Christmas Gift Ideas for Potters
It's always hard to know what to get someone for Christmas, but the good news is there's no shortage of options when buying for a potter.
These are taken partly from suggestions on Instagram, and partly from the list of things I want or would immediately replace if broken. I've tried to find a UK and US price and link to purchase where applicable, but I haven't hunted for the best price.
Top 5 from Instagram
Ribs - Ribs make a great present as there are an infinite number of shapes and materials, each with it's own merit. The brands that came up most on the poll were Mudtools (~£6/$7) and GarrityTools ($10-30). If buying for a potter who already has a couple of the more traditional shapes and sizes, consider some of the stranger looking ones!
Wire - Having a wire the right length with a comfortable handle makes a big difference. I find the shortest Xiem wire (£6.12/$5.95) perfect for almost everything I throw. The standard Mudtools wire (£5.87/$7) is 5" longer, and might be more suited to people throwing larger pots.
Foam/Sticky Batt - A lower tech and priced way of holding pieces while trimming. Xiem do a Foam Batt (£10.20/$9.95) and DiamondCore Tools do the Sticky Batt (£69.56/$76) as well as a few other variations.
Stamping Tools - Most ceramic suppliers offer a range of cheap premade stamps, but if the potter you're buying for has a logo then you could buy them a custom pottery stamp.
Brushes - Most ceramic suppliers will offer a selection, and it's useful to have a choice when glazing. If you want a really nice brush, check out Troy Bungart (CA$60+).
Applicator - You can get nozzle applicators for precise work or cheap spray atomisers for about £5 from most suppliers or on Amazon. They won't match proper spraying equipment for the quality of the result, but they are a cheap and fun way to change things up a bit.
Glaze - A very broad category. If buying for someone else, I'd suggest looking at the brand and type of glaze they currently use (the firing temperature is the important thing here) and getting them something new from that range.
Stain - Stains can be used in many different way. They can be added to clay, slip, and glaze, or applied afterwards in the form of a wash to produce a huge range of effects. The most reliable brand I've found is Mason (£3.50+/$5+), you could get a small amount of a few colours and be pretty confident the recipient would find a fun use for them.
Lustre - These are precious metals that get applied to glazed work and fired to a lower temperature. They are very expensive (£10 per gram!) which can put a lot of people off buying them for themselves, making them a good option for a gift.
Other Potters Work - There are so many fantastic potters out there creating inspirational work, having more of it in your life can only be a good thing!
Workshops - Have a look locally, see what's going on near you
Books - I highly recommend Clary Illian's A Potter's Workbook for improving the quality of your work, and John Britt's books for glazing. Harry Fraser's Ceramic Faults and their Remedies is a very useful reference too.
Hand Cream - Dry skin is one of the main drawbacks to working with clay, so anything that helps with that would be good. The top suggestions from Instagram were The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Cream, O'Keeffe's Working Hands Hand Cream, Potter's Skin Butter, and Neutrogena Norwegian Formula.
Massage - Pottery is physical, so a deep massage can do the world of good.
Apron - Everyone should form a neat queue for Faith's aprons (maybe for next Christmas).
Harry the Potter Shirt - $12!