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Best Clay to Use for Handmade Pottery

Handmade pottery refers to ceramics including art objects such as figures, tiles, and tableware made from clay. The clay is baked at high temperatures in a kiln so as to produce the ceramics in a process known as firing.

For one to produce the best ceramics, they have to choose the best clay for handmade pottery.

In the past, before the industrial revolution, potters used to dig up and process their own clay. Nowadays, clay is being sold by suppliers on the market already processed and ready to use.

The clay used for pottery should not contain lime. Alkalis in clay can be tolerated but presence of limecannot as when the clay is fired, lime turns into calcium oxide. This will absorb water, expand inside the pot, and cause it to crack, flake or chip.

The 3 main types of pottery clay

pottery clay

The best materials create the best products

The type of pottery one wishes to create will go a long way in determining the clay used. There are three main types of clay: earthenware, kaolin and stoneware. There are also clay mixtures such as porcelain clays, fire clays and ball clay.

Porcelain and kaolin clay are considered identical and are so far the best clay types for making pottery. They are also the most expensive in the market. They mostly consist of silicate and are not affected by high temperatures.

If you choose this clay for your pottery, it is white or pale in color unless it has been added iron oxide to give it a red hue. It is the right choice if one wants to make high-quality pottery or porcelain.

fireclay

Sample fireclay

Ball clay is also close in resemblance and qualities to the kaolin and porcelain clay. This type of clay however, comes from a swampy and more acidic area hence it forms a tougher clay. It is therefore of higher quality and also produces tougher pots.

This type is best for potters who want to make more durable ceramics of high quality. It is however expensive due to this qualities.

For everyday wares such as pots, urns and other utensils such as pestles and mortals, then earthen clay is the best choice. Earthen clay is best for making lower quality pottery in case one does not have a kiln.

Earthen clay is fired at lower temperatures making it easier to use for smaller potters. It is however not water proof and the finished product can chip or scratch easily.

Fireclay is similar to earthen clay, but can be fired up in high temperatures. It is mostly used for making pots that need to withstand high temperatures. It is therefore suitable for laboratory equipment rather than every day ware.

For smaller budgets or amateurs when it comes to the art of pottery, then stoneware is the best choice for you. It is the cheapest and most abundant. internet of thingsThey do require a larger kiln to harden them.

Use the Internet to research information and ideas

Before deciding on the clay you want to use, you have to first consider; what type of pottery you want to make, the size of the kiln, and also if you can afford it.

Research to get the best suppliers to buy from, so as to get the best clay for your handmade pottery.

 

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How to Decorate Your Home with Ceramics

Handmade ceramic and pottery are inorganic pieces made by heating and repeated cooling.

They appear crystalline and some of them are amorphous. Ceramics are used to design different pieces such as tiles, pots, vases, stools and other household materials.

Ceramics are of different types, there are homemade ceramics and industrial made ceramics. That said, though they were used in the olden times for practical purposes, now they are can also be very useful when it comes to decorating your home.

They give your home uniqueness and elegance.

Ceramic tiles

ceramic tiles

Beautiful ceramic tiles can be used in different ways

Ceramic tiles can be used as part of your home decorations.

They are advantageous in the sense that they come in a wide range of shapes, color and design. This gives you a wide selection to match with your home theme.

What you need to put the tiles in place is ceramic glue.

The tiles can be used on your window frames to make them look more beautiful. They can also be used to decorate your tabletop by arranging them in a beautiful pattern.

When using ceramics to decorate the top of your table, it is advisable to buy a glass top to cover the tiles. This gives the tiles durability since without the glass, it can break due to everyday use of the table.

Ceramic orbs

ceramic orbs

Flat bottomed ceramic orbs in pre-production

Ceramic orbs come in handy when you want to give a room an interesting look. They can be used on book shelves to separate items.

This gives the other items on the shelves look good.

If you are worried that the orbs will roll off, it is important to get the ones that have a flat lower surface. This prevents them from rolling off the shelves.

Ceramic orbs can also be used in place of tapers for candlesticks. This gives the room a simple but elegant ambiance.

You can also get different colored ceramic orbs and place them in a beautiful bowl. This gives your home a splash of color.

Ceramic orbs can also be mixed with other artificial materials to make it more interesting. For instance, it is possible to mix the orbs with artificial fruits to make it look colorful and dynamic.

