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Frequently Asked Questions

What is pottery?

Pottery refers to the process of creating objects, usually functional or decorative, from clay that is shaped and then fired in a kiln. It is one of the oldest forms of art and craftsmanship dating back thousands of years.

Do you offer pottery classes near me?

Our pottery classes take place at our studio in Portsmouth, but we’re a short journey from other locations in Hampshire and Surrey, so we’ve had people coming to our sessions from Southampton, Winchester, Fareham, Petersfield, Chichester and even Guildford.

What types of pottery exist?

There are various types of pottery, including earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Earthenware is the most common and is known for its porous nature. Stoneware is denser and more durable, while porcelain is known for its translucent and delicate appearance.

What is the difference between wheel-throwing and hand-building?

Wheel-throwing is a technique where the potter uses a pottery wheel to shape the clay. Hand-building, on the other hand, involves creating forms by hand using techniques like coiling, pinching, or slab-building.

How is pottery made?

Pottery is made through a series of steps. First, the clay is wedged to remove air bubbles and achieve uniform consistency. Then, it is shaped by hand or using a pottery wheel. Once the desired shape is achieved, the piece is dried to remove excess moisture. Finally, the pottery is fired in a kiln to harden the clay and make it permanent.

What tools are used in pottery?

Several tools are used in pottery, such as a pottery wheel for shaping, a kiln for firing, various types of clay sculpting tools for carving and shaping clay, and a range of brushes and tools for glazing and decorating the finished piece.

What is glazing?

Glazing is the process of applying a thin layer of glass-like material onto the surface of the pottery. This layer gives pottery its glossy appearance and enhances its durability. Glazes can be clear or colored and are often applied before the final firing.

Can I make pottery at home?

Absolutely! Pottery can be made at home with the necessary tools and equipment. Many pottery enthusiasts have home studios where they create their pieces. However, it's essential to have a designated space, access to a kiln for firing, and the proper knowledge for working with clay and glazes.

How do I care for my pottery pieces?

Pottery should be handled with care to avoid chipping or breaking. It is best to handwash pottery rather than using a dishwasher. Avoid sudden temperature changes, as extreme heat or cold can cause pottery to crack.

How long does it take to make pottery?

The time required to make pottery varies depending on the complexity of the piece and the artist's skill level. Creating a simple mug may take a few hours, while a more intricate sculpture could take several days or even weeks to complete, including drying and firing times.

Can pottery be used for food and drinks?

Yes, certain types of pottery, such as stoneware and porcelain, are commonly used for cooking and eating. However, it is important to ensure that the pottery used is food-safe and properly glazed.

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