Pottery making is a fun but sometimes frustrating hobby. You never know exactly what your results will be when you open that kiln door! Here are my tips to make pottery making that little bit more rewarding......
1. Keep records of everything you do-that way you learn quickly and can repeat your successes and avoid your failures.
2. Label your buckets not your lids- don't learn the hard way that you have just glazed your speciality piece in the wrong glaze!
3. Buy a kiln with a modern controller. Modern controllers are now relatively inexpensive and give you such freedom to control the firing in a way that best suits your product.
4. Keep drying of your product consistent. Drying too quickly is one the most common causes of glaze or clay faults.
5. Learn something about the materials you use. Armed with a little knowledge you can save so much time.e.g. Does glaze go off? What happens to my clay if it freezes?
6. Keep your clay in good condition by covering it with plastic when not in use. That way it retains its plastic condition.
7. Plaster moulds need to be replaced after 40-50 casts. It is false economy in slip casting to continue to use old moulds. These may give inconsistent thickness, pinholed ware and much more besides!
8. Use Orton cones or Bullers rings in your kiln. That way you know your kiln is performing OK and you can spot potential problems such as element failure before they become disastrous.
9. Give some pieces to your loved ones or to charity. The feel good factor will keep you motivated.
10. Continue to share your passion with others. Go to pottery classes and learn something new or join an online pottery group.
Alternatively why not test your pottery knowledge with my quick pottery quiz
More information and other technical articles on pottery and ceramics can be found at my website www.pottersfriend.co.uk
Go now to sign up for my free newsletter.