Is Pottery Making an Expensive Hobby? (Tips For Beginners)

Pottery is a mesmerizing hobby.

People mold delightful stuff with it, capturing the attention of everyone.

This makes pottery an attractive hobby. However, most individuals are hesitant to join the pottery because they think it is an expensive hobby.

So, Is Pottery Making an Expensive Hobby?

While most individuals consider pottery a costly hobby, it is not that expensive. You don’t have to purchase fancy and expensive pottery wheels and equipment. It is wise to begin with clay and simple tools at home as a starter. This is a convenient way of learning and polishing your pottery mastery.

Learning pottery and making a successful product are based on trial and error. Your first piece is likely to be flawed and will not be perfect. Continuous efforts are needed in creating a successful and perfect piece. Therefore, when starting, you can purchase affordable stuff and can easily be thrown if damaged. It is wise if you start practicing your hobby at home. However, pottery can be an expensive hobby if you begin by purchasing expensive and fancy tools.

That said, let’s look at the most affordable and convenient way of starting pottery;

1. Do Your Homework

Before starting pottery, it is recommendable to research the pottery lessons, methodology of understanding the pottery dynamics, and equipment needed.

It is a perfect idea to get advice from professionals about pottery. They are better positioned to explain to you the different pottery types.

2. Register For Pottery Lessons

Before you start purchasing things to make your pottery pieces, you can consider attending a few pottery classes that are particularly designed for beginners.

This will guide you on the useful tools to purchase and the best type of clay for you.

Attending pottery lessons will also help you know if pottery is your hobby.

This will help save you money if you decide pottery is not your hobby because you will not have already purchased all the pottery tools and equipment.

Professional potters can guide you on the type of pottery you want to throw a pottery wheel or focus more on hand-building.

Registering for a Pottery Class will be very beneficial if you are passionate about pottery.

3. Cost Of Pottery Classes

The cost of the pottery class varies depending on your location.

You can pay for initial pottery classes, and if you find it enjoyable, you can later pay for extra lessons.

Normally, pottery courses take about eight weeks.

Averagely, each pottery class goes for $20 to $40. If you register for a course, you will need to pay about $150 or more for the 8-week course.

Some pottery studio lessons will not ask you to purchase anything, and they offer you all the tools and materials.

However, some will ask you to purchase your clay, brushes, or glaze but offer you a kiln, molds, pottery wheel, and additional tools.

How Much Does Doing Pottery as A Hobby at Home Cost?

Pottery making is an amazing and fun hobby that you can do at home.

Let’s look at some information on how to begin pottery at home and how much it costs. Regardless of the pieces you want to make, you need to have basic tools before starting pottery.

1. Clay

To start with, you need to purchase clay of your choice.

There are many types of clay available in the market.

But most potters prefer three types with different costs.

These include

  • Earthenware clay
  • Stoneware clays
  • and Porcelain clay, the most expensive option.

The price depends on the type of clay, color, quality, and amount. 25lbs of clay can range from $15 to $50.

For beginners, it is recommendable to work with Stoneware clay as it’s versatile, non-porous, and easy to handle.

2. Kilns

Kilns are types of ovens needed to fire and bake the clay hence one of the essential pottery-making tools.

High temperatures are required to dry clay into ceramics.

Kilns are the costliest of all pottery equipment.

As a beginner in pottery as a hobby, you don’t need to purchase a very expensive kiln with many features.

Getting a basic kiln with Cone 5 to 8 settings will work just fine for you.

The essential thing to consider in a kiln is its size.

Many kilns are available in the market, planned for smaller objects.

Therefore, you cannot fire as many dishes, plates, vases, or others inside them.

Another factor to consider is the amount of electricity a kiln consumes. This mostly depends on the temperature and size you will fire too.

Cone 5 and above are high temperatures but use more power than others.

This said, a single fire can cost as low as $3 or as high as more than $20.

Depending on the quality and size of the kiln, a kiln can go for $300 to $6500. When looking for a new kiln, also consider its durability and warranty.

3. Potter’s Wheel

Another essential tool for pottery is a Pottery Wheel.

The wheel is used in shaping your clay into pottery.

It is also used in placing the hard leather pottery on for trimming and decorating their pottery in various ways.

There are two main types of pottery wheels;

  • A Kick Wheel
  • and Electric Wheel.

Kick wheels are more traditional, featuring a heavy flywheel attached to them that must be kicked to rotate. This type of wheel is inconvenient but fun to use when you get used to it.

Today, electric pottery wheels are the go-to and most convenient for most pottery.

They feature different speed settings and are the most convenient option.

A pottery wheel can go for anything between $100 to $2000 based on the quality and size of the wheel.


In pottery, you require to use various tools that make pottery easier and give the finished piece an enhanced look.

Some of these include;

  • Cloth: This is used in compressing clay surfaces for a smoother feel.
  • Needles: these are useful for carving, piercing, and trimming clay.
  • Cutting wires: they cut the clay into smaller pieces.
  • Measuring calipers: you will use them for measuring the distance amongst the edges and diameter.
  • Brushes: these are used in painting glazes, underglazes, and overglazes.
  • Fettling knives: These are used for trimming slabs and cutting across pieces.
  • Sponges: This helps distribute water while throwing and creates various decorating effects.

5. Clay molds

Clay molds are not so necessary, but it’s worth having.

As a beginner in pottery, it can be tough to make 3D designs and shapes for decoration pieces. Molds make this easy, and you just need to pour clay solution and leave it to dry.

6. Glazes

Glazes refer to the protective and decorative substances you should apply to pottery.

A pint-sized clear glaze jar goes for around $11 to $18, with a set of colored glazes going for about $80 or more.

Over Glazes and underglazes also offer more creative ways and vibrant colors to your pottery.

Bottom Line

We hope you now understand the items you will require to make pottery and how expensive it is as a hobby.

Adding the total costs for beginning pottery as a hobby could cost about $1400.

Therefore, purchasing a pottery wheel and a kiln when starting pottery can be an expensive hobby.

However, spending money on quality equipment and products initially will make restocking significantly cheaper, and you will spend less in the future.


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