Your Guide to Pottery for Beginners

People have practiced the art of pottery since the beginning of time. It helped define several ancient civilizations to us. Great examples of such are the civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Egypt.

These ancient artists pictured their daily lives and events on their pottery works. As a result, we were able to understand their habits.

Nowadays, it’s one of the most popular and appreciated of decorative arts. More and more people are adding it to their bucket lists.

This article will be your guide to pottery for beginners. We’ll recommend several products you might need, along with some much-needed tips.

The 6 Best Pottery Items for Beginners

As a beginner, you might find it challenging to start practicing making pottery. If you look up all the pottery tools and equipment out there, you might get a bit confused.

Hopefully, we’re here to give you a head-start on what’s best to buy.

1. Low Fire Pottery Clay

The first product that comes to mind is the clay you should use to start your work. There are many clay types out there. But they can simply be divided into earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain.

The type we recommend to beginners is earthenware, because it’s the least expensive. Also, it’s a low-fire clay, which means it requires less temperature and energy than the previous two.

Air drying is another option you can consider instead of firing. Yet, you should be careful that the results of air drying this type of clay should be used for decoration only. You shouldn’t depend on their durability.

Also, pottery made from this clay can’t be put in the microwave or a dishwasher.


  • Easy to use
  • Good for throwing method
  • Suitable sculpting choice
  • Perfect choice for beginners and professionals alike
  • Requires low fire
  • Safe for kids
  • Affordable price


  • You can’t put the pottery in the dishwasher or microwave

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2. Yaekoo Pottery Wheel

The second item you could consider buying is this pottery wheel. This wheel is a turntable that you can rotate it by hand.

Don’t confuse it with the electric pottery wheel, which is next on our list.

This wheel is great for a beginner who wishes to start small. You might not want to get the electric wheel until you’ve become more experienced at pottery.

Using a pottery wheel is essential when throwing clay. So, you’ll find this product fit for that reason. With its heavy cast metal surface and body, it can take up to 40 lbs of clay.

Also, its base is equipped with a non-skid rubber boot. This will allow you to rotate it without worry that it might slip. This will also keep you from drilling holes underneath it to make it more stable.

Another nice feature is that it’s the right height for you to rotate it with ease and comfort.


  • Easy to rotate
  • Comfortable height and steady base
  • Made of durable and high-quality metal
  • Can be easily carried
  • No noise when rotating


  • You can’t remove the top part for cleaning

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3. SKYTOU Electric Pottery Wheel

Our second recommendation for a pottery wheel is this impressive electric wheel.

This product is great for beginners. It’s featured with a foot pedal and a handle. Also, it has a reliable motor with almost no noise while running. You can adjust the wheel rotation direction to run clockwise or counterclockwise.

Another nice feature is that the top can easily be removed for cleaning.

Also, it’s available in an elegant design. Besides, you’ll most likely admire the affordable price.


  • Steady wheel and solid structure
  • Speed adjustable by pedal or handle
  • Doesn’t take much space
  • Available in different colors
  • Guarantees comfort and flexibility
  • Affordable price


  • Some people might have issues with its height
  • Pedal and handle might be too close to use comfortably

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4.  JOYPEA’s Pottery Tools

Now, we get to business. Pottery tools are what you’ll mostly be working with, besides your hands. This tool kit should have your attention.

In this kit, you’ll find 42 handy tools to help you shape your pottery. Also, it comes with a one-size waterproof apron to protect your clothes while you work.

Each tool is manufactured with care and precision for its required function. In addition to that, each tool is made of the right materials to give the desired effect on clay. Materials include metal, wood, silicone, and rubber.


  • High-quality tools
  • Wide range of shapes and uses
  • Available with a waterproof apron
  • Affordable price
  • Materials are suitable with function


  • Tools are a little delicate and may easily break

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5. Arteza Pottery Tools

Another alternative you might want to try is this practical pottery tool kit. We like that the tools come with durable stainless tips, and high-quality wooden handles.

As a beginner, you probably won’t need all 42 tools. You’ll find all the basic tools that you’ll need, and as you get the hang of it, you’ll start using more of them.

The tool kit comes at an affordable price considering the number of tools included. If you’d like a more affordable option, the Arteza Pottery Toolset also comes in a set of 22 tools.


  • Durable tips
  • Comfortable wooden handles
  • Easy to clean
  • Great for beginners
  • Good value for money


  • No instructions manual featured
  • No apron

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6. Delphi Ez Pro Kiln

Kilns are a must to provide the right space and temperature to fire pottery.

However, buying it isn’t necessary for a beginner because it’s on the expensive end. You could practice using it in places like studios or art centers that are well-equipped with kilns.

Yet, if you’re willing to buy a kiln to use at home, then this is your shot.

Delphi’s kiln is a good example of high-quality and function. To make matters easier, it’s equipped with 22 different programs. Simply, choose the suitable firing program and let it do the work.

