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Ceramics are easy to learn and highly rewarding

Ceramics are easy to learn and highly rewarding

While we find ourselves spending more time in our homes, picking up a new craft to learn can be such a positive thing to do

I have always loved creating and making and so truly appreciate the joy it can bring to your life. When the restrictions were imposed on our lives due to the coronavirus I wanted to do something positive and share this creative joy with others who may find they had more time than normal on their hands.

As the changes impacted my usual business, with markets suspended and galleries and shops having to close their doors, I decided to shift my focus to helping others to create and to my online store for Cary's Martin Ceramics.

I have created Take Home clay packs for lockdown that include clay and some basic tools. One clay pack includes glazing (with choice of colours) and firing at my studio in Thornlands on Redlands Coast near Brisbane ( this is where your creation needs to be dropped back to), and the other is all about the creating and comes with the details of the clay so you can take your creation to be fired in a community kiln.

My clay packs are suitable whether this is the first time you have touched clay or you are a seasoned pro. I created a facebook group – The Makers Meet with Carys where I have uploaded a number of worksheets and videos showing different making projects. I am also doing a number of Lives in this group to show the creative journey – from the making, to the firing to the glazing to the firing. All the behind the scenes processes.


It's the positivity that comes from thinking about what to create and watching the different making videos I've created. It's belonging to a community of creators who are doing what they can in a difficult time to keep their mindset positive. Sometimes the joy can be found in the creation and then the piece can be put in the garden for nature to return the clay to the Earth. This in itself is a cathartic grounding process.

My top clay creating tips

  • Have a wooden chopping board to work on. When you roll the clay out it won’t stick to that surface.
  • If you don’t have a rolling pin to roll out a slab you can use a bottle of wine!
  • Keep any clay you are not working with wrapped in plastic. This will stop it drying out.
  • When joining two pieces of clay be sure to score each surface well and moisten with water. If you add a couple of drops of vinegar to the water it helps the clay fuse together.
  • Keep your clay thickness between 5-10mm
  • You can’t fight gravity!
  • Have a look online and in my Makers Group for inspiration
  • Lace, stamps, plants..... so many things look good pressed into soft clay! If you put a sheet of grease proof paper between them and your rolling pin it helps create a fabulous embossed surface.
  • Fingerprints are cool! They show the mark of the maker and that they clay was once soft and pliable.

Something incorrect here? Suggest an update below:
Simone N

I’ve been digging trenches in my mother’s garden making way for the vege beds we are building and have pulls out chunks of clay. I was actually just wondering if we could make something with it as a momento of the project?! Wednesday, 13 May 2020