Create with Clay
With programmes like the Great Pottery Throw Down and events such as the British Ceramics Biennial, we have seen a growing interest in people wanting to create with Clay. The ancient art form of pottery originated before in the Neolithic period, which was a time that saw a development in human technology and the advent of farming. Traditionally the term pottery refers to producing an object in clay which is then fired. Of course today, it is now possible to produce your own pottery even if you don't have access to a kiln, thanks to air drying and oven baked clays. We love Clay and think you should all get creative with this fun and versatile medium. Here is a rundown of the different types of clay we stock, and some examples from creatives and bloggers who use the different types of clay that we stock. If you want to create with clay, then we'd love to hear from you and see what you make.
We stock four different types of firing clay. If you are lucky enough to have your own kiln or access to one, this is the type of clay you will want to use. The Red Terracotta Clay and Buff School Clay are very similar in texture and are great to use if you are just starting out.
Manchester Pottery is a new ceramics studio in the making. In January 2017 they will launch an open-access city centre studio for creatives; professional potters and beginners alike. In the meantime, they will be running pop-up workshops around the city centre so you can get a taste of what is to come.
Pascal Nichols, the founder of Manchester Pottery, is a ceramic artist and educator based in Manchester. He has been running workshops since graduating in BA(Hons) Ceramic Design at Staffordshire University in 2004 and has sold and exhibited his own ceramics internationally. We love his use of colour and form to create ceramics which are inspired by outsider and visionary art and anagama pottery. You can see more of Pascal's work here.
Air Drying Clay
If you would love to work with clay but have no access to a kiln or would like to use clay in your home or studio then you will want to try air drying clay. It looks and feels virtually the same as kiln-fired clay and most projects will easily dry overnight and can be painted or glazed any way you wish.
We found this great tutorial for Geometric Clay Rings on the Delineate Your Dwelling blog. Using air drying clay and just a few other supplies you can create these beautiful rings, perfect for a fancy occasion. You will need: White Air Drying Clay Ring Bases E6000 Glue Acrylic Paint Varnish
Oven Baked Clay (Polymer Clay)
Oven baked clay is great at achieving professional looking results, it can be used for anything from jewellery, homeware or model making. Available in a range of colours, oven hardening clay is great for adults and kids alike. Polymer clay is highly malleable and can hold fine details which is great if you are want to create small intricate pieces.
Mariel Osborn, is a prop and accessory maker, lifestyle stylist and founder of Covet Interiors. She uses Polymer Clay to create unique items for around the home, including these wonderful marbled dishes. You see more of and buy Mariel's polymer clay creations on the Covet website.
Along with being great for making items around the home, Polymer Clay can also be used to make detailed models. Our Ben is a dab hand at model making and has been trained at the Neil Gorton Prosthetics School. He regularly uses Super Sculpey to produce his character sculptures. You can see more of Ben's work here.