There are many different pottery project ideas that you can explore while you learn how to use a potter’s wheel and kiln. All of the pottery ideas discussed below will require some basic supplies. These include a potter’s wheel, a kiln or access to one, basic hand tools, access to water, and a worktable. Basic hand tools include sponges, ribbon tools, wooden ribs, a cutting wire, and a heavy gauge needle.
For beginners, the best pottery project ideas are the ones that you can complete without much experience. Try out a simple candy dish. This will require you to center the clay on the wheel. Once you have accomplished that, you will open it. This project does not require you to draw the walls up, making it great for someone getting started with pottery.
When you are done, you can use your needle to add a dramatic jagged edge to the top. After the candy dish is leather hard, you can use ribbon tools to refine its shape. Other pottery ideas that rif on this one include using your new dish to hold your keys or spare change. Glaze your new candy dish or spare change container to match the room that you plan to put it in. Remember, pottery is functional art. This means that not only should your finished work be useful, but it also should be attractive.
Once you have begun to successfully draw up the walls of your clay pottery vessels, you can try slightly more advanced pottery project ideas. Try to make a bud vase by carefully forcing the clay back in toward the top of your clay vessel. Use your hands on the outside of the vase to carefully force the clay inwards. Like all pottery ideas, this one involves a lot of patience, so go slow!
Pottery Project Ideas
Dinner and Dessert Plates
One of the most popular pottery project ideas is to experiment with making plates. Try to make a set of plates that are the same size. Make sure your glaze is safe for eating, and you can use your new plates to serve dessert or dinner. Dessert plates are likely the best choice for your first project, since they are smaller than dinner plates, and therefore are easier to make.
To make a plate, once the clay is centered on the pottery wheel, press down on it. Use your hands to draw the clay outwards, but not upwards. Carefully support the lip of the plate. Similar pottery ideas include making saucers to go with mugs (see below).
Mugs are among the best pottery ideas because they are easy to make and are incredibly functional. You will make the body of the mug on the potter’s wheel the same way that you would make any clay pot. Remember, the goal is to make a mug, so do not make you clay vessel too tall or too wide. When you are satisfied with it, turn off the wheel.
Let the clay dry partially if it is particularly wet. Use a blow-dryer to speed this process if you are impatient. While you are waiting, create a handle out of clay. Score the parts of the handle and the mug’s body that will be touching and coat them with slip. Then attach them carefully and let the whole mug dry until it is leather hard. After your mug hardens, take the time to create a foot on the bottom by using a ribbon tool to remove excess clay. This professional finish is easy to achieve.
If you enjoyed the process of crafting your new pottery mug, there are many other pottery project ideas that will allow you to transform simple clay vessels into exciting pieces of functional artwork. Use the same process of sculpting adornments for your clay vessel and attaching them by score and slip method to create elaborate vases and decorative bowls.
Try your hand at decorative plates that feature elaborate sculpted scenes. It will be easier to accomplish this if you sketch out your plan on paper before beginning to work it in clay. When clay is worked for too long it can dry out, so before you start to work, decide on what pottery ideas you will be making.
Related YouTube Videos
Check out the following videos to learn even more about starting this hobby.