14 Year-old Interested in Pottery

Question:

I have a 14 year old granddaughter that expressed interest in pottery. I have been unable to locate classes locally, which I thought might be a good introduction for her to see if she would like to pursue the art further.

I am unable to invest a large sum, but would like to encourage her a little bit in her interest. Do you have any suggestions for a Christmas gift along those lines?

Answer:

That's so exciting that your granddaughter is interested in trying pottery. You are not alone in your search for a good pottery introduction.

That's why I started this site.

Here are a couple of ideas to get her started depending on how much you can spend.

Obviously if you have hundreds of dollars, you could pay for lessons, or even buy a used kiln and wheel to play with.

On the other hand, with $20-$50 and a little creativity, you can have a lot of fun and get a great introduction to pottery.

First, you need some clay. If you can find a pottery shop within driving distance, they'll probably sell you 25 lbs of clay for under $20.

Many of them will even fire your pots for a $1-$3 each, which is a great way to get started.

If you can't find a pottery shop, you can have clay shipped from a supplier. It's a little more expensive for the shipping, but still not bad.

The only problem is that you would need to leave the clay unfired and just paint it with regular acrylic paints, or you would need to buy clay that you can cook at low temperatures in your kitchen oven, such as polymer clay. This is available at lots of local craft stores.

I would recommend starting with hand building projects first if you don't have access to a wheel. Hand building is really fun, requires very few tools (a sponge and a clay cutting wire cost about $2 each), and your creativity is the limit.

You can make cool beads, boxes, bowls or sculptures.

For some simple hand building projects, like really cool coasters, check out the beginning projects link and click on the picture of the coaster.

If she decides she loves pottery, then she can get into a class at school, or find an inexpensive used wheel. Then just follow the pottery wheel throwing lessons on this site.

I hope that helps, and happy potting,

Steve



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Nov 28, 2010
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Thank you
by: Anonymous

Steve, you are so helpful. Thank you for the good ideas, and direction. I'll work on following up on those.
Very grateful.
Diane

Nov 28, 2010
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by: Anonymous


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