Also, if you have multiple talents, this kiln should have your back. You can use it to make jewelry and simple glass products.


  • Easy to set up and use
  • Multiple pre-set firing programs
  • Customizable options
  • Runs in standard household current


  • Might be a pricey choice for a beginner
  • Requires separate space to be installed, like a garage

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Why Pottery is an Awesome Hobby

Each hobby has its own uniqueness and distinct features. Usually, these features have an impact on people’s interests. Pottery isn’t any different.

We’ve taken the liberty to list out a few reasons why you should start making pottery.

Fun and Entertaining

If you start making pottery, you’ll find the whole process fun and satisfying. The mere act of producing something with your own hands might have positive effects on your mood.

Relaxing Experience

After a long day of work, you might want to retreat to your studio and work on a piece for hours. The effects of working with clay can be calming.

Several studies have related it with health benefits.

Good to Your Wallet

Buying pottery supplies and items might not cost you as other types of art. Also, you might find a liking to this hobby that you make a living out of it.

Boosts Your Creativity

Experimenting with clay and using different pottery techniques could improve your sense of creativity. That’s because you get to work with your hands and try various shapes and patterns.

Also, working with textures and patterns enriches your sense of art.

Pottery Techniques You Could Try

The most well-known pottery technique is probably using the wheel. But have you wondered about the other techniques that artists have used?

In the following list, we’ll give you an insight into these pottery methods.


This technique is the most basic way to make pottery. Simply put, this method means using your hands to shape whatever you have in mind. You don’t use the wheel in this method.

However primitive it might look, it’s a complex method to make pottery. Because in hand-building, it might be difficult to control the clay between your hands.

Also, you wouldn’t get the smooth finish that you get after using the wheel. Despite all, it’s a method worth trying.


Another technique that potters often use is pinching. In fact, it’s about the first technique that’s taught to beginners.

This method teaches beginners how to get familiar with clay. Also, it helps them know how to build a connection between their hands and the clay texture.

Wheel Throwing

You can finally use the potter’s wheel in this technique. Throwing clay on a wheel means shaping clay from the moment you center it on the wheel until you’re done.

Of course, most potters prefer this method because it’s easy. Another thing you might admire about this method is that it gives you control over the clay. Also, it produces even walls for your pottery, along with smoother edges.

Pottery Tips for Beginners

As a beginner, you could use some extra help on your adventure. Here are some of them.

Find a Suitable Place

To work better with clay, there are a few features that define the perfect space. Whether it’s inside your home, or an art studio, make sure this place has the following features.

  • Easy-to-clean floors
  • Access to a water source
  • A stable and easy-to-clean work surface
  • Shelves for drying pots
  • Storage cabinets

Buy the Right Clay and Glaze

As previously mentioned, there are different types of clay. If you want to start experimenting with more types, you should know more about heat work in pottery.

Glaze is the same. It has many types to match the clay you’re using, and needs the right firing temperature.

Get the Basic Tools

Aside from supplies, there are some items that will make your work easier. Check out our article on the best tools for beginners.

  • Towels and an apron
  • Sponges for cleaning and carrying water to your clay
  • A water bucket

Pro tip: Make sure you have a piece of sturdy canvas to work on. This keeps the clay from sticking to your work surface.

Be Careful of Shrinkage

When your pots dry out, you’ll notice they’ve shrunk a bit. This is due to the fiber of the clay getting tighter when it dries.

However, with experience, you’ll manage to get the right size.


What are pyrometric cones?

Pyrometric cones are cones of clay material designed to melt after they have gone through a certain amount of heat work. When working with these cones, you use numbers that define certain temperatures.

For instance, the lowest temperature is referred to by the cone number 022, while the highest is 10.

What is high-fire pottery?

This term describes pottery made of clay that should be fired in a kiln between cone 6 and cone 10.

This type of pottery is more durable than low-fire pottery, therefore, it’s used in dinnerware.

What is low-fire pottery?

Low-fire pottery is fired in a kiln between cone 05 and cone 2.

This type is more porous and less durable than high-fire pottery. As a result, it can’t be used with dinnerware.

However, it has many plus sides, like being inexpensive and easier to fire.

Can you make pottery in a household oven?

The highest oven temperature isn’t enough for pottery making. It can’t be a substitute to a firing kiln.

Can you fire your pottery without a kiln?

Yes, you can. Many people fire their pottery in a pit kiln. Pit kilns are fairly easy to set up.

Can you make a living as a potter?

You can make a living out of anything if you’re dedicated and determined enough. Also, the ability to manage your finances and resources will help you make more money as a potter.

Is pottery clay eco-friendly?

Yes. Pottery clay comes from the earth, and can be recycled.

This is also a great reason to kick-start your dream as a potter.

Wrap Up

Pottery is a favorite hobby of many people who practice it for different reasons. Many find it therapeutic. Others find satisfaction in creating art with their bare hands.

Whatever the case, you’ll probably love pottery, too. Who knows, you might become a famous pottery artist!

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