A list of Pottery lists from The Top 10 Reasons Zombies Don't Do Pottery to 10 Essential Pottery Supplies for Beginners. An expanding compilation of silly and useful stuff.
I love Top 10 lists. They're short. They're interesting. They have a theme. What better theme for a list of lists than my favorite subject of pottery?
You'll find something here for just about everyone. There's some really goofy, silly stuff, like the Zombie Pottery list. There's some very helpful, educational stuff, like the 10 Essential Pottery Supplies for Beginners, and there's even a list about the movie "Ghost".
10 - They can't get the clay out of their clothes
9 - Rotting body parts keep getting lost in the clay
8 - Everyone knows that good pottery comes from "Ghost" not zombies
7 - They have terrible design sensibilities
6 - It's hard to see the wheel with their hollow eyes
5 - They randomly smash the pots
4 - They're always putting people in the kiln
3 - They don't take criticism well at all
2 - Stiff, outstretched arms are a liability in a room full of pottery
1 - They keep eating the clay because they think it's "BRAAAINS!"
10 - Two words "Whoopie Goldberg"
9 - I can't believe Patrick Swayze knocked over that cool pot
8 - In the real world, clay on your hands makes a huge mess during the kissing scene
7 - One word "grog"
6 - One more reason for Demi Moore to make my heart ache
5 - Students blushing during throwing demos... awkward
4 - Seriously, who can compete with Patric Swayze?
3 - I just can't get that song "Unchained Melody" out of my head
2 - Throwing pottery in real life will never be that awesome
1 - That movie came out in 1990 and it's still "haunting" me
1) Clay - preferably a good plastic clay with little or no grog ($12 for 25 lbs. which is enough for about 15 bowls or mugs)
2) Pottery Wheel - sizes and power vary according to production needs (small portable wheels from $300-400, larger studio wheels from $400-$1200)
3) Set of Tools - rib, clay cutting wire, sponge, wooden clay knife, clay needle ($10 - $30 for a full set)
4) Kiln - electric kiln, size depends on production needs ($500-$5,000 plus, or you can pay someone $.50 to $5.00 to fire pieces for you, normally depending on pot size)
5) Glaze - set of 3-6 different glazes (small jars approx. $15, larger jugs approx. $60)
These are time estimates to become proficient in basic throwing techniques. You'll be making mushy, wobbly pots in just a few hours on the wheel. But this timeline is how long it takes to become confident and skilled in each technique.
If you follow this timeline you can become proficient in throwing pottery on the wheel in 24-60 hours, depending on how fast you learn (you know where you're at... I know I'm on the slow end).
That means that by practicing just 2 days per week for 2 hours at a time you could be making quality pottery in a couple of months.
1) Preparing Clay for Throwing
3) Opening the Form and Smoothing the Base
4) Pulling up the Walls
5) Shaping the Pot
6) Cutting the Rim (if necessary)
7) Cutting Excess of the Base of the Wall
8) Cutting the Pot Off the Wheel
9) Re-Centering Pot for Trimming on the Wheel
10) Trimming the Pot on the Wheel
I really like this kind of timeline. It gives you a range of time that it will take to learn each aspect of throwing pottery on the wheel. If you have an idea of how quick a learner you are, you can use this timeline to set goals and expectations for yourself.
These are my estimates based on teaching a lot of classes over the years. Of course, everyone learns at their own pace which is why there is such a wide range. But you can see that most people, if they dedicate the time to learning, can learn to make pottery in 24-60 hours, especially if they have some instruction, like the videos and step by step lessons on this website.
This may seem like a long time to someone new to pottery, but if you break it down into steps, each one becomes attainable. The time estimates assume you're actually working on the technique for that amount of time. But if you set a goal, and actually do it, you'll be amazed how quickly you will learn!