How to Prepare for your First Ceramic Lesson

Several persons have expressed an interest in tutoring under my headline, Anyone can be a Ceramic Artist.

Allow me to help you prepare for your first lesson where I can guarantee you will be able to produce a set earning target from the first lesson, without any prior experience or training.

1. Set your income target and begin with a modest figure of between $250.00 and $500.00. Remember this lesson will only cost you $25.00, with personal online tutoring from start to finish.

2. Look around your neighborhood, determine what are the main features, what do people identify with most. Is it a particular bird, plant, favorite fish, make a list in order of preference.

3. What drives the economy of your particular environment.

4. Seek out the nearest ceramic production workshops. Who are their customers and what are the top sellers?

5. If you do not have the funds to finance a set of start up tools, materials, and equipment, find out if there are any clay deposits in your area, or within a reasonable distance. Ask the construction companies, the agriculture department, or the ceramic workers if there are any. Don’t be afraid to research if you are the first to ask questions. You might be discovering something new.

6. Check with the schools and community centers in your area, or within a reasonable distance from your home.

7. Look for the nearest ceramic supply company or research a few, and check out their prices, just Google -ceramic supplies and equipment- and pay attention to shipping.

8. Put together a budget. If you do not have the necessary funds, look for some. There may be grants available somewhere. Ask questions, there might be a possible Fairy God Mother.

9. Learn about ceramic glaze materials. If you intend to be a serious full time producer, it will be cheaper to purchase the raw materials and mix your own glazes. However, several companies offer ready mixed glazes in all colors, and earthen ware, stoneware, porcelain and raku. Learn about underglazes and transparent glazes. Everything is on the internet. Just Google or check the local library or purchase a book for beginners.


If you have access to a local clay, start preparing a stockpile. The clay may have some impurities, or it may need some additional enhancing materials. Learn how to recognize a clay deposit, again, ask anyone in the field of construction or digging wells. Look for areas that are slippery after a heavy rain fall or surface cracks in the soil when it is hot and dry. I am repeating myself, but ask questions in Google, it seldom fails.

Work Space

All you need is a small garage or basement, or a spare room in the house, depending the nature of the building. When you have decided on your kiln, ask an electrician to check the suitability of your wiring. If you will be using gas, consult the gas company. The slab roller will be your biggest piece of equipment, make sure you have the space. Some studios rent space and use of equipment.

Start your preparation and have fun.

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22 comments on “How to Prepare for your First Ceramic Lesson

Hallo there Courtney, 

Your post is short yet very insightful.

I just got interested in ceramic art and wanted to really pursue it.

However, I am low on cash and where I live there are barely any resources to work with on this new hobby.

But your post has helped me know about clay and its great benefits as well as the power of researching and enquiring from people with more knowledge.

I will be doing more research on Google and will also be checking around my locality to see if there’s anything I can take advantage of.

I have bookmarked your website and hope to get more educative posts like this in the future.

I will be stopping by every so often.

Thanks heaps for your help. You saved me big time!

I am happy to help any time; it is a wonderful hobby or work, great therapy.Please come again.


I love ceramics. I wanted to learn how to make ceramics. I have no knowledge of it. From your post, you said that seek out the nearest ceramic production workshops, their customers and their top sellers. You advised to research on it and discovering something new. I will research on Google and my nearest location.

 I have an aim to pass my life as a businessman of ceramic. Your article will help me to my learning time that how to make ceramics. I will follow your words and will follow your next posts.

Thanks a lot, dude 😉

Thanks for visiting, I will be happy to give you your first lesson, If you cannot afford a slab roller you can earn the funds by starting with a flat surface, a rolling pin and 2 guide sticks, cost only a few dollars.Get started. Good luck.

Hi Courtney,

What a fascinating insight into your craft and the way you prepare you students, not only am I sure that they will learn a lot, but that they will produce very fine saleable objects.

Love some of your products, they look so very fine, no doubt they will cost now but are sure to appreciate in value.


Thank you Stuart; the person who recruited me for the Canadian Training Awards Project during the eighties, told me he had observed my training, and courses that they had run for years cold not match my students with months of training.Best wishes.

Courtney I enjoyed the class on ceramic it way very educational. It also brought back memories for me, way back when I was in Elementary school I loved working with clay. Making my first boat/ash tray/ what every my parents want it to use it for. To this day I do not know what every happen to it. I can still see it today the different colors and also discuss it when the subject comes up in a discussion. I enjoyed working with the clay in my hands, and putting the clay in the oven and waiting on it to change into glass. Once it was ready it was a master piece. But I will add for anyone that is looking to make this a business it should be a wonderful one. I have not seen any businesses like this in my area, but if I did I would surely stop and this would surely turn into a long discussion.

