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Making Pottery and Ceramics
Written by Catherine Davis   

Making pottery, or clay based ceramics, is a practical, constructive craft which is used to produce decorative and/or domestic ware.

Clay is shaped by hand working or 'hand building', or by 'throwing' on a potters wheel. It is then fired in a kiln to harden and set.

In the throwing method, a ball of clay is moulded into a hollow shape on a rotating turntable. The item may then be finished off with hand working techniques to add features such as handles and lids.

Hand building employs special tools for rolling, cutting and sculpting the clay from coils, slabs, balls or a combination of all three.   While some potters are inspired by the wheel, others find modelling clay by this process gives greater artistic freedom, allowing more time for the creation of individual pieces.

As well as the above skills, pottery classes and workshops will teach you about decorating, glazing and possibly Raku, a traditional Japanese technique of glaze firing which is linked to the tea ceremony.

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