Please, share your own cost- and effort- saving ideas! Respond below.
Find Free Buckets
I don't know about you, but I use a lot of buckets. I use them for scraps and recycling, for glazes, for clean-up water, turned upside down as damp cabinets, and more. Because of this, I adore getting my buckets for free.
I get mine from my niece, who has multiple cats. She gets litter in by the bucket, then gives me the buckets once they are empty. Besides cat owners, you can might be able to get free buckets from bakeries. They get icing and other ingredients by the bucket-load. A third potential source are restaurants, who also often get items like sauces in bulk.
Let's face it. Credit cards make it all too easy at times to spend on things we don't need or should delay getting. Don't be like the Wedgewood company, that ended up with over 900 creditors!
We all need to watch costs. Just as paying for groceries with a credit card is a no-no and sign that we need help in dealing with our cash crunches, we need to keep an eye on our pottery purchases. This may not be the time to buy the newest cool pottery tool that catches our eye.
It has always made sense to recycle our clay, especially if we throw. Throwing always seems to mean lots of scrap clay. If not from pieces that get away from us, than merely the scraps from trimming and the slurry that we make as we go. Even hand building, we still (or at least I do) build up lots of scraps.
What do you do with your scrap clay?
It has always made sense to recycle clay scraps. It just rubs me the wrong way to waste the clay, as well as being expensive. In tough economic times, wasting clay makes even less sense.
Did you know you don't need big expensive equipment to recycle your own clay scraps? All you really need is a bucket, a large towel, water, and some effort.
Being a frugal potter means we want to avoid waste whenever we can. Being a responsible potter-citizen also means that we take the time to conserve not only our materials, but also our Earth. Let's face it, substances such as lithium in our glaze is a good thing, but if you don't medically need it, having even trace amounts in the water is not! (And many sewage treatment plants don't remove trace elements well.)
Here's a fun, adventurous way to be both environmentally- and wallet-friendly: Make and use mystery glazes from your glaze leftovers!
Tooth Tools Re-Purposed for Pottery
Be frugal and re-purpose tooth care tools. Toothbrushes are great for spattering slips and underglazes and can also be used to create texture and clean up tough dried clay. Floss sticks and tools make great miniature cutting wires. And there is nothing like old dental tools for carving fine details into leather hard clay.
Cheap Storage Idea
Finding places to store all the little items in the studio can be a headache. If small items are put away in drawers, it can be frustrating to find them in the jumble.
I found this hang-on-the-door plastic storage unit at a yard sale. For a nickle, I now have a fantastic place to store all those tiny things. Now I can see them at a glance, and they stay organized and out of the way.
Junk Mail Pottery Tools
Do you hate junk mail? Here is a reason not to.
Save all those pseudo-credit cards that come with various credit card offers. These sturdy little cardboard or plastic card blanks make great tools that you don't have to mind cutting up for experiments. They are useful as ribs and scrapers. I use pinking shears and scrapbooking scissors to create texturing tools. You can cut openings into them (especially the plastic ones) and make extrusion dies.