A Hobby Potter 's Blog

March Hobby Potter Project Challenge – Wax Resisted Goblet

Download the March GOBLET & WAX RESIST DESIGN Project Challenge

With January’s Mug project & February’s Carved Box challenge finally wrapped up in my studio,  I felt pretty excited to get started on whatever next new project I randomly drew from our bowls.

As you saw in the video, this spontaneous project-choosing style brought an unexpected project on my, “let’s not do that anytime soon” list!

LET’S KEEPT IT REAL …Everybody has their, “meh” project…and goblets are mine! Yes, it’s true I was the one who put the idea strip into the bowl. Truth be told, there is something I need to learn from the goblet, but needed the pressure of accountability to make me experience it! I’ll probably go rogue, probably will chart my own path along the way, but the goblet will somehow bring about another level of growth to my clay journey.

(Que the motivational self-talk ). Let’s embrace this experience and enjoy it together…it will be great.   At the end of the month, let’s toast our success in our handmade goblets!

February Hobby Potter Life Project & Tests

Here we are in month 2 of 2021!  With the January Mug & Colored Slip project under our belts, I was eager to do another project (and step away from mugs for a bit 😉 )

When I filled the choosing bowl with clay form opportunities for the year, I purposefully chose both random and simple forms so novice and seasoned potters could enjoy the project at their own starting level.  

SO, February’s project focus’s on  handbuilding or wheel throwing a ceramic JEWELRY BOX then exploring the technique of CARVING! I can’t wait to see the variety!
Download the February BOX & CARVING Project  

The exciting part of a project that is more “guidelines” than rules, allows for the beauty of personal interpretation. If you feel led to share your journey on social media such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, use the #hobbypotterproject so we can find each other!

January Hobby Potter Life Project

Hello Friends!
2021 is going to be the start of something fun and exciting! I’m bringing back the FREE MONTHLY POTTERY PROJECTS!

With all this isolation, we need some clay community so I thought I’d give those who follow my blog and the Hobby Potter Life Facebook group the opportunity to share photos, chat, learn and grow together! 

The style of these projects is presented in the way I fashioned my last 10 Years of clay learning. A Simple Project/Technique with A Variety of Teachers & Videos….both for hand-building and wheel throwing 😀

January 2021 Project  MUGS & SLIPS
> Download Mugs & Slips PDF Project

Let me know if you have any questions and even better, head over to the Facebook Group and chat with both brand new and seasoned potters! 

Watch The Project Intro Video Below!

UPDATE: Here is Part 1 of my Cup & Colored Slips Project!

(I also made an announcement about how (and why) future videos will be changing in format) 


Finding Cheap Pottery Tools!

Let’s be honest, no one wants to spend money if they don’t have to. My hobby pottery journey began on a strict budget (and I continue to keep it that way), so thinking creatively about tools and education has always been a must!

Here’s my quick list of freebie, recyclables, or super cheap tools that every hobby potter should have in their arsenal.
  1. Straws, Coffee Stir Sticks (plastic and wooden) – Perfect for creating holes, textures, or to help smooth and blend. Easy cleaning tip:  (allow the clay to dry and it will easily fall out of the straw for cleaning).
  2. Old Toothbrushes: For creating textures, applying glazes and helpful for cleaning those tools with hard to reach places.
  3. Dental Floss: For slicing clay and cutting pottery from the wheel.
  4. Bark, Leaves, Rocks, Buttons, shells: Textures… and more textures! To create natural patterns and designs.
  5. Old Earrings/Jewelry/ Necklaces: Again, to create unique textures in clay OR to custom make your own bisque stamp textures!
  6. Plastic Utensils from drive-thru meals. If you need to mix, scoop, cut or scrape.
  7. Newspaper (from junk mail ads), Old Towels & Sheets. Free and repurposed protection for tables when glazing. Sheets are the best for creating smooth textures when rolling slabs!
  8. Bubble Wrap/Air-Filled Packing – (Another use for Amazon Prime packaging 😀 ) For propping and cushioning while hand-building.
  9. Plastic Credit Cards: Extremely versatile! If you are going to cut them up, do it creatively and make your self custom-designed tools. Great for scraping, smoothing, and trimming angles for throwing.
  10. Pencils/ Pens/ Toothpicks Poking holes, drawing on bisque or creating textures.
  11. Plastic Ice Cream Buckets/Tubs (Don’t buy buckets, buy Ice Cream!) Mixing glazes or holding throwing water.
  12. Plastic Grocery bags for covering pottery to control drying.
  13. Pickle & Peanut Butter Containers with Lids: For mixing liquids cleaning brushes, storing slips.
  14. Kids Toys: My favorite handle making tool was my kid’s abandoned Playdough extruder and cookie c!utters
  15. Oatmeal Containers: Forms for hand-building vases and sculptures.
  16. Freebee Box at Yardsales: Look for kitchen tools and craft boxes focusing textures, forms and storage. Think, “How can you use this differently?”
  17. $1 Tools at the Dollar Store! – This is what I found in my local Dollar Tree!
    1. Plastic ketchup and mustard bottles (slip trail applicators).
    2. Placemats (for texture)
    3. Cake decorating tools/ icing bags
    4. Exacto knife,
    5. Rolling pin, cookie sheets, wooden spoons…and the list goes on! The possibilities are ENDLESS!

These are just brain ice breakers and basics to help you think about how to use everyday items differently!

Keep your eyes open the possibilities are LIMITLESS!

Bonus: Here is a fun project for making Organic Handbuilt Dishware!

Hobby Potter Journey YouTube Videos 

My 10 Year Itch!

Every 10 years…I change. A purging of the soul if you will, that leads me into another decade of adventure! 2020 is another 10th Year.
Since 1990, I began getting what I call a”10-Year Itch”. It generally begins with a restless feeling in the middle of the 9th year. The realization that the things which use to move and motivate me, no longer hold the same enthusiasm. By the end of that year, I’m feverishly searching for the next “new thing”, mountain to climb, a road to travel, trek to start out on…just trying to find the next inspiring adventure that moves my soul!
2011 may have been the beginning of my YouTube Hobby Potter Journey, but my clay journey actually began in the middle of 2010…thus making 2020 the 10th year!
At the beginning of 2019, I doubted this phenomenon would occur. I had created a vision board, I began accomplishing a bucket list, but like clockwork come July, the 10-year itch began its usual cycle…I was restless.
I still love my clay, I’ve found a new joy in exploring watercolor and painting …yet I still love my clay! Here we are at the end of a 10th year… so many new horizons to explore, my soul is thirsty for new adventures be it clay, art, helping others or just schlepping around bringing joy … but which direction will I travel come 2020…the year of Perfect Vision?
All I know is I’m due for some spontaneous fun!
January 1st I’ll be doing my 1st raku firing in the backyard with some friends… let’s jump off from there! 

Making Textured Rollers


When it comes to making tools …anything goes when you are a potter. We pick up textures where ever we go and save them for just the right piece.

This months project is inspired by the video entered by Alison C., for our random drawing in our Hobby Potter Life Facebook community. (Be sure to comment and thank the makers of these videos!)


Wheel Throwing Texture Rollers


Handbuiling Texture Rollers


Making A Textured Box Project

I always try to choose projects that can be adapted to anyone’s style and flavor! This month, Don Hall demonstrates how to build a textured ceramic box, (Sponsored by Potters for Peace It looks like they are putting out more how to videos to I’d subscribe on YouTube if you are looking for updates on new “how-to’s” )

Watch Hobby Potter on YouTube
Pottery Making Videos