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What is the best clay for Pottery Beginners

Updated: May 4, 2023

Air dry clay is a type of clay that is perfect for those new to making pottery and is great for hand building and making pottery at home as it does not require a kiln. It is an easy type of clay to practice handling and playing with clay and to experiment creatively.

Air dry clay is generally a natural clay with a natural additive like corn starch or cellulose fibres added in to make it harden. Fibres often added to clay to make air-dry clay are cotton, paper or other wood fibres. Glue is also often added to help it keep its structure.

Air dry clay should not be fired or baked because of the natural ingredients which are added to the clay, like paper, which are designed to be dried slowly at room temperature.

What can you make with Air Clay ?

You can make anything you want with air-dry clay but any bowls, plates or mugs made with air dry clay are for decorative purposes only and are not food-safe, as it is a type of clay designed to be left unsealed and is not watertight or food safe.

If you want to have a go with clay that you can fire then it is important to start looking at firing temperatures and where you are going to fire your work. There is a website called 'Kilnshare' where you can find kilns that potters are willing to rent out. Another factor is delivery charges. Delivery for clay is expensive as it is heavy. So have a chat with a local potter to see if they would be willing to do a joint order to halve the delivery costs. This works out for both them and you.

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