Pottery is a brilliant hobby that just about anyone in the world can pick and get started on. Spending countless hours learning how to make the perfect bowl, plate, or vase, can eventually lead the artist down the road of selling their pottery. Starting a small pottery business means either taking custom commissions or making home-made creations to sell at a market, which means having to both store the pottery and transport it in a safe way. Due to the nature of ceramics, which are prone to breaking under too much stress, it’s important to learn how to properly store all forms of pottery, and to ensure that there are no breakages after taking the pottery out of storage or the back of a transport van.
Temperature and Humidity
It’s well known that certain types of ceramics can easily crack and break if exposed to sudden changes in temperature and humidity. This isn’t so much down to the changing of the weather as keeping the pottery in a room that gets extremely hot in the afternoon and cold at night due to the position of the heat. For this reason, it’s a better idea to put the ceramics in an area that’s safe from any sudden changes in the ambient temperature or humidity. It’s possible to do this by creating an entire pottery storage cupboard in a room that’s well shaded and doesn’t get direct sunlight, or one that has sufficient climate control options. It might also benefit the artist to try and ensure that, if they live in a humid area, they take the necessary steps to make sure that the pottery is safe from the build up of moisture.
Cleaning The Pottery
For unfinished and unglazed pieces, it’s a good idea to first spend some time removing all of the surface dust before packing them away so that no dust settles into the ceramic. For the pieces that are finished, it’s best practise to wash them as gently as possible with a bowl of warm water and soap and letting them dry fully before putting them in storage, the perfect time for some tea. It’s important to remember to never use bleach or chlorine, as these chemicals can permanently damage the finish on the pottery and make it unusable. The area that the pottery will be stored must also be dusted and cleaned properly, and it might also be a good idea to add some moth balls to make sure no insects take up home in the pieces.
Wrapping The Pottery
Once cleaned, a soft cloth can be used to to wrap up the pottery. Linen and muslin are the best choices when it comes to protection, and provide a good surface for keeping the ceramics free of moisture and grime. Once they have been wrapped up in cloth, bubble wrap is the next step. The more bubble wrap used, the better, but it’s always good to do it as carefully as possible. From here, it’s simply a matter of keeping them clean, wrapped up tightly, and in a room that has a stable temperature level for the foreseeable future.