Materials! What I’m using at home

I don’t have a pottery studio at home (just a table) and I don’t have a lot of free time as I look after our little one. However, as I won’t be back in SB’s studio for a month, I decided to buy a bag of clay from her and work from home. I wanted to share with you what I tools I have here, as I think some times pottery can be seen as something that needs a lot of expensive equipment i.e. a pottery wheel and kiln, neither of which I have. But! That isn’t stopping me.

Initially I was using just my hands and an embroidery needle to create but I decided a few basic tools might be useful. I started looking online and saw a common ‘starter’ kit with the following items:

  • 1 x Potter’s rib
  • 1 x Ribbon tool
  • 1 x Wood modelling tool
  • 1 x Needle tool
  • 1 x Loop tool
  • 1 x Sponge
  • 1 x Steel Scraper
  • 1 x Wire Clay Cutter

The annoying thing was this starter kit was on eBay/Amazon/Scarva/London Graphics Centre etc. at very difference prices but using the same stock photo! Was it the same kit just being sold at different prices or was there a difference in quality? It was ranging from around £4-15. In the end I decided to go for the Jakar kit on eBay for £9.95 free postage. Jakar was a brand I recognised from art shops and the price was mid range. I haven’t used the items yet, they don’t seem to be amazing quality (the wooden tools have some rough edges) but I think it’ll do the job for now and settle down once I have begun using them.

image

I don’t have a potters wheel or a banding wheel.. I do have a cake wheel however! I got this for Christmas for myself for £5 from The Works. It’s plastic but it does the same thing as a £50 metal wheel, in fact I used one of these at SB’s the other week. If I figure out why a heavier metal one is normally used, I’ll post. SB also gave me an old throwing bat that doesn’t fit her wheel any more. She said it’s best to work from a wooden surface, as I’ll never get my pot off otherwise.

image

This is the clay I am using, Scarva Earthstone, white stoneware original.

image

These are two books I bought after Christmas to give me a few ideas as well as technical advice. The Workshop Guide to Ceramics has been really useful at explaining the basics and the practical side to working with clay. I think most people would agree a single book cannot offer all there is to know about ceramics, however this seems to be a comprehensive book that acknowledges its limitations. The Best of 500 Ceramics is just a joy to look through for inspiration:
image

And finally, these are two books SB has leant me. She said The Craft of the Potter was her go to book when she first started pottery and it accompanied a TV series in the 1970s. She also leant me a book on glazes as I was trying to get to grips with the different glazes this week on my castle/plate, and I want to understand their components, minerals, oxides etc. I know that more often than not, you cannot predict exactly what will happen with a glaze in the kiln, but it’s good to have a foundation of knowledge to at least guide your choices.

20160615_133429.jpg

Lots of posts today! But I think that’s brought me up to speed. I have a few projects in mind so once I am started with them and have something more to post, I will.

PGx

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s