Gifts to Give to Potters

From Sponges to Studio Tours

Hands of woman enjoying pottery
Kohei Hara / Getty Images

Want to get a gift for a potter in your life but the best you've come up with is a T-shirt that says "Keep Calm and Throw Stuff?" There are better options out there. Discover ideas for everyone, from the small and inexpensive to the extravagant.

  • 01 of 06

    Inexpensive—But Useful—Potter Gifts

    Potter uses sponge to shape bowl on pottery wheel.
    rudisill/Getty Images

    There are plenty of options for small, inexpensive gifts, great for stocking stuffers or a little something for students or workshop attendees.

    • Sponges: Seawool, elephant ear, silk, and PVA sponges are all potters' favorites. Active potters usually need to replace a sponge every year or so.
    • Chamois: These pieces of ultra-fine leather are easiest to find in automotive stores.
    • Scrappers: Everything from heavy putty knives to square metal pastry or dough cutters make great pottery tools.
    • Kitchen gadgets: Practically every kitchen tool a cook or baker can use is also great for pottery. Items such as garlic presses, pastry rollers, cookie cutters, cookie presses, textured placemats, and cake decorating tips are all fun to use in the studio. 
  • 02 of 06

    Moderately Expensive Potter Gifts

    Paintbrushes in jar near the window of an artists studio window
    Layne Kennedy/Getty Images

    There are plenty of great gifts that may cost a bit more but are still fairly inexpensive. They're also almost certain to please any potter.

    • Brushes: Brushes used for ceramics take a beating, due to the abrasive nature of pottery.
    • Books: There are plenty of great books for potters of all skill levels. Check reader reviews to find the right one.
    • Subscriptions: Pottery magazines are great gifts that keep on giving. 
    • Shelves: Potters use shelves for drying, moving, and displaying their work; which type does your potter need?
    • Furniture movers (Skaters): Not the burly guy from down the street, but those low platforms on wheels that make moving heavy objects so much easier. These are great gifts for potters who create larger works.
    • Turntables: Banding wheels, cake decorating stands, and lazy Susans are all are turntables that can make life much easier when hand-building or decorating pottery.
  • 03 of 06

    The Gift of Membership

    Potters in workshop painting pottery
    JPM/Getty Images

    Local and national potters organizations and associations provide resources, learning opportunities, and camaraderie with other mud-minded folks. These groups usually assess annual dues but are rarely pricey. Memberships often include newsletters, cost-free exhibition opportunities, sales events, and a lot of valuable support. It's best to check with the potter in your life to be sure you're underwriting a membership they'll use.

  • 04 of 06

    Great Pottery Tools and Equipment

    Cup and tools on pottery wheel
    JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

    Potters use a wide range of tools and equipment, from the simple to the deluxe. Because each potter works differently, you'll want to be sure you're making the right choice (or think about buying a gift card from a pottery supplier). For modest gifts, consider specialized hand tools like ribbon tools or LidMaster calipers, or, for a bigger ticket item, perhaps a Giffin Grip. At the high end of the range, is it time to consider a potter's wheel or even a kiln?

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Pottery Workshops and Conferences

    A group of people seated at a workbench in a pottery workshop.
    Mint Images/Getty Images

    Hanging out with other potters in a clay-concentrated atmosphere is a real highlight and often provides a productive break from the regular grind. Pottery workshops are hosted everywhere and can range from primitive pit firing to refined techniques using overglazes. Conferences often include several workshops rolled into one event. Both are a fantastic way to learn new things, but even more than that, they're almost always fun! As always, be sure you're gifting the right experience for the potter in your life.

  • 06 of 06

    Pottery Excursions

    Greece, Mani peninsula, souvenir shop
    Wolfgang Weinhäupl/Getty Images

    Does your favorite potter love a particular type of historical pottery? That is a good way to gauge what they would enjoy traveling to see. An excursion can be as simple as a day trip to a regional museum or as extravagant as a full-blown pottery-centered vacation.

    For a truly memorable trip, send your potter to the workshop of a professional potter. Potters often love to see other potters work, and the chance to sit and talk with a potter they admire can be wonderful.