Pottery 101: Making vs Baking - 🔥Uncover the Art of Clay 🍶

When it comes to working with clay, there are two main methods for creating a pot: making and baking. Let's delve into the difference between the two with the help of our beginner's guide to choosing the right modeling clay for your project.

Making a Pot:

When we talk about making a pot, we are referring to the process of shaping the clay into the desired form. This can be done using various techniques such as hand-building, wheel throwing, or using molds. Hand-building involves using your hands and simple tools to shape the clay, while wheel throwing involves using a potter's wheel to create symmetrical forms. Molds, on the other hand, are pre-made shapes that you can press the clay into to achieve a specific design.

No matter which method you choose, the key here is to manipulate the clay to create the shape and design you want. This is where your creativity comes into play! You can experiment with different textures, patterns, and sizes to make your pot truly unique. For more inspiration, check out our article on clay surface decoration techniques.

Baking a Pot:

Once you have finished making your pot, it's time to move on to the baking process. Baking, also known as firing or curing, is the step where the clay is hardened and transformed into a durable ceramic material. The purpose of baking is to remove any remaining moisture from the clay and to chemically change it into a solid state. Our article on oven-baked clay vs fire clay provides more insight into this process.

The baking process depends on the type of clay you are using. If you are working with air dry clay, you can simply let the pot air dry over a period of time. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the thickness of the clay and the humidity in your environment. Once the clay is completely dry, it will become hard and ready to use.

On the other hand, if you are working with polymer clay, you will need to bake it in an oven to cure it. Polymer clay requires a specific temperature and baking time, which can vary depending on the brand and thickness of the clay. It's important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure proper curing. For more information on working with polymer clay, check out our article on exploring the endless possibilities of polymer clay art.

The Benefits of Baking:

Baking your clay pot offers several benefits. First and foremost, it strengthens the clay, making it more durable and long-lasting. Baked clay pots can withstand heat, water, and everyday wear and tear. Additionally, baking allows you to add color and finish to your pot. You can paint, glaze, or seal the baked clay to achieve the desired look.


In summary, making a pot involves shaping the clay, while baking a pot refers to the process of hardening and curing the clay. Both steps are essential in creating beautiful and functional clay creations. Whether you choose to work with air dry clay or polymer clay, the end result will be a unique and personalized pot that you can proudly display or use in your everyday life. So grab your clay, let your creativity flow, and don't forget to check out our guide on how to make and decorate your own clay pots for plants.

Amanda Clayson
clay bead bracelets, pottery, polymer clay, air dry clay

Amanda Clayson is a passionate clay artist with over 10 years of experience in the world of clay crafts. She specializes in creating intricate clay bead bracelets and unique pottery designs. Amanda loves sharing her knowledge and inspiring others to explore their creativity through clay.