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What is it?

  • Pottery involves the creation of items from clay, through a process of shaping, decorating and firing;  the latter requires the item to be put into a special oven to harden the clay and decorative finishes, so as to make them durable and usable.  

  • The items may be plates, vases, jugs and other hollow vessels or pots, or statues and ornamental items of different kinds.  

  • The shaping process may take place using a special revolving surface (the potter's wheel) designed to help produce an even shape, or by manipulation using the hand and other tools.   

  • Much of the preparation can be done at home, though the firing requires access to a special oven.  The only competitive activities are through acquiring qualifications and/or exhibiting your works.

Find out more


Craft Potters' Association of Great Britain  0207 437 7605
Pottery Summer School  www.dougcamel.clara.net/



We have not managed to identify any magazines dealing specially with the craft of pottery.  The following general craft magazines may be of help.

Popular Crafts 
Practical Craft

Getting started

  • Find a local pottery group or club (see organisations above).

  • Take a class or course at your local adult education centre.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of pottery.

  • Check in your local library/paper or education centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • It is easy to start doing pottery though there are many skills that you can learn if you so wish.  People of all ages and both sexes can take part. 

  • You can do pottery completely on your own, with much of the preparation and decoration at home.  The firing can even be done at home, if you can either afford or make a special oven, or use polymer clays which can be fired in an ordinary domestic oven.  

  • But many people choose to join a pottery group or class, which gives them stimulus, a chance to learn, and social contact, as well as access to a wider range of materials and equipment.  

  • You can do pottery with people of any age and either sex and all levels of ability.   

Equipment or clothing
  • A supply of clay, basic shaping tools, and decorative material (colours etc) are the key requirements, together with access to a firing oven.   

  • A potter's wheel is not an essential though it is desirable for making certain types of pots.  

  • This equipment may be provided at the group or class to which you go.

A place or facilities
  • A special place is not necessary to do pottery.  The only essential is enough space in which to work and keep the materials and equipment, plus access to a firing oven as required.  

  • Serious potters and groups may have a special studio for this purpose and have their own ovens.

Have a go - get started now


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