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I'm wanting to get into ceramics...

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Hello! I'm really interested in getting into ceramics but I don't know where to get started. I'm interested in mostly making dishware like bowls, mugs, plates, etc. and pots for plants. If you have any tips and or advice on what I should purchase to get started, I would love to hear it. 

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Liam's advice is spot on.  The best thing to do, for anything you might want to pick up for a hobby (Even more so if you want it to be a career) is to get some hands on experience.  If you find you hate it, then you spent a small amount of money, and a relatively small amount of time.  If you go out and buy everything you need, you are out a lot more time, and a whole lot more money.  

Ceramics isn't an expensive hobby, by any means.  The only component, you absolutely need (the clay) is literally "dirt cheap".  A basic set of tools won't run you much either.  But definitely figure out, how much you're going to like it, before purchasing a wheel and kiln (And the wiring for a kiln).  

Best of luck to you.  Clay is an exciting medium, though it's frighteningly addictive.  It should come with a warning label.

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15 hours ago, Benzine said:

Ceramics isn't an expensive hobby, by any means. 

Benzine, I tried and tried to just read your comment and move on!! But----no-can-do.  :o     I have found ceramics--and I am still at hobby level --to be quite expensive these days. I just found myself unable to order 50 lbs of a well-known common clay--nothing exotic--because they wanted $75 for the shipping.  I'm in an area where there are no convenient local suppliers.  Just one pint of commercial glaze runs roughly $14. I know that "expensive" is relative to other hobbies, and to personal income, but I want to offer a different perspective based on what I have been experiencing since I got back into it a few years ago.  It cost thousands of dollars to set up a functional home studio with the "basics" (including kiln/wheel/electrical/sink etc.), but even if I'd beat the bushes for really cheap used equipment, it still would have added up to thousands of dollars. To me, that ain't an "inexpensive hobby"!!   I'd also argue that unless you are paying for classes or going to a commercial studio where everything is available to use, or maybe just making pinch pots at home, for most serious work-including quality dishware- you really do need more than just some clay and some tools. I do agree that it is exciting and addictive. :D  

Edited by LeeU

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I have to agree with Lee that ceramics is an expensive hobby if you are making functional ware as you describe.  The clay isn't expensive, but everything else is- glazes, firing, classes, wheel if you use a wheel...

Fortunately, there is no need to incur great expense just to try it out. Depending where you live, an 8 week class at a community center might cost under $200, including clay, glazes, and firing. Lessons at a private studio run more, at least where I live.

I don't have my own kiln as I cannot nearly afford what I would have to do with my house to accommodate one.  I don't do a lot of volume, so it works okay to run my things down to a kiln where I pay a firing fee. If I did a lot of volume, paying those fees would really add up.

 

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@LeeU and @Gabby my comments about ceramics, being a relatively cheap hobby, stand true, in regards to starting out, and just trying it.  That's why I stated, that a person would definitely want to figure out, whether or not they like it, before committing the big money, to a wheel, kiln, etc.  That is also, why I agreed with Liam's advice, where he said to take some community classes.  

 

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5 hours ago, Benzine said:

a relatively cheap hobby

Well, yeah, until you get hooked, and it is still a hobby, but once you are hooked, and then it is no longer an inexpensive hobby, because, you are HOOKED!!! :rolleyes: Hmmmm...didn't someone say " frighteningly addictive"? As in hooked!! And every self-respecting addict worth his/her salt knows that once you are hooked, there is nothing inexpensive about it. Just sayin'   :lol::lol:

 

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4 minutes ago, LeeU said:

Well, yeah, until you get hooked, and it is still a hobby, but once you are hooked, and then it is no longer an inexpensive hobby, because, you are HOOKED!!! :rolleyes: Hmmmm...didn't someone say " frighteningly addictive"? As in hooked!! And every self-respecting addict worth his/her salt knows that once you are hooked, there is nothing inexpensive about it. Just sayin'   :lol::lol:

 

@LeeU if you look closely, on a box of clay, it does warn, "Contents May Be Addictive".  There are also the warnings of, "May lead  you to steal kitchen utensils, for use with clay", "Can renew interest in Chemistry, that you swore you'd never use after high school", and many, many more.

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7 hours ago, Benzine said:

@LeeU and @Gabby my comments about ceramics, being a relatively cheap hobby, stand true, in regards to starting out, and just trying it.  That's why I stated, that a person would definitely want to figure out, whether or not they like it, before committing the big money, to a wheel, kiln, etc.  That is also, why I agreed with Liam's advice, where he said to take some community classes.  

 

I only wanted to make sure the person understood that it is not an inexpensive hobby. If you haven't done something, you wouldn't know what the equipment, supplies, and consumables actual cost for a sustained practice.

 

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On 2/24/2019 at 6:37 PM, Benzine said:

@LeeU if you look closely, on a box of clay, it does warn, "Contents May Be Addictive".  There are also the warnings of, "May lead  you to steal kitchen utensils, for use with clay", "Can renew interest in Chemistry, that you swore you'd never use after high school", and many, many more.

Must be in the microscopic print.:rolleyes:

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