing about clay is that it is so forgiving! If you can’t quite get those vases right, you can try again... or turn it into a contemporary ceramics art piece. If you can’t quite get the grooves right on the bowl you’re making, you can ‘erase’ them and try again.

Likewise, if your clay sculpture doesn't turn out exactly right, have another go at it.

The important thing to remember is that learning how to make a beautiful piece takes time and work; so the most important thing you need to bring when you get started with pottery is patience!

Now learn what supplies and equipment you should have on hand before you start your ceramic classes...

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Marvis

Marvis Osarhenrhen is a freelance SEO writer focused on helping businesses reach their target audience, get leads and increase revenue using optimized content.