Arts & Crafts

A New Niche for Clay Artists

A wealth of new pottery shops have sprung up recently, and people who are seeking a hobby to help relax from the modern world are discovering the benefits of pottery making. Professional instruction is often available at these shops for those who want to learn as much as possible, and this has created a growing need for those who can teach advanced techniques. Many hobbyists begin with simply pottery, but there are those who want to graduate to creating their own china or porcelain pieces.

Few people would associate English fine bone china sets with pottery, but many of the principles and basic materials are the same. Each piece is created from clay, but the clay used for fine bone china pieces must contain additional kaolin as well as bone ash. This type of clay material was not widely available in previous years, but modern communications and transportation methods have opened up new markets all over the world. Hobbyists can now experiment with these materials and make their own china pieces.

For those who prefer to create porcelain pieces, there are several options available. Adding water to a clay mixture high in kaolin produces slurry that can be poured into molds to create porcelain pieces. This is a method that has been used to manufacture quantities of porcelain that are all the same, but modern pottery hobbyists generally want to hand craft their pieces. As long as there is enough kaolin in the clay used, it can be fired at the higher kiln temperatures necessary to create a fine porcelain piece.

Modern glazes have become an additional treat for those who love working with clay, and the choices are nearly endless. Creating china or porcelain pieces of exceptional beauty are now possible for those who have been studying the craft for only a short time.