Handicrafts are a fun party of a Charlotte Mason education. I love needlework, wood and paper crafts, painting.... But children need help learning a useful skill, and teaching three school-aged kids separate crafts was getting to be too much. So I went on a quest for a handicraft we could do together as a family.
Pottery was on the forefront of my mind. It's earthy and rustic and kids love playing with clay. The price for classes for all of us was too steep (about $450, although I thought about asking if they could do a family class for less). I'm definitely interested in wheel work for myself at some point. The kids aren't old enough for that yet (I believe she said they needed to be 13 or older). But I did find a place in Texas that sells pottery kits with clay and tools included: Heritage Ministries' Homesteading Crafts. The kit cost $30 with enough clay for one person to do 9 projects. Shipping came out to $30 also, but I was willing to pay $60 for this kit.
I figured we'd use less clay by making smaller projects and just make it through a few to see how we liked it. If we wanted to continue, I could purchase more clay. After a little confusion with the company (which a manager cleared up with a phone call), I found that shipping was only $15 and the other $15 was refunded to my credit card. So total cost for this pottery kit was $45.
The tools are real and sharp ~ definitely for older kids with parental supervision. My 5, 7, and 10 year olds handled them fine with my direction. We only did pottery when the baby was napping. There are a couple of other supplies we needed to gather: water bottle, plastic, rolling pin, etc. And our dining table handled fine as a work surface.
So our search for a family handicraft that all (including Mom) would enjoy was successful. More on creating our pots in the next two posts.
A Search for Pottery