A display of ceramic orbs through glass is a common way to decorate your home. All you need is a large glass tube where you will place the ceramic orbs. Ensure you have the orbs in different colors.

The orbs should also be small in size in order for them to fit in the glass tube.

Match that Theme

mix match

Play with colors

When using ceramics to decorate your home, it is important to ensure that what you choose matches the theme of your home.

This prevents color clashing and it prevents the room from looking too busy.

Homemade ceramics can also be used for decorations in case you are involved in the hobby or you know someone who is. This enables you to save some money since other types of ceramics might be expensive.

If you intend to use ceramics for decorating, ensure you keep them out of reach of children. This is because they are delicate and may hurt your child in case they break them.

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How to Make Coloured Pottery

Handmade pottery can be exquisite because there is so much detail that goes into each piece.  However, with coloured pottery, it does seem a lot more complicated and it can be.  Though, coloured pottery is very appealing and it is very distinctive also.  Coloured pottery pieces do appeal to more people because of their distinctiveness but how to make coloured pottery?

Using Raw Oxide Pigments

This has become a very popular way to made handmade pottery and ceramics with colour within them.  You could use a variety of things such as copper oxide, chrome oxide, iron oxide and cobalt; however they can all be good because they can create green, yellow, brown and blue shades.  These can be used to fire on just underneath the glaze of the item you’re making.  Once the shades have been added to the item, they need to be cooled down and sometimes; the colours can vary once the item is finished completely.

Using Ceramic Stains for Shade

With the ceramic stains, they are going to offer a lot more options.  There isn’t just going to be yellows and greens available but rather a whole variety of tonal colours.  There is a very fine process which the colour powder has to go through in order to make the shades stable.  The process also allows the colours to be varied from light to dark and in fact this process is used by big manufacturers.  However, putting handmade ceramics for sale with colour can be very popular.

On Glaze Decoration

Ceramics such as porcelain can actually be decorated with the on glaze effect.  This can be really popular for most people since it’s a great way to mix colours and create fantastic decorative pieces.  Handmade pottery and ceramics are being decorated with the on glaze effective and it really can offer lots of quality.  There is a massive range of colour available and they are really durable and hardware as well which means the decoration lasts longer.  These methods are quite popular and versatile too.

In Glaze Decoration

With the in glaze decoration, the design can be extremely popular.  Instead of decorating the ceramics after they have been completed, it is done whilst they are being made.  This helps to produce a very lovely and unique design.  However, handmade ceramics for sale are increasingly decorated with the in glaze effect.  It can be really good especially if you plan to create some decorative pieces.

It’s A Fine Art

To be honest, making coloured pottery can be extremely difficult but it can also be really lovely.  The finished result can be utterly amazing because there are so many different designs and there is a lot of versatility with all methods.  That is why more are choosing the coloured handmade pottery than ever before.  It’s certainly very appealing and it has become a fine art to master also.

Learn To Love It

To be honest, there really is a lot more to coloured pottery than what it might seem.  However, it is still a fantastic option to consider and certainly one which is appealing.  This is delicate art but it is also one which is simple to do once you know what to do.  Anyone can make coloured pottery and if you are in the business of making and selling handmade pottery and ceramics it’s important to know how you can add colour to the designs.

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How to Make a Living Selling Handmade Rings

Veering away a bit from great looking ceramics but still hovering in the realm of handmade crafts, I’ll discuss how people, like you and me, can make a living selling handmade rings.

Not many people venture into this type of business but the truth is there is money to be made here. Venturing into niches that have not been explored gives you a business opportunity that is competition free.

You can make a great living and even achieve a better life by only selling handmade rings. The trend today is different compared to some years ago when people valued metallic jewelry.

Nowadays, millions of people are becoming diverse and most of them support handmade accessories like bracelets, stunning ceramic rings, earrings, bangles and necklaces. Handmade rings are very trendy in the current world because people are looking for unique accessories with creative designs.

If you have the potential of producing something better in design and creativity then there is a huge possibility of earning good money.

Keep up with the current fashion

fashionable hipsters

Keeping up with the current trend and design will ensure that you are up to the task. However, it is also important to take the artisan job seriously.

To be a lucrative businessman or woman, you need to understand what your customers love and want. Fashion trend is a big factor to consider because it gives you make a better yield.

