Potters use a lot of terms that are specific to their craft. These can be very confusing or even intimidating to an admirer or potential buyer of pottery. I have devoted this section of my web site to explaining the most common of those terms and, in addition, to explaining a bit about our craft and the various sub-sections of it.
One thing I want to be clear about, however, is that professional potters and even advanced hobby potters have spent years learning the skills necessary to make quality pottery. This is a craft very unlike the paint-your-own stores you sometimes see in tourist locations. Those stores might let a child have some early success by painting a piece of preformed clay, but they in no way encompass the range of skills necessary to turn a lump of moist clay into a beautiful and functional object. A professional potter's skills necessarily include design and fabrication skills, glazing skills, and firing skills. Within each of those areas there are many choices to be made and many sub-skills to be developed. After 35+ years I am still learning and I think every experienced potter will tell you the same thing. Pottery making is perhaps the most technically challenging of all the crafts. If you are interesting in becoming a potter you will find that we are a welcoming and sharing group of people; however please don't expect you will be selling your work at a street fair a year or two from now. Give it at least 5 years.
Now click on any of the subjects below or choose them from the drop down menu above to learn a little bit more about our craft:
Bisque ware Buying Tips Care of Pottery Clay Colorants Cones Earthenware Engobe Glaze Jiggering and Jolleying Kilns Lead in Glazes Leather-Hard Maiolica/Majolica Oxidation/Reduction Firing Porcelain Raku Salt and Soda Firing Sgraffito Slip Slip Casting Stoneware Terracotta