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?" Well, keep calm and read this list of pottery gift ideas instead. There's something for everyone, from the small and inexpensive to the extravagant.
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Inexpensive—But Useful—Potter Gifts
Let's begin with a list of 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, so can a potter. Items such as garlic presses, pastry rollers, cookie cutters, cookie presses, textured place mats, and cake decorating tips are all fun to use in the studio.
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Fairly Inexpensive Potter Gifts
There are also a lot of great gifts that may cost a bit more but are still fairly inexpensive, as well as being 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.
- Turntables: Banding wheels, cake decorating stands, lazy Susans...all are turntables that can make life much easier when hand-building or decorating pottery.
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The Gift of Membership
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.
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Great Pottery Tools and Equipment
You can also find myriad tools and equipment that are made specifically for potters. (But it's best to steer clear of purchasing supplies unless you know what your potter specifically wants.) 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.
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Pottery Workshops and Conferences
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!
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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.