My pottery studio has evolved from amassing supplies, tools, and equipment. A friend recently Instagram-shared her Guatemala visit showing a potter making pots with corncobs for surface texture, and found objects to trim the ware. Here, in Southeastern Pennsylvania, my pottery making appears to support a vast retail industry.
My usual go-to is The Ceramic Shop in Norristown, PA for quick trips to pick up an item or two or 15. It’s where I order my clay, usually speckled brown 112, dark brown 266, and white stoneware 181 – all Standard clay bodies that I fire to mid-range. They make it easy to efficiently load 500 lbs. of clay or bags of chemistry into the car from their loading entrance, located on W. Basin street.
I also do my share to keep Amazon growing by leaps and bounds. From shop vac to buckets, shelves, and countless other supplies, ubiquitous Amazon purchases can be found organizing, storing, and basically supporting the pottery process throughout my studio and kiln shed. I’m sure I’m part of the reason for the increase in Prime membership fees. A Google search of a,azpm and Amazon is the top hit. Go figure.
A couple other retailers I’ve purchased from are Axner and Bailey, Axner for specific items, such as bamboo teapot handles, fountain parts, or a roll of ‘dishwasher and microwave safe’ stickers; Bailey Ceramic Supplies when that one special glaze I needed wasn’t in stock at the Ceramic Shop.
My most recent purchase was from Diamond Core Tools, for some diamond grinding discs. After watching those Instagram videos of potters smoothing pot bottoms in a matter of seconds, I overcame the mild sticker shock and was sold. I purchased the 8 inch 120 and 240 grit discs, which arrived yesterday. I also snagged one of those ‘sticky bats’ to try out – total impulse buy.
When I look around my studio, I can’t help but think about that Guatemalan potter making pots with found objects and corncob tools – straight from earth to ware. But it’s time to try out those new diamond grinding discs…