Studio Tips from a Pandemic Potter

Updated: Jan 29

When the pandemic hit my local studio shut down along with so many other businesses in my area. I had planned on someday having a studio with all the bells and whistles, a gorgeous kiln, and the know how to conquer it all. But that someday shifted overnight.

At this point in time, I had my own wheel and a few buckets, but that was pretty much it. I was left with a choice to wait for my local studio to reopen or to dive in head first to learn about the wonderful world of firing, glazing, and well apparently growing my business very quickly. I took some classes in college and felt like I had enough know how to get this going. I researched a lot but felt like there was not a lot of resources for putting together an at home studio.

So here are a few items I think might help get you started on setting up your space.

  1. A Bat System

Removing a whole bat or throwing off the wheel can tend to slow me down. Bats can also be expensive and take up a lot of space. With a bat system, you have one larger bat with smaller removable inserts so that you don't have to waste time switching out big disks.

The nice thing about the Bleeker Station bat system I use is that you can buy more inserts as you go. This one is the most affordable option I could find at the time and is well worth the investment. It also gives me a goal to work towards each time I sit on my wheel - to fill up each and every bat!

Price: $40 +$25 for each set of 6 added inserts.

Saves: Time + Space

Caution: Keep them clean and be sure not to leave your pieces on them for too long or they can start to dry unevenly.

2. Just add water glazes - Ok, well that is not the technical term but it always reminds me of pancakes.

You don't have to mix your own glazes to be a "real potter." I believed that at first and quickly realized that so many famous potters use trusted brands like Laguna Clay, Amaco, Mayco, and so many more.

I recommend buying a sample pint before you decide on what colors you want, but once you do, you can buy dry glazes by the pound and just add water. I spend between $3 - $7 dollars a pound with my dry glaze so do not pay crazy pricing as you start out.