Ceramics supplies (UK)
These past couple of weeks I’ve been talking all about ceramics supplies (UK) and sharing what I use at the studio. I’m a hand builder and sculptor so my supplies are a little different to someone who throws but only in the sense that what I need from my clay and glazes is different to what would be important to a thrower. For example, when I’m considering what clay to use and buy I’m looking for things like building strength and type of grog whereas a thrower would be more likely to look at plasticity and smoothness. Of course is isn’t true of everyone and there are always times when any maker is looking for a variety of properties in their clay and glazes but my reason for mentioning this is to give context to the list below of the main supplies and suppliers that I use at the studio. I find these work great for my needs and for my students and members. I’ve expanded on what I have at the studio based on feedback from students in the past or if someone needed something in particular that I didn’t already have or wanted to try a specific technique. This means I now have a studio with two different stoneware clays (one for throwing and one for hand building), over 100 glazes, oxides, slips and underglazes so that members can make without being limited by what materials are available as much as I possibly can.
The main supplies that I use at the studio are:
- Raku modelling clay from Potterycrafts
- Birch white stoneware from Potterycrafts
- Amaco brush-on stoneware glazes – potter’s choice, celebrations, celadon & satin matte
- Mayco stoneware glazes
- Terracolor stoneware glazes
- Spectrum stoneware glazes
- Duncan Renaissance glaze
- Manganese dioxide, iron oxide black, rutile, copper oxide & carbonate, cobalt carbonate
- Amaco velvet underglazes
- Hobbycreme underglaze pencils
- Nano coloured decorating slips from Scarva
- Coloured decorating slips from Potclays
If you’re making for yourself you won’t need anywhere near all of this. This list has built up over the years I’ve been teaching and is there to provide the best making experience I can offer to my students and members. If you’re just starting out you’ll need a good clay to suit how you’re making (I’d highly recommend the Potterycrafts raku modelling clay if you’re planning to hand build as it’s strong and forgiving!) and a glaze or two that match the firing temperature of your chosen clay. I have a video that can help if you need more on this. I also have a beginners hand building kit available from Potterycrafts (especially for my beginners course) which includes clay and tools to get you started. I haven’t included any glazes as this is such a personal choice and completely depends on what you make.
As far as suppliers go in the UK we are lucky to have a good choice online. My main supplier is Potterycrafts as they make my favourite clay and have a good range of brush-on stoneware glazes but I do order from others like Potclays (great choice of Mayco glazes and coloured slips!), Scrava (the Nano coloured slips are great!) and Bath Potters (they’ve have specific Spectrum glazes that I love!). I’ve also recently ordered raku glazes from CTM Potters and Potters Connection too. There are of course many, many more suppliers and my advice is to find one that has as much of what you need so you only have to order in one place whenever possible. It’s worth checking out their delivery costs as it can be expensive to send something heavy like clay and if you’re lucky enough to have a local supplier all the better. These little gems are great places to buy as you can go in person and they usually know so much about all things clay related.
I’ve done a video about all this as well as covering places to buy equipment too. You can check it out below and, as always, if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch 🙂