5 Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Pottery Skills

Many people who are interested in pottery find themselves searching for ways to improve their craft, whether they’re just getting started or have been practicing for some time and reached a more intermediate level. When you find yourself stumped and looking for a little advice, it can be extraordinarily helpful to have some guidelines to stick with that will put you on the right track and trigger a brainstorming session.

If this is the position you’re in now, then try out some of these five ideas and see if they don’t get you moving in the right direction!

The Right Workspace

Advancing in your pottery journey will depend heavily on a comfortable, reliable, and efficient room or building for you to work in. For this reason, you should focus on finding a workspace that has easy-to-clean floors, steady shelves, storage spaces such a cabinet for supplies, and a good, strong table to work on that also won’t be easy for clay to stick to.

For those who have been stuck in a rut, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised at how drastically your work improves when you move to a more accommodating room for your pottery!

Selecting Materials

Don’t be afraid to take some time to consider your options for pottery supplies and what will work best for your goals! For example, you’ll want to look closely at the temperature range for your glazes and clay as this will be a deciding factor in what combinations you use.

Additionally, ask yourself what colors your interested in and what will work best with your goals, workspace, and other materials you’re using. If you plan on working a great deal with your pottery, it might be worth it to order supplies in bulk!

Picking Your Tools

A crucially important element of pottery to consider is the tools that you will be using on your projects. While there is no universal list of tools to have on hand, it’s common for people to find that they will want a toolbox, towels, a needle, a trimming tool, and cleanup supplies for afterward.

Of course, all of this depends on personal preference, so take some time to think about what you preferred working style is like. Some people find that working as minimally as possible with just the clay and their hands is the best option!

Manage Expectations

Mind hacks are often just as important (if not more so!) as material advice with a craft, and this is no less true when it comes to pottery. A key mental trick that is sure to come in handy along the way is to keep your expectations for your projects kind and reasonable.

Progress doesn’t come easily, and you might initially find yourself disappointed or even depressed by the results you’re seeing. But if you keep your expectations at a normal level, forgive your mistakes, and persevere in your efforts, the mistakes won’t bother you as much anymore and you will start to appreciate the progress you’re making!


And speaking of progress, experimentation is one of the best possible paths you can take to improving your craft. This doesn’t have to involve massive changes or ambitious innovation but can rather be as simple as doing one thing you haven’t done before with every project.

While this might sound like it wouldn’t make that big of a difference, it is extremely useful for instilling a trial-and-error approach to your work that leads to effective practice and quicker improvement. Experiment just a little bit with every pottery project you take on and ask yourself if you notice a change in your attitude, skills, or growth!

About Auther:

Leigh Gordon is an avid surfer, writer, and blogger living in San Diego. She spends time hiking and traveling, and enjoys seeing all that California and the world have to offer. She owns a yellow lab named Finn.