Ultimate Guide to Building a Home Pottery Studio

Ultimate Guide to Building a Home Pottery Studio

 Building your dream home pottery studio setup

Most potters begin their journey at a commercial studio. This is a great way to learn, meet like-minded people and dip their toes into the art without many start-up costs. However, lots of people are beginning to find joy in having a personal space in their home where they can work on their creations. Being able to just start creating whenever you feel like it is a fantastic feeling (as we all know, creating art is a very relaxing and meditative experience).

The journey from deciding that you want a dedicated home pottery room to sitting in completed home studio can seem a bit daunting to some people. Therefore, we have created this ultimate guide to give you a clear picture of the exact steps you need to take to get you there.

NOTE: If you'd like us to take care of this for you, we now offer a Garden Pottery Studio Design and Build Service, where we will build you a bespoke fully kitted out garden pottery studio.

Jump to section:

1. Define Your Needs

2. Pick a Room

3.  Choose Your Equipment

4. Choose a Worktable

5. Plan Storage

6. Bring It All Together



Building a home pottery studio

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1. Define Your Needs

First and foremost, you need to be clear about what intend to do in your studio.

Grab a pen and paper and note down your answers to these questions, they will help you make decisions as you progress through this guide.


-Do you handbuild and/or use a pottery wheel? If both, give a rough estimate of how much you do of one compared to the other.

-How many pieces might you make per month? (give a very rough estimate)

-How big are your pieces?


-How much clay do you think you will get through per week?

-Do you use a variety of clays or do you stick to one or a few types?

-Do you use a variety of glazes?

-Do you formulate your own clays from raw materials?


-Will you be sharing the space with others?

-Do you plan to stay a member at a studio or do everything in house?

-Are there any other household considerations that you need to keep in mind? (E.g., you have young children that might wander in, you may need to keep the noise to a minimum)

-What is your budget?

Choosing a room for your studio is one of the first decisions you will need to make, as this will impact your decisions when you come to choose the equipment for your home studio.

You probably already have a room in mind, and this will probably be one of the following:

-A spare bedroom

-A garage




These can all make great home pottery studio setups.

Here are a few things to consider. Grab your pen and paper again and note down the answers to these questions. They will help you when you come to make decisions further down the line.

How much ventilation does the room have?

Good ventilation is important for a pottery studio, generally the more natural ventilation a room has, the better.

Making pottery creates dust, which can lead to health problems if not managed properly.

This is also particularly important if you have a kiln. If there is limited ventilation, this does not rule the room out as you can install some vents/extractors to help with this. 

More information on ventilation

How big is the room?

It can be useful to sketch out a to-scale drawing of the room so that you can visualise what will go where in your home pottery setup.

A large room room can be better as it it will be easier to organise and will help with ventilation.

That being said, plenty of people have really lovely setups in small rooms – it just takes more thoughtful organisation!

Other Tips For Choosing a Space

-Avoid carpets. We have come across a few people who have carpet in their home studio. This is not advised, as pottery can be a messy hobby sometimes. Although, these people are very happy with their studios and say that the clay comes out of the carpet with a good carpet cleaner – so each to their own!

-Ideally, you want to choose a room that is dedicated for this purpose. This makes organisation and tidiness a lot easier. However, you might not be lucky enough to have a spare room waiting to be used, so it is possible to make a small setup in the corner of a kitchen or conservatory. This is where a lot of people start. Then, when they get more experienced, they may decide that they want a dedicated room and build a small room in the back garden, for example.

-Windows are obviously good for ventilation, but they are also key for allowing in natural light so that you can see what you are making! If you do not have big windows, consider investing in some bright overhead lighting.

-Do not be discouraged if you do not have the ‘ideal’ setup for your home ceramics studio. You have to work with what you have sometimes and you can always find creative ways to make it work.

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3. Decide Which Equipment You Need

There are a few main pieces of equipment that you will probably be considering. Depending on what you make and whether or not you plan to fire some of your pieces at a professional studio, your equipment needed is personal to you.

By the end of this step, you should have decided on the equipment that you intend to start with in your home ceramics setup.Remember, you can always start with the more essential items first, and add more when you need it.

Do You Need a Pottery Wheel?

This is probably an easy question for you to answer. If you make a lot of pieces using a wheel, then this will be the main piece of equipment you need. Naturally, a wheel might not be a priority for you right away if you are mainly a handbuilder.

The model you choose will depend on

  • How much you plan to use it
  • Your budget
  • Your available space
  • The size of your pieces
  • Your personal taste
  • Which model you have experience with

Shimpo Wheels

Do you need a kiln?

‘To kiln or not to kiln’ is one of the biggest dilemmas when building a home studio. Some argue that a studio is not complete without a way to fire your pieces, while some are happy to take their creations to their local studio to be fired.

