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Looking for some advice. I am breaking down my studio in Colorado and will be moving to Barcelona Spain and setting up a new studio. I currently work at a ceramic supply store and get a 25% discount. My question is should I buy anything while I am stateside with my discount and bring things in suitcases over to Spain? or should I just get everything when I get there? One of the first things I would like to do is build a kiln on the rooftop. Are there items that are difficult to get there? Recommendations on where to find used equipment? Do you know any product design focused ceramic studios in Barcelona. Any other info you think would be useful to me? You can see my work on insta thebrasswheel


Evan Powell

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You will find that in Europe in general the materials are different-not US made glazes or tools or equipment in general.There is a rich tradition of ceramics in Spain -it just is different than your work.I see you use molds a lot so plaster will be there-no need to take any.

If your employer is paying to move you (gov,military,Private contractor  etc) than by all means stock up and pack everything you need from here including your kilns and wheels,but if its on your nickle it will really cost you  and you should downsize.

My guess is you will have a steep learning curve.

On a side note I just mailed a 3# package to Rome Italy low cost  USPS and it was $61. Spain is going to be about the same costs.

I would buy the items that you need specifically for your own work. Say if its all blue than take soem cobalt -thats sort of thing.

You need to know your moving costs before adding heavy ceramic materials-suitcases have poundage limits

Edited by Mark C.
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Hi Evan!  So you are moving to Spain!  Lucky you!!  I've just returned from a two-month visit during which time I attended a ceramics class with my daughter.  The class was held at a local senior center (a senior is only 25 years old...).  The class offered was actually a slip casting and painting class - 2-hour class, 2 days a week from September until June for 60 Euros!  The students did purchase the slip casting materials but all other materials were supplied.  I was invited to join the class, no charge!  I really wasn't interested in slip casting but did paint with some materials that remind me of mason stains.  The small quantities of the powdered colorant were dropped on an 8-inch square ceramic tile, water added a drop at a time, mixed and then painted on to the greenware or bisque.   All glazing was done by the teacher - a very thin clear glaze.   The 'students' were accomplished artists who produced very beautiful painted work, both crockery and tile panels that were quite large creating scenes of local interest, such as the town square during festival time.  The use of these powdered colorants allow the painter to create very detailed intricate, delicate designs, so unlike underglazes.   As mentioned above, there is a solid pottery history in Spain.  When you have time to travel, be sure to include the ceramics museum in Valencia and visit the very active ceramic studios in the historic district.

You asked what should you take with you...  Well, certainly your throwing tools and any unique items you might have that you have either made or acquired.  Your wheel would not work with direct current, so I would suggest getting a new one,  Ditto with a kiln.  I have found that mailing anything to Spain is very expensive, just for postage then you will have to pay duty on everything when you receive the package.  My daughter has recently begun to mail order glazes from a business in Madrid.   She does purchase her clay locally and the craft store will also fire the clay.    There is a German business in Valencia call Bruhaus that carries all sorts of ceramic supplies, even MKM tools.  So rest assured you will find fellow potters in Spain and I feel certain that they will share their knowledge and love of clay with you.  Best of luck!  Florence Wiley

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