Clay at home
Making pottery is a fantastic and fun thing to do! Why not buy some clay from us and take it home to use? The price includes firing in our kiln. We have put a series of instructional videos on YouTube and we have tools for hire if you need them. We have prepared everything you need so that you can make something amazing.
Making pottery at home is a lovely activity that can be enjoyed by adults and children of any skill level. Share the clay or have it all for yourself—but whatever you do, enjoy it!
There are two stages to making ceramics at home
Stage One: Make some great things out of clay and then bring it back to the pottery after it has been drying for two weeks. We will do the first firing in the kiln. Click here for our YouTube video about using clay at home.
Stage Two: After the first firing the clay is ready to paint with glaze. Follow our instructions and then bring your pieces back for their final firing. Ready to collect in a week’s time! Click here for our YouTube video about glazing at home.
NB There’s no pressure to continue on to stage two after the first firing—you could leave your creation white or decorate it with whatever you have at home. But if you want the full effect you’ll need proper ceramic glaze.
Stage One: Clay at home £10
Take a ball of clay home for £10—the price includes firing in our kiln. This picture will give you an idea of how much you could make with the clay we’ll give you, but you can make anything you like!
Tools for using clay at home
We have tools to hire for use at home but before you decide whether you need them, watch the instructional videos on our YouTube channel. You will find that your kitchen cupboards and toy boxes will probably provide all the tools you need!
The minimum tools required to make pottery at home are…
A board to roll clay on— clay will stick to tables and messy mats so you will need to roll on fabric—something like a pillow case will work well. It’s important that the fabric is not fluffy as you don’t want bits to stick to the clay. The fabric needs to be taut and flat (like an ironing board) so you don’t roll creases into your clay. Although an ironing board would work perfectly, we’re not recommending it as you’ll never be able to iron again!
A rolling pin—a wooden roller is best. If you are using a rolling pin from your kitchen its very important that it’s clean. You may not discover that the clay has been contaminated until something dramatic happens in the kiln! Vice versa clay is really not a recipe ingredient.
A box to store clay in to stop it drying out—with damp cotton wool. Our YouTube video explains it best.
A knife and a brush—the kind of blade on a dinner knife, not too sharp or serrated is best for cutting wet clay. A paint brush, not too soft, will be good for putting a little water onto pieces of clay that you are joining together.
You will also find that any of these will come in handy:
Paper plate and bowls (or small bowls with paper towels)
Cookie cutters—make sure your smallest finger fits in the cutter so you can push the clay out without stretching it.
Something clean and flat to put your finished articles on while they dry
Follow these links for advice about storing clay and rolling clay.
Tool kits for hire
1. Basic kit
Wet box (for storing clay)
Board for rolling clay on
Wooden rolling pin
Knife and Brush
Plus free gifts (non returnable!)..
6 paper bowls, 2 paper plates, 2 .cocktail sticks
Per one day hire £2
Per one week hire £7
2. Accessory kit
Pottery Rib (for smoothing)
2 circle cutters (13cm and 11cm)
2 heart cutters
1 star cutter
Per one day hire £2
Per one week hire £7
3. Extra Accessory kit
Fine patterned roller
5 assorted shape (cookie) cutters
2 circle cutters (8cm and 6.5cm)
Per one day hire £2
Per one week hire £7
After the clay has had its first firing it will be white and much stronger. At this point you could just leave it, or paint it with your own paints at home. However, you may decide to move on to Stage Two.
Stage Two: Glaze at home £14
The price includes the cost of the second (glaze) firing in the kiln.
Our minimum charge is £14 and gets you 3 little pots of glaze. This should be enough to paint all that you have made. If you wish you had a bigger variety of colours you can swap one of your pots for two half size pots
Additional pots cost £4.
We offer two glazing options— don’t use them on the same piece because they fire at different temperatures…
1. Low fire glaze
There are lots of colours available. You can mix them if you want to. They’re called “low fire” but we melt them at more than 1000°C so don’t worry your piece will be properly glazed with these glazes. Click here for our YouTube video about low fire glazes.
2. High fire glaze
There are lots of choices for these more traditional glazes—examples are on our youtube channel. You can’t mix these glazes but you can paint them in layers. Click here and here for our YouTube videos about high fire glazes.
Scroll down for details and tips.
1. Low fire glazes
We use Amaco’s Teacher’s Palette glaze. These low fire glazes are the easiest way to glaze at home as Teacher’s Palette glazes work very like other paints. You can even mix them to make new colours.
Paint three coats—allow each coat to dry before the next one goes on. Lumps and bumps of glaze don’t work well—try to paint even and thin layers.
Don’t paint underneath your object. If any glaze touches the kiln shelf it will melt and as it cools it will set and your piece will be stuck FOREVER!
You can take a white glaze home but it’s probably only necessary if you want to mix with other colours. If you’d like a part of your piece to be white you can leave it unpainted and we will add a shiny transparent glaze to that part before firing—but make sure you tell us as it’s too late once it’s in the kiln. Other than spaces that you want to remain white for us to make shiny, don’t leave any other bits unpainted (except the bottom of course!) - unless it’s part of your design—random bits of unglazed pottery on ceramics don’t look good.
2. High fire glazes
We use Amaco’s Potter’s Choice glazes. These are more traditional in their look than the low fire glazes and there are more things to consider than with the Teacher’s Palette glazes. Nevertheless, with a bit of thought you can get great results. There are lots of options—examples are on our youtube channel. It’s important not to mix these glazes—but you can paint them in layers for interesting results.
Some of our glazes “break” over texture and some even look like you painted two colours when you only painted one! Watch our YouTube video to make your choice.
Paint three coats—allow each coat to dry before the next one goes on. Some colours work well in layers but others look terrible! The Amaco website has examples (but be careful as we don’t have all of the hundreds of glazes they make). We have a video on our website showing our favourite layering.
Lumps and bumps of glaze don’t work well—try to paint even and thin layers.
Don’t paint underneath your object. If any glaze touches the kiln shelf it will melt and as it cools it will set and your piece will be stuck FOREVER! Remember that glaze can run and if a run sticks to the shelf your pottery will be destroyed.
Make sure you don’t leave any unpainted gaps.
DO NOT MIX LOW AND HIGH FIRE GLAZES ON THE SAME PIECE
- they fire at different temperatures
DO NOT ADD ANY HOME PAINTS TO GLAZE. It will go horribly wrong in the kiln.
Paying for Clay at Home
There are several ways to pay:
* Phone us on 01360 770106 to pay by card.
* Post a cheque or put an envelope with cash through our letterbox. It is essential you include your name and the date of the class so we know who paid.
* Pay directly into our bank account,
please use your name as a reference so we can identify your payment:
sort code 826932
account no 50105403
How much can you make with one clay kit?
The pictures below are close-ups of everything we made with one clay pack. You can see that there's plenty of clay in one kit whether you want to share or have it all to yourself!