The material necessary to do pottery is wet clay that has been sculpted into a shape and then baked. After baking it is possible to decorate the artifact using simple or intricate designs depending on what the artist chooses. Pottery may be done for the purpose of decoration or actual use. Examples of uses of pottery artifacts are dinner bowls, vases, and flower pots.
Porcelain, Earthenware, and Stoneware are the three main types of pottery. The difference between each is the materials that are used and the temperature that it is baked at. Porcelain is made from fine white clay and some other materials. It is very delicate and fired at a lower temperature. Earthenware is baked at the lowest temperature which allows an artist to add glazes. Because of the material it is made from and the low temperature, this pottery cracks more easily than some of the other types. Stoneware is baked at a very high temperature and therefore can be decorated with harder finishes.
The best way to learn to do pottery is to take a class. The reason for this is that the tools are very expensive which does not make it very cost effective as a new hobby. Investing in a kiln will cost a lot more than signing up for a class at a place that already has what you need.
Once you find a class to do pottery in, you have to decide how you want to make your first pot. It is possible to do it using a potter's wheel or craft it by hand. The second is probably easier to start with because mastering the potter's wheel takes some skill on its own. By doing it by hand to begin with you can figure out how to move and mold the clay before adding another tool.
After forming the pottery into the shape you would like, you then need to decorate it. This is usually done after the pottery has been placed in the oven or kiln. Decorations are then added to the pottery. Usually after finishing with the decorations one will cover or seal the pottery with a clear glaze. This gives the pottery the ability to be used for food and drinks.
Doing pottery is a fun and useful hobby. It can be expensive to set up due to the materials that are required to get started. Finding a class can help defray some of the cost thus making it easier to do and enjoy the handcraft of pottery.