For something that meant so much to you, you should not turn your back on it.Hope you find the courage to rekindle the fire. Best wishes.

This got me interested but I wonder what kind of clay is needed? 

I remember when I was just a child, we play with real clay. You know, those dirty mud under the rain, we formed several figures including space ships, weapons, kitchen utensils, you name it. That was what a child enjoys, right? Now that I am grown up, I want to create something that will relive my creativity and I think ceramic art is a perfect fit.

What kind of clay should I look for?

If you live in the same area, you obviously have a supply of clay; you just have to bake a sample to determine what kind of clay you have, as a kid I had access to white, grey and red clay, all were being used by the potters in the village, as a kid i made birds and left them in the sun to dry until the rain came and washed them away, never in my wildest dreams I think that 20 years later I would become a ceramic artist. Get started. I will help you if you need it.Good luck.

You mentioned “clay”, something I completely forgot that even existed. I would love to try this out somehow. It would be lovely to start pottery and maybe follow your guidelines. It would be really exciting to learn these unique gestures and art crafts.  I am just wow’d by this. I should really come back and research this art. Thank you!

Thank you Linda, are you resident on Monserrat? I conducted several training workshop there, even after the volcanic eruption. My very best trainee was one of the trainees from there. I was down inside that volcano searching for clay and other materials. Sorry if I am off course, but it was the user name that set   me off. I will he happy to help guide you. Hope to hear from you soon.

You took me back in time with your post.  I’m very interested in working with clay.  I used to use a wheel and do coiled pots at home on the kitchen table.  We had a small pottery studio in the Alaskan village where I lived.  We met there year-round,even in winter, when our only heat was a Franklin stove.  Our water ran by in a creek and we brought it in to use in the studio.  In wintertime we’d often have to cut a hole in the ice to get to the water. Fortunately, we had a kerosene heater that we used to heat the water to something above freezing.

We had some local clay, but it wasn’t very good.  Mostly, we got our clay from Seattle Pottery Supply…also our tools and glazes.  Yes, we got a grant for supplies, and that really helped.  Once we started producing salable items, we were able to come up with the funds we needed from the proceeds.

Working with clay is good for the soul.  When you center the clay, you center yourself as well.  The process is calming and absorbs negative stuff — there isn’t room for the negative when you are creating with your hands.  Hope you get lots of students.  Good luck to you! 

Thank you, I don’t think people know how rewarding and relaxing ceramics can be and anybody can be a ceramic artist, if you don’t believe me let me teach you. Best wishes, Time to work that wheel again. Best wishes.

Hi Courtney!

Thanks for your insight into first ceramic creation. It was interesting to see what you need and how to proceed. I love art and when I was younger I liked a lot of drawing. But, I was a sports freak, so ended up in the sport.

However, thanks for your short and informative lesson.

Wish you much success with your work!

Best regards,

Thanks Igor, it’s not too late, The drawing? you should rekindle the fire. All the best.

I enjoyed your post on how to prepare for your first ceramic lesson.  What I really found interesting was the tips you provided on how to do market research on determining what will see in each persons individual market place.  Those ideas would work for most niches.  Thanks again and keep up the great work.  Cheers

Thank You Rob. Always willing to help. Enjoy your day.

Hello Courtney; I enjoyed reading your well put together tutorial on  Ceramic. Let me ask you; Is there a particular product in ceramic about which you are offering training?

I ask the question because where I came from, Ceramic Tile is trending. I believe that both men and women can learn the skill to make and trade Ceramic products. Thanks for the suggested idea.


Thank for asking, my training will be tailor made to suit the student and possible opportunities.I guarantee uniqueness. Let’s get started. Where  is home Dorcas? Best wishes.

Thank you Courtney, for this introduction to ceramics. I am interested in the therapeutic benefit. I am often easily stressed about daily situations and I beleive making  pottery can provide relief from my stress. I live on the outskirts of the Texas Hill Country and near San Antonio. I am sure there are ceramic artists and workshop within easy distance. Thanks to your guide on How To Prepare For Your First Ceramic Lesson. I now know how to research and find the local training, supplies, etc. 

Thank you Tom; Good luck with your search; The ceramic wheel is like magic, you will enjoy it, and the relaxation. All the best.

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