Here’s our opinion: A kiln is a core piece of a studio as it allows you to create your work from start to finish in your own home. However, it can be a big investment, so there is no need to rush into the decision too soon.

We have lots of informational content on our website to guide you through this dilemma, but here are a few pros and cons of having a kiln in your home studio setup.


-No risk of breaking your pieces when transporting them to the studio

-Full control over settings and timings

-No waiting times

-Can be cheaper in the long run

-You can experiment more without worrying about wasting lots of money


-Can be a big up-front investment

-Can take up a fair bit of space

-There are more electrical and ventilation considerations to take into account

-The idea of learning how to run a kiln can  be daunting to some people (we are creating educational content to try to help with this)

Choosing a Kiln

Choosing a kiln is a big decision, and there are many options out there. We have created a simple guide to buying a kiln. If you have any other questions at all, just email info@thepotterypeople.co.uk

Other Equipment

A slab roller can make a great addition to a home studio, especially if you are a hand-builder. These come in a range of sizes and prices. Slab rollers allow you to roll perfect slabs with a lot less effort. Some consider these essential for their work.

Clay extrudersare a great way to make hollow forms, coils and other shapes – great for making handles. These can speed up the process a lot and make uniform shapes. These are often wall-mounted.

4. Choose a Worktable for your home pottery setup

Whatever you are building, you will need a work surface. On this surface, you will be:



-Finishing wheel-thrown pieces

-Decorating pieces


In a dream scenario with unlimited space and money, we would have a separate workspace for each activity. This is not possible for a lot of people. Though, one good idea is to have a separate area for wedging, because a wedging table should be slightly lower than other work surfaces. Adjustable workbenches are available which are great for this very reason.

You will want a worktable that is as big as possible (while not making your room feel too cramped). A solid, heavy workbench is recommended.

Having a separate table for glazing and painting can be a good idea as well to make sure that you don’t get any glaze on your greenware. It also allows you to have the relevant materials in easy reach.

5. Plan Your Storage

Storage is often an overlooked component. Many people underestimate how much more pottery they will produce once they have their own home studio. Therefore, the more, the better.

The more you can compartmentalise your storage the better. At minimum, you should have a separate space for:

  • Greenware (works in progress)
  • Bisque pieces waiting to be glazed
  • Glazed pieces waiting to be fired
  • Finished pieces
  • Tools
  • Clay
  • Glazes
  • Kiln furniture
  • Bats

If you can segregate this further into pieces that are to be fired together, clay types, projects, etc, then this is ideal.

Storage can often make or break the look and feel of your home studio,so it is important to take some time to think about how you want to arrange this.

Storage Top Tips:

-Facebook marketplace can be a great place for pre-loved storage for a low price.

-Ikea have plenty of great options

-Custom-made shelves are often a great option in terms of getting exactly what you want

-Fitting shelves onto the wall are a great way of maximising space by using vertical space.

-Plate racks can be a good way to store bats

-Having a damp space where you can store unfinished pieces is a great idea as it prevents your pieces from drying out.

6. Bring It All Together

Here is a method that we recommend to people trying to work out a layout that works for their home pottery studios:

  1. Draw out your room to scale (or use the drawing you made earlier).
  2. Draw and cut-out shapes that represent the items and equipment that you plan to have in your room.
  3. You can then place them on top of the drawing to help you visualise different layout ideas.

This can help you decide on your equipment as well, since you will know if you need a slightly smaller kiln/wheel etc.

General Tips for Building a Studio That You Love:

  1. You don’t have to have it all figured out straight away! You can start with a basic pottery setup and slowly add more when and where you need it. Don’t stress about having everything perfect to start with
  2. Decorate! You want your home studio to make you feel relaxed and at peace. Plants are a great way to improve the feel of a space, and they really fit in with the earthy tones of clay.
  3. Wheels! Having storage and even equipment on wheels can be a great space saver, as you can rearrange your space with ease whenever you need to. For example, when a kiln is not in use, you can tuck it away in the corner.
  4. Compartmentalisation is key! Having a clear areas for different purposes keeps a clear mind.
  5. Temperature. People often make their home ceramics studios in sheds or garages. While these are great options, they can get cold. It can be easy to overlook this. Invest in some electric heaters to keep you warm.

Good luck to everyone building their home pottery studio. We wish you success!

If you have any questions at all, give us an email at info@thepotterypeople.co.uk. We love chatting to people.


Below, we have included some photos of home pottery studio setups that might give you some inspiration. You can really see the range of layouts and setups that people have. Your personal home pottery studio should match you and your personality.

Thinking of building a garden studio?

We can design and build your dream garden pottery studio, exactly how you want it.