For instance, maximizing the production when the market demand is high means that you are going to make a great profit compared to when the market is low. A boom in business means that you have higher chances of making more money in the business.

Keeping up with the trend also makes you skillful and creative in terms of what you are offering the customers. In order to get better yield you need to ensure you produce quality rings and outdo other vendors in the market.

There is a whole world out there

connected world

Go world wide and embrace technology. Expanding your selling grounds gives you greater opportunities.

Most businessmen nowadays have embraced technology and sell their goods online apart from using advanced advertising options. A bigger geographical range of the customers you handle portrays a good image of the business.

Narrow mindedness will only make your business earn peanuts. Reach out to customers worldwide and ensure you win their trust.

Taking business online needs you to take risks because the competition at this point is at an all time high. If you don’t have any idea about selling online, it is important to seek advice from famous businessmen who have ventured online or start by selling via online shops.

In order to better your online customers and improve your business, it is important to consider the following.

  • Offer a friendly service
  • Ensure fast and free shipping
  • Sell quality handmade rings
  • Ensure room for comments from customers (communication is key)
  • Ship the homemade rings safely e.g. via USPS first class mail

Your website can influence sales

ecommerce store

Creating a better website that contains photos of the handmade rings you have makes it easier to sell the products. Photos of different angles of the rings, colors and quality will make customers easily buy the product.

Additionally, it is also important to have detailed information that pertains to what type of rings you are selling. Other things include cleaning and storage instructions.

Selling quality handmade rings ensures repeat business with buyers. Always keep in mind that first impressions can mean a lot to your business.

Lastly, it is important to always be ahead of other vendors. Learn fast and act fast in order to tackle customer related problems and competition.

Nowadays, engaged couples prefer handmade rings for weddings because they are unique and less expensive. Customized rings can also be re-sized whenever necessary.

In any case, if you really want to sell you need to take the initiative so you can make a living out of that talent that you have.

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How to Buy Pottery Safely on Ebay

Ebay is a godsend but at the same time, it can be hell if you don’t know how to purchase.

Just imagine that you found the perfect ceramic tea light holder for you room. You’re just dreaming of snuggling up in your bed and reading a book by the candlelight.

Imagine the horror when you receive your item only to find it is

  1. broken when you open the box
  2. not what you ordered
  3. something you can buy for half the price from Wal-Mart

In order to protect yourself, there are a few things you need to do.

Ceramics a fragile and heavy items so that even if a refund is granted, the seller may demand that you pay the shipping charge.

In some cases, it may cost $20-$30.

Worse, if you send back the broken item, the seller may claim that you shipped it incorrectly and therefore you broke the item.

So let’s see how you can protect your purchase and yourself as a buyer. Previously, I already went through how to spot fake pottery.

You definitely don’t want to spend your hard earned money on some fake pottery that came out of a machine as opposed to handmade ceramic wares. Even if it’s for homemade projects or something for your kids, you want to make it count.

3 Ways to Buy Pottery Safely on Ebay

ebay safety first

ebay safety first

1. Look up the sellers history

This one is obvious. Every seller has a history.

One of the ways ebay protects buyers and sellers is via their reputation and reviews. Reviews are social proof. Look at all the reviews on Amazon and how it affects purchases.

Nowadays with reviews being so important, if an item doesn’t receive an reviews, it won’t get sold.

Same with sellers. Sellers without any reputation will not sell well because it is viewed as untrustworthy.

So if you are a buyer or a seller what can you do?

A simple one for sellers is to sell lots of cheap and high demand items first. Then pack it well and deliver it promptly.

It will get you started with building your reputation.

If you are a buyer, you want to see consistency. Fluctuating reviews is not a good sign. It’s not hard to get a 5 star review, so the seller should have a majority of 5 star reviews.

With pottery and other fragile items, also read the comments to see how the item was packed. If it was broken, beware. Message the seller and ask them about their packing method.

2. Search for Their Company Name

There are lots of sellers on Ebay who also own ecommerce stores or other online properties.

The important thing is to look for trustability and consistency.

  • Do they have good communication across the internet?
  • Are they professional and respectful?
  • Do they do what they say?

These are basic stuff, but taking the extra effort of looking up the seller shop name or username will uncover a lot of things about the seller.

