Mastering the Art of Pottery

Many people begin any hobby with the idea that they will relax as they create something special, and some of them find they excel at it. For those who choose to display their creativity with clay, they are often trying to achieve a perfectly shaped item that will stand multiple firings in the kiln. It matters little what their final goal is when they begin, the idea is to work until they have a piece that looks exactly like the vision in their mind. Every person who begins pottery will not necessarily master it, but a large part of this hobby is the fun of creation.

Levels of Creation
There are many different levels of pottery, and many hobbyists find the clay mixture that suits them best and make items to give as gifts or decorate their own home. They are not interested in making china or porcelain, so they need not be concerned the walls of their piece are too thick or thin. Their pots, dishes and mugs are designed to be heavier to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use.

Creating a Piece of China
Some potters will work at their craft until they have mastered the relatively simple levels of making pots, and they might choose to make a set of china for their own use or as a gift. There are many factors that go into making it, and the use of clay heavy in kaolin is one of the more important ones. This clay contains much smaller particles, so it is used to create pieces that have thinner walls. Delicacy in design and manufacture is the goal of the potter who uses it.

A Set of China
Creating an entire set of china takes a mastery of form and clay because each piece of the set must mesh with the rest of it. The forms for plates, cups and even platters are all expected to be the same shape and thickness. It takes a steady hand to create an entire set of dishes, and mastery through long practice is the key. A student that has come this far is able to create their own fine bone china that will be a keepsake for their family far into the future.

Decorating with a Pattern
When creating a set of china, a pottery must consider the form, thickness and fine details of their finished product. Their choice of a pattern to add at the end must take into account how all the pieces will look together, so they will need to be able to choose something that can be done without spoiling the overall effect. Not every potter capable of creating the clay pieces is able to decorate with ease, so they must keep their ego in check as they make their choices. Looking at patterns at an online site such as Roy Kirkham is a good way to see what they are facing in the final steps of their work.

Mastering pottery takes many different skills, and they can only be achieved through hard work and repetition. After a set is shaped and fired, decorating and glazing it before the final firing is a step that will make the china set one that will create a memorable keepsake for the recipient.