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What You Need To Get Started In Pottery Or Ceramics

You can spend a lot of money getting started with any hobby only to find you don't really like it, but here are the bare necessities to start your pottery or ceramic hobby.
You don't have to buy expensive supplies, I buy most of my supplies at Walmart and in the summer I go around to garage sales and you will be surprised at what you can find there!

Brushes


Select a good assortment of brushes for different projects.
Start with:
3/0 detail
No. 2
No. 6 and No. 8 flat
No. 3 pointed round
No. 5 round.
Try a variety of synthetic and natural bristles, this is really a matter of personal preference.

Brush Tips And Warnings

Brushes come in round bristle and flat bristle styles as well as stipplers, fans, shaders, filberts and other styles. They are sized by number; the lower the number, the smaller the brush tip. A No. 1 is 3/32 inch around, whereas a No. 14 is 3/16 inch.
Brush handles are either hardwood or acrylic. Hardwood ones are dipped in primer, lacquer and varnish, then stamped with the name of the manufacturer, the series and the size.
Ferrules - the part that holds the bristles to the handle - are usually metal, and the better ones are seamless and have a double crimp to hold them in place.
Bristles come in many forms. There are some very good synthetic bristles available, including taklon and nylon. Natural bristles are from animal sources such as hog, squirrel, weasel and ox. Avoid camel hair brushes as they don't hold acrylic paint very well.
Gently work the stiff bristles with your fingers under warm running water to remove the sizing that manufacturers put in to protect their shape.

Paints

Select acrylic paints for painting ceramics.
They are the easiest to use because they offer good coverage, dry quickly and clean up with soap and water.
Purchase 2 oz. bottles, the standard size.
Although some colors are available in 8 oz. bottles, those big bottles are cumbersome.
Choose the truest shades you can find:
Ceramcoat's Opaque Red is more red than Cinnamon, for instance.
You'll find that each company makes several shades of each color.
Begin with black, red, blue, yellow, green, silver, gold, fleshtone and white.
With these, you can mix just about any shade you'll need.

Keep an eye out for sales, you can get some excellent and frequent deals on discontinued paint colors.

Tools

Get the absolute necessities:
Get a double ended cleaning tool for scraping seams from greenware.
It has a triangular blade at one end and a curved scoop blade at the other.
Use a stylus for putting details back into a piece of greenware that has been cleaned. It's pointed with a small ball on the very tip to prevent flaking.
These come in single or double-ended styles.
Get a very small stylus for fine detail and a larger one for larger detail.
Purchase a spoolie, also a double-ended tool, for cleaning small, delicate areas.
Use a mascara wand, which will do in a pinch but won't last very long, instead of a spoolie.

Tool Tips And Warnings

Wipe your tools off after each use to keep them from getting clay built up on them.
Store them with your paintbrushes so that you can find them easily.
Sharpen the tools on a whet stone, do not use electric grinder, it will take the temper out of them.

Miscellaneous

Choose a water basin for rinsing your brushes.
This can be anything from a fancy special made brush rinsing station with ridges at the bottom to a recycled plastic butter tub.
Keep a roll of paper towels handy in your craft kit.
Drips have a way of happening when you're least prepared, and acrylic paints dry very quickly.
Use a newspaper under your project when you clean or paint.
It helps with drips, gives you a handy place to wipe extra paint from your brushes and makes cleanup a breeze.
Get a natural or synthetic sponge, a must for smoothing rough edges when damp.
It is best to get the small, round type for easy handling.
Buy a clear glaze, which will be handy in many situations, especially if the objects you make will be used for holding water.
Always have one paintbrush for applying glaze that is never used with acrylic paints.
Paint will burn off if fired.
Select finishing sprays to go over the entire piece when it's done to protect the paint and give it a smooth finish.

Miscellaneous Tips And Warnings

Porcelain Mist spray will give a finished piece a porcelain like appearance.
Choose a quick drying type of matte spray, which will give your work a satin like finish.
Gloss spray leaves a clear, shiny glaze looking coat on the piece.
Dip your glaze paintbrush handle tip in red paint to identify it easily.

The only doors that matter are those we open today.



Tips - Definitions - Clay Projects - Pottery Gallery - Pottery Tools - Glazes - All About Clay

Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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