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Gifts to Give to Potters


Have you ever been stymied trying to think of the perfect gift for the potter(s) in your life? Does the potter on your gift list look at you like a deer in headlights when you ask what they would like to receive as a gift? To help alleviate this problem, I have put together a list of some ideas for great gifts for potters, from the small and inexpensive to the extravagant.

Small, Inexpensive Potter Gifts

Wrapping gifts suitable for potters.
Photo © 2009 Beth E Peterson

Let's begin with a list of small, inexpensive gifts (and stocking stuffers) for potters:

  • Sponges: Check Types of Pottery Sponges for specifics. I know for myself I usually need to replace my sponges about once a year.
  • Chamois: These pieces of ultra-fine leather are still easy to find in places that sell automotive supplies.
  • Scrappers: Everything from heavy putty knives to the 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, interestingly textured place mats, cake decorating tips, and so on are all fun in the studio. Troll yard sales for great buys.

Fairly Inexpensive Potter Gifts

There are also 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 our beast.
  • Books: Check out the reviews on some great books for potters.
  • Subscriptions: Pottery magazines are a great gift that keeps giving. Here's a list of most of them, and reviews of several of those.
  • Shelves
  • 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.


Give Your Potter a Membership

Gift giving can be tough, especially for those who really would love a gift that connects with their pottery-making. One idea is to give your favorite potter (or potters) a membership in an area or national potter's organization.

Most potter associations do have annual dues, but these are rarely pricey. Memberships often include newsletters, fee-free exhibition opportunities, sales events, and a lot of good camaraderie.

I've a growing list of some potter's associations and organizations of interest to potters here:


Give Pottery Tools and Equipment

You can also find a myriad of tools and equipment that are made specifically for potters. (I suggest you steer clear of purchasing supplies unless you know what your potter specifically wants.)


Pottery Workshops and Conferences as Gifts

Hanging out with other potters in an extended, clay-concentrated atmosphere is a real highlight and often a really productive break from the regular grind. Consider giving the potter on your list (or suggest it if you're the potter) a trip to a pottery workshop or conference!

Pottery workshops can be found all over and can range from primitive pit firing to refined techniques using overglazes. Conferences are often like several workshops rolled into one. Both are a fantastic way to learn new things, but even more than that, they are almost always fun!

Pottery Trips and Tours as Gifts

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. This can be as simple as giving a day-trip excursion to a regional museum. Different museums offer different collections, some of which are truly outstanding.

Another idea is to arrange a trip to meet today's potters in their workshops and studios. Potters often love to see other potter's work, and the chance to sit and talk with a potter they admire can be wonderful.

Trips don't have to be close to home, however. They can also be as extravagant as a full-blown vacation. For example, Jingdezhen, China, the ancestral home of porcelain production, is included as part of this river cruise.

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