The pottery gear you need if you’re inspired by The Great Pottery Throw Down

Has the new series of the Channel 4 show inspired you to try your hand at pottery? Check out our list of basic essentials that will get you started.

The Great Pottery Throw Down

by Sophie Knight |
Updated on

We’re spending a lot of time at home at the moment, and that means we’re trying to find hobbies and TV shows and books to keep us motivated, awake, and alive. Thank heavens that the new series of The Great Pottery Throw Down is back – airing on Channel 4 from January 10th.

It’s pretty much the same as The Great British Bake Off in format, with challenges set by the pros, judged on merit, with one person leaving each week (also throw in a few tears from judge Keith Brymer Jones, naturally).

The joy of the show lies in the contestants’ passion, artistry, hard work and development across the weeks. Just as with GBBO, part of the enjoyment is also watching something creative; seeing something being made, something physical, something we can imagine in our own homes – and things that we ‘might’ be able to recreate ourselves.

Personally, I find this show to be inspirational, as a creative person, to go off and make something myself. I normally focus on fabric crafts (sewing and quilting) but this year, I fancy getting a bit of clay underneath my fingernails and making a vase, or a bowl – probably unusable and wonky, but that doesn’t matter.

Pottery, just like other crafts and hobbies, are brilliant ways to remove yourself from the world outside for a few minutes or hours, to concentrate and focus on something creative and inventive, and forget about worries and stresses. This is more important than ever at the moment, so maybe now’s the time to embark on a new hobby.

I’ve never pottered before, though, and I don’t know what I need to get started; luckily, I’ve done the research and discovered the best gear to get us started as new potters. Take a look below at my picks of the best pottery gear and kits to stage your own thrown down at home. This list is very much for real beginners; we haven’t gone into more specialised equipment like potters’ wheels and glazes at this stage – let’s see if we can make a pinch pot first.


Beginners' Pottery Gear

DAS 1kg Modelling Clay1 of 6

DAS 1kg Modelling Clay

If you want to start potting, you need some clay – the most basic bit of gear to invest in. This best-selling clay is air-drying and doesn't require any cooking (in the oven or kiln) and is easy to experiment with. It'll probably take about 24 hours per cm thickness to dry, before you can decorate with poster paints or varnish. It's also available in terracotta.

Sculpd Pottery Kit2 of 6

Sculpd Pottery Kit

Great for beginners, this pottery kits contains everything you need to get started. Pinch pots are an easy place to start (plus super useful once they're finished, for keeping nick-knacks and bits and bobs). This is also a fun kit to do with children, too, for interactive play. There's enough clay for two people, or just more for yourself. The clay is air-drying, so you don't need to worry about getting a kiln. You can add more bags of clay to your order if you wish. **What's included:**2 Packs Premium Air-Dry ClayStep-By-Step Beginners Pottery GuidePottery Carving, Shaping and Cutting Tools & Tool BagWhite Acrylic PaintGlossy Varnish / Sealant2 PaintbrushesSponge for Smoothing

John Lewis & Partners Make and Paint Pottery Set3 of 6

John Lewis & Partners Make and Paint Pottery Set

A basic pottery kit to get you started, aimed at children but who cares about that, clay is clay. It's a simple kit but includes some bright paints to decorate your creation with after it's air dried. What's included: 1.2kg of air-drying clayRolling pinModelling tool12 2.3ml ceramic paintsPaintbrush

The Clay Club Pottery Kit4 of 6

The Clay Club Pottery Kit

This kit is pretty all-inclusive, with more tools than the kits above, so there's plenty of scope for experimenting with different designs and techniques. Perhaps better if you've got a bit of experience with the basics. The instruction booklet is easy to follow. What's included: 1.5kg Air Hardening Clay Loop ToolPotter's RibRibbon ToolNeedle ToolWood Modelling ToolRound SpongeAluminium ScraperWire Clay Cutter

Pottery Tools & Apron5 of 6

Pottery Tools & Apron

Once you've got the hang of the basic techniques, this set includes loads of tools to allow you to get more experimental and technical with designs. It includes 30 tools, with a carrying case to keep them all tidy, plus an apron and sleeves so you can get as messy as you wish.

DK Complete Pottery Techniques6 of 6

DK Complete Pottery Techniques

Swot up on techniques and practices to learn more about your new hobby with this in-depth and comprehensive guide. Also available on Kindle.

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Sophie Knight is Editor of WhatsTheBest and Contributing Editor for Mother&Baby, Closer, Heat, Yours and Empire websites.

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