You want a real handmade ceramic item right? Not a fake one.

I’ve seen lots of instances where expensive handmade Italian dinnerware was broken upon arrival.

The horror..

3. No External Links

One of the key requirements on Ebay is that the seller does not link out on their product page.

It is against Ebay’s rules. There should be no external links.

If you see any, or you find an image is clickable but opens up a new window, leave immediately as there is a danger that the seller’s purpose could be for phishing instead of selling ceramics.

These are 3 simple ways you can take to protect yourself and your investment.

It’s not difficult, but does require some extra leg work.

It will be worth it though because once you find a reputable seller, you will be able to purchase from them going forward..

Resources

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How to Spot Fake Hand Made Pottery

handmade artistic pottery

Pottery is an Art

Potters spend years learning and perfecting their skill of making handmade pottery. The result is beautiful handmade pieces of pottery that everyone can love and enjoy. This handmade pottery is valuable and can be sold for a lot of money because of the time and effort that went into making it. Because of this, some people have started making fake pottery or pottery that is mass produced and sold as an handmade piece. To avoid spending money on a fake piece of pottery, here is how you can spot one.

Spotting a Fake

The easiest way to spot a fake is to pick it up and feel it. The bottom of handmade pottery with be unglazed. You will be able to see the natural clay. Before a piece of pottery is fired, it is dipped in a fast drying glaze. This glaze will stick to paints and will also stick to any equipment being used. Because of this, the bottom of the piece is wiped off and cleaned so the potter does not have to clean off their equipment. This area will be rough. Also, look on the edges of the piece. You should see imprints of the pincers the potter used to handle the piece. Though, if you do not see these imprints, it does not automatically mean that the piece is machine manufactured.

Collecting Pottery

If you are a collector of pottery you know that research is very important in finding out whether or not a piece of pottery is handmade. Doing your research will tell you what the piece should look like, how it should feel, how heavy it should be, and other specific information about the piece. Research will also tell what label should be on the piece and what it will look like. Machines are very good at forging some of this information, but it is nearly impossible to create an exact replica of a piece of pottery.

Ask Around

When you are looking at a piece ask the seller information about it. Where did they get it from? How old is it? Sellers love to tell potential customers all about the pottery they have. They want to show you that they know they have a genuine, handmade piece of pottery and want you to know it. You can also find out if the piece of pottery is fake by looking at other items they sell. They could be selling all kinds of fakes right there in their store. Dig around and see what they have to offer.

handmade artistic pottery

Price will Tell

If you are considering dropping some serious cash on a piece of pottery, do your homework, ask around, and look at every detail of the piece, even the price. Price will normally tell you whether or not it is handmade pottery, but there are people that will try to scam you. If it is just a few bucks, it probably is not handmade. If it is a couple hundred, wait before you buy. Learn everything about the piece and determine for yourself whether or not the piece is worth purchasing and for that matter real.see more at http://www.collectorsweekly.com/art-pottery/overview/stories.

Purchasing handmade pottery can be a risky business, but if you follow this advice you will be able to spot a fake from a mile away.

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Handmade Pottery – Wedging Clay into a Cone Shape

Pottery Process

Once of the hardest things to do when making pottery is turning clay into a cone shape. Properly wedging your clay is of the utmost importance will trying to form a cone shape with your clay. You can not hand or throw your clay until it is properly kneaded and all air pockets are removed. The process of properly wedging your clay takes some time a practice. But, if you work at it, you will be able to produce bowls and vases in no time. Here is how you properly wedge your clay to get it ready for throwing and eventually the kiln.
Clay Cone

1. With your right hand on the upper right side of the clay and your left hand on the bottom left side of the clay, start to push down and away from you. Your right hand should be doing most of the work. The clay will start to move backwards a little bit as you do this. Some of the clay will be left over on the right side of the of your now forming cone. You want this so you can accomplish Step 2.

2. Start to rock the clay back towards you with your left hand so it will be stand on a two inch piece of clay. Apply pressure to the left side and downward with your left hand as you bring the clay back towards you. Your left hand should apply less pressure to the clay than your right hand as you do this. Your left hand will roll the clay onto its tail and press that tail back and to the right. The tip of the cone will start to fall down to the left and underneath the cone.more about this at http://www.cyberarena.tv/blog.php?user=tierradelsur&blogentry_id=25438.

