Is Pottery an Expensive Hobby?

a pisture of pottery and brushes

Pottery is a fascinating hobby. People create wonderful pieces with it that capture everyone’s attention. This can make pottery a very inviting hobby, but most people don’t start making their pieces because they think making pottery costs a lot.

So, is pottery an expensive hobby? The price can vary depending on what type of pottery you want to create. The materials and tools required to make pottery pieces can be costly. There is also trial and error involved in the process. Pottery is a great hobby for people who have a true passion and willing to learn.

Let’s read on and learn more about the costs about this great hobby that can consumes both your money and time.

Pottery Lessons

Before you begin buying stuff to make your own pottery pieces, it would be a good idea to attend a few pottery classes. Professional potters can guide you to the type of pottery you want to create. If you want to throw on the wheel or you’re leaning more towards hand-building. Attending a Pottery Class will be very fruitful if you’re passionate about pottery.

In pottery classes, the instructor will guide you about the tools you need to get started with. After a couple of sessions, you’ll get to learn about what clay is best for you and how to glaze your pottery. Besides, attending a class you will save you money in case you decide pottery isn’t for you since you wouldn’t have already bought all the equipment and tools.

The cost of pottery classes depends on where you live and where you’re attending. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between $20 to $40 for each class. If you sign up for a course, you’ll have to pay more, maybe $150 to 200+ for an 8 week course. 

Some Pottery Studios won’t ask you to buy anything, and they’ll provide all the materials and tools. Some Pottery studios will ask you to buy your own clay, glaze or brushes, but will provide you with molds, kiln, pottery wheel and extra tools..

How Much Does Pottery-Making Tools and Supplies Cost?

There are a good amount tools and supplies needed to make pottery. Here is a list of the basics needed for you to create your pottery.

Kiln

The Kiln is one of the most important pieces of pottery-making equipment. It’s used to bake the clay. Kilns convert greenware to bisque, and a finished pottery piece once the bisque-fired piece is glazed and baked again in the Kiln.

a picture of a potter loading the kiln

Kilns are the most expensive out of all the pottery equipment. As a beginner pottery hobbyist, you don’t have to buy a really expensive kiln with multiple features. A basic kiln with Cone 5 to 8 settings would work. 

The most important thing to look for in a kiln is its size. There are many kilns available in the market that are designed for small objects, so you can’t fire as many plates, dishes, vases, etc. inside them.

Next is how much electricity a kiln consumes. This would depend greatly on the size and temperature you would fire to. Cone 5 to 10 are higher temperatures, and some kilns can use more power than others. With that said a single fire can be as low $3 and high as $20+.

You can spend anywhere between $300 to $6500 depending on the size and quality of the kiln. New Kilns can cost as little as $500 and as much as $6500. Also, look for durability and warranty.

For more information on kiln sizes and cost, I wrote two extensive articles that you can check out Facts Features and What to Consider when buying a Kiln. and Choosing an Electric Kiln – A Step-by-Step Buyer’s Guide

Potter’s Wheel

The next expense is a Pottery Wheel. A Wheel is used to shape your clay into pottery. A Pottery Wheel is also used to place your leather hard pottery on for trimming. You can also use it for decorating your Pottery in many different ways.

a picture of pottery wheel with a mug on it

There are two types of Pottery Wheels; A Kick Wheel and an Electric Wheel. Kick Wheels have a heavy flywheel attached to it that needs to be kicked to rotate. In today’s age, it’s highly inconvenient but fun to use once you get the hang of it. Electric Pottery Wheels are the go-to for most people. They have different speed settings and are convenient to use. 

For a Pottery Wheel, you can spend anywhere between $100 to $2000 depending on the size of the wheel and quality. New Pottery wheels can cost as little as $500 and as much as $2000.

For a list of Pottery Wheels and there features you can check out Pottery Wheels Reviewed. Also, check out  Choosing a Pottery Wheel for a Step-by-Step Buyer’s Guide for Beginners.

Clay Molds

Molds aren’t a necessary item, but it’s one worth having. Beginner potters have a tough time making shapes, 3D designs for decoration pieces. Molds can help you with that.

a picture of clay in molds

All you have to do is pour your clay solution or slip into the mold and let it dry. The material will shrink and move away from the mold, leaving you with a thin-walled structure. You can attach this piece to your pottery with clay slip.

Molds for clay and slip can cost anywhere from $10 to $50+ depending on detail and size.

Disclaimer: We are ambassadors or affiliates for many of the brands we reference on the website.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The tools used in this post, and in all of Pottery Crafters posts, are tools I use often. The tools are also optional, being that you may have, and use many of them already.

Tools

Moving on, there are some tools that’ll make your pottery process easier and give your finished piece a better look.

a picture of pottery tools
  •  57-Piece Tool Set has all the essential tools for throwing pottery on the wheel. These tools will be part of our growing tool supplies.
  • Brushes. You can buy them in sets or separately. Brushes are used to paint on underglazes, glazes, and overglazes.
  • Sponges. They help distribute water while throwing and can also be used to create effects with decorating. Read more about What Sponges are used for.
  • Potter’s Callipers. These are used for measuring the pottery’s diameter.
  • Cutting Wires. They’re necessary for cutting batches of clay and removing clay from the wheel.
  • Potter’s Needles. You’ll use them for carving and trimming.
  • Fettling Knives. They are used to trim slabs and cut across pieces. Soft ones can be used to flick away collected clay or glaze.

Also, go to this Pottery Tool Guide List for a full description of the tools you can choose from.

Clay

There are three main types of clays Potters mainly use. Their costs are different. There is Earthenware clay, followed by Stoneware clays and Porcelain clay can be the most expensive.

a picture of wedged and freshly made pottery

The price depends on the clay type, amount, color, and quality. 25 pounds can range from $15 to $40. Check out these Top Clay Picks for more information on clay types and costs.

Glazes

Glazes are the most important decorative and protective substance that needs to be applied on pottery. A single pint-sized jar of clear glaze should cost you $11 to $18. A set of various colored glazes costs between $80-200.

Underglazes & Overglazes

Underglazes and Overglazes are creative methods to add color to pottery. They flow much less than glazes and give vibrant colors. A pint-sized jar of underglaze costs $10 or more. A small jar of overglaze cost $15+.

a picture of glazes and underglazes

You can go to Best Glazes for more information on the Glazes and Underglazes you need to decorate your pottery.


Along with Glazes and underglazes, you’re going to need some tools to help you with the many ways you can glaze your pottery. Here is my Ultimate Pottery Glazing Tools & Supplies Guide that I put together to help you quickly find the Glazing Tools you will need.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed the items you’ll need to make Pottery. Adding all these costs, starting pottery as a hobby, could cost you around $1400. It’s safe to say that if you buy a Kiln and Pottery Wheel getting started in pottery making can be an expensive hobby.

Once you’ve spent money on quality products, restocking will be significantly cheaper, and you’ll be spending less.

Sources

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