Becoming A Clay Artist

Clay Pottery

Perfect Craft Skills

The making of pottery requires mastering skills such as throwing clay pieces on a wheel. Repetition is one of the best ways to refine a manual skill. By making the same pieces over and over again, an artist has a chance to hone their skills to a fine pitch. Repeating the same pieces also allows the artist learning their craft to spot mistakes and correct errors. This is best done during the learning process. If skills are not up to par in the beginning, corrections will help before advanced techniques are used.

Throwing a complete set of bowls on a wheel is an excellent way to refine pottery skills. The task of making each bowl the same as the last gives an artist the chance to judge size and shape. Clay is a forgiving substance and can be re-molded until it has dried. By taking the time to make a perfect set of bowls, the student will learn how to use their skills properly. Practice makes perfect, and clay is one of the best mediums in which to learn this lesson.

After a perfect set of clay bowls has been achieved, the artist must next concentrate on decoration. Learning to stain each piece in a pattern on all of the bowls will refine the skill of decoration. This may seem time-consuming and boring. It is merely one more exercise for the artist to learn their craft skills. Once this skill has been mastered, the artist will know they can create any set of designs they wish.

The last step in learning basic pottery skills comes with understanding kiln firing. Each pottery piece must be fired at least once. If stain and glaze are added to a piece, it must be fired a second time. There is always the danger that a pottery piece will crack or explode when it is fired. Learning to recognize how these hazards occur and avoiding them is important. New artists will learn how to avoid these mishaps quickly as it means they will lose a piece each time it occurs.