Repeat

Repeat these steps between 15-25 times until the cone is even and there are not any bubbles. When you are done, the clay should have folded in on itself and there will be a spiral on the bottom part of the cone.

Why Wedge?

By kneading, or “wedging,” the clay, you are able to remove air pockets. These air pockets cause the clay to become unbalanced while it is on the wheel. This will result in a piece that is uneven, unbalanced and could cause your piece to possibly crack do to the hot air that will be trapped inside the air pockets of your almost finished piece expanding while it is firing.

Pottery Process

Solid Base

When you place your clay cone onto the pottery wheel, you can speed up the centering process by having the cone balanced all the way around and by having a properly wedged piece of clay and patting the bottom part of the cone with the palm of your hand. This will help compact the bottom of the pot and will prevent it from cracking or breaking when you finally fire the pot.

Properly Wedged

Once you are done properly wedging your clay, you can then throw your clay or hand it. The result will be properly wedged piece of clay that will not crack or break in the kiln.

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How Handmade Ceramic Tiles Are Winning Hearts

Handmade ceramic tiles

Back in the day, people used handmade ceramic tiles to decorate their homes. They was crafted with love and sometimes you even knew the person that made the tiles you bought. With the advancement of technology everything has become less personal.

Things like wall tiles all kind of look the same. But, one thing has remained personal and is winning the hearts of millions worldwide: handmade ceramic tiles.read new post at http://www.ecraftmart.com/handmade-pottery-wedging-clay-into-a-cone-shape/.

Winning Hearts

Handmade ceramic tiles are winning over hearts because of the love and care that was put into them and the ability you have to use customize your home with them. You can choose just about any style in the world and you will be able to form it with handmade ceramic tiles.

Durability

They offer great durability in that they can withstand humidity, they are fireproof, and stain, liquid and odor resistant. This amazing durability, coupled with its personal feel, produces tiles that are a little more expensive, but totally worth it.

Thicknesses

Another great thing about handmade ceramic tiles is that they come in a verity of thicknesses. From as low as 3/8 of an inch and up, you could choose all kinds of colors and textures to fit your every need. You could choose to have all of the tiles be the same thickness or you could choose to have them all be different. There is so much verity, the possibilities are endless!

Colors and Designs

Because of the verity of handmade ceramic tiles, you can choose to have your tiles be in wide range of colors and designs. You can have them all be a different color or a different shade of the same color. Tiles literally come in every color imaginable, so there is no shortage of creativity when selecting your handmade ceramic tiles!

Shapes!

On top of the millions of designs you have to choose from with just colors and thickness, you can also choose shape. Not all ceramic tiles are squares. You can choose triangles, circles, half circles, diamonds, crosses and so many other shapes, it would fill up this page!

Materials

They are also made in a verity of different materials, such as porcelain, which will give you even more of a selection to choose from. On top of all the different colors, designs, thicknesses, shapes and materials you can choose from, you can also choose whether or not you want them to be glazed. The possibilities for a custom design are endless!

Handmade ceramic tiles

Choose a Pattern

The absolute best part about using handmade ceramic tiles is the ability to put them in any pattern you want. You could have yellow and green triangles shaped, two inch thick porcelain unglazed ceramic tiles and put them in the shape of circle. Or you could choose your tiles to be any color in the world, with any shape, at any thickness and put them in a crescent shape above your stove or fireplace and it would still look great! visit us now!

Be Creative

Handmade ceramic tiles are winning the hearts of millions because you can choose your dream design without having to to sacrifice anything. Any design you could possibly imagine is doable with handmade ceramic tiles. There is no hold on your creativity! Anything and everything is possible with handmade ceramic tiles!

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A Quick Guide To Handmade Italian Dinnerware

Italian Pottery Dinnerware

Looking for handmade Italian dinnerware is fun and exciting. It is tough, though, having to look through all the different types and name brands. But, choosing the right Italian dinnerware can be easier if you use this ‘Quick Guide to Handmade Italian Dinnerware.’

What is it made of?

Italian dinnerware is normally made out of ceramic. They are usually made out of white or red clay which is an earthenware known as biscotto. Because the red clay is tougher, most of the handmade dinnerware that needs to be more resistant to heat will be made out of red clay like plates and platters. The glazes used will be cadmium and lead free so the person using them does not get sick. Just to ensure that they are safe, make sure the product says it is 100% food safe.

