Five tips to ease you into potting

Potting is one of the oldest crafts in existence, and unfortunately it gets an equally archaic wrap at times. Sam Gordon, professional potter and director of Robert Gordon Australia, has the tips to get you started at home.

1. Join the club

The potting community is one of the warmest and most welcoming communities on the planet. It’s always a good idea to join a club and get the support and enthusiasm you need to hone your craft.

2. Find a good strong clay body

Find a good local clay body and make sure it’s up to scratch by asking other local potters. You’ll need to rely on other friendly, more experienced, potters to help you with information specific to the clay body, such as what firing temperature to use.

3. Start with simple forms

When you start out making pottery, keep it simple. Instead of jumping straight on the pottery wheel, make pottery forms using basic processes. For example, roll out a 6mm flat slab with a rolling pin and simply cut it into shapes. This is an effective way of making functional items such as platters and small plates.

4. Beware the potter’s wheel

Mastering the potters wheel can take a long time. When starting out, it’s better to use simple processes (as above) and become familiar with other shaping techniques. You can produce some great pottery using the coil, pinch or slab techniques.

5. Learn, learn, learn!

Potting is one of the oldest crafts and even though our family has been producing pottery for three generations, we’re still discovering new ways and techniques all the time. Keep your eyes peeled for new techniques, soak up everything your friends and fellow potters have to tell you, and experiment with your own ways of doing things.

Read more about Sam Gordon and his family’s potting business.

Potting with Sam Gordon

Have you tried your hand at potting? Tell us in the comments below your simple techniques for mastering the craft…

Photos from Robert Gordon Australia

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