How was it made?

The biscotto is first fired then dipped in a fast drying glaze so it will be able hold liquids. Once the piece is dry, it is ready to be painted. After the painting, the piece is fired again. The metal oxides used by the painter will give the piece a deep color look for which handmade Italian dinnerware is known.read more on this site!

What is handmade?

Real Italian pottery is all handmade with the exception of plates. The reason plates are not 100% handmade is because no two handmade plates are alike, so when you try to stack them they will be crooked and could fall over and break. Handmade means the potter took a lump of clay, put it on wheel and turned it into the beautiful work of art that you will want to buy. Of course, handmade pottery is more expensive, but it is also of better quality and will last a lifetime.

Why hand-painted?

Hand-painted Italian dinnerware is some of the most beautiful work you will ever see. The reason why hand-painted biscottos are so amazing is because

1) the painters are not allowed to make mistakes and

2) mistakes cannot be erased. Also, the colors before firing do not match the colors after firing, so the painters need to know what the colors will turn into. So, the painters are basically painting “blind.”

How do you know you are buying a hand-painted Italian dinnerware set?

Italian Pottery Dinnerware

If you see brushstrokes on the painted piece, it is probably hand-painted. If the details are too symmetrical or identical it was probably painted by a machine. You will never see pencil marks from an outline. This is strictly forbidden by Italian painters to be on the glaze. Instead, they use a thin piece of paper with pinprick holes in it. They dust charcoal powder over the sheet to create an outline. Once the piece is put into the kiln, the charcoal is burned up and leaves no trace behind. This process is called “spolvero.” check (http://www.vietri.com/)

Now You Know

So, now you know everything about handmade Italian dinnerware from what it is made of to how it is painted. Just make sure that any handmade pottery you buy is 100% food safe. So, go out and find that perfect handmade Italian dinnerware set for you!

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Kids Pottery Wheel Reviews

clay pottery

It is important to know what you are buying and kids pottery wheel reviews should at least be skimmed through before you buy a kit. There is not much to go wrong with these products so if you do have a problem with one of these devices it will likely be wrong right out of the box and not down the line after your child has used it for a while. There are many reports of kids pottery wheels lasting years and years with no mechanical downtime.

The great thing that comes out in kids pottery wheel reviews is that the clay you use does not have to be dried in a kiln, like most clay an adult would use for creating something more permanent. Instead, it will easily air dry and while it will not end up being as durable and long lasting as a kiln-fired pot, for a child’s purposes of creation, it works just fine.

These are the components that all the leading kits below have but you need to make sure the kit you buy includes:

Clay – usually 2 pounds of air-dry clay is included. This is a big advantage in that air dry clay does not have to be put in the kiln. This makes the entire exercise much safer for small children while at the same time exposing them to the art of clay manipulation and pottery creation.

Paintbrush – to allow the child to express themselves after the clay dries. Giving young children the carte blanche to create a work of art is a tremendous gift. You don’t have to stop at just the clay molding and can give them paints where they can express themselves further by painting the surface of a clay pot once it is dry.

Sponge – to smooth the surface of the clay before it dries. A lot of pottery and artistic expression is in the finishing. Once your child has molded the part that they envision, then it is time to use the sponge and some more water to change the surface or create a rougher texture.

All of these products are made out of plastic, by the way.

These are the leading manufacturers of kids pottery wheel products…

ALEX – this is the most expensive at approximately $60 at Target
Discovery Kids – this is the most popular and remarkably, the least expensive at $28(http://www.pottery-on-the-wheel.com/electric-pottery-wheel.html)

Totally Me – also very affordable at about $28

You will not go wrong with any of these products but you need to read kids pottery wheel reviews in more detail before you buy something.

clay pottery

The major complaint that people have is not the durability of the kids pottery wheel, but rather the mess that this activity can make.

In any case, and even though you will have to put up with a little mess, letting your child engage in some good old fashioned fun like this is a lot better than getting them another in a string of electronic games and toys. Also, you will be surprised at how taking part in something this tactile and hands-on activity will help your child develop intellectually and process subjects like math more easily. The neural connections promoted by the hand and the fine motor skills needed to work with clay will help your child develop neural connections that last them a lifetime.read more!

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