029 – What do You Listen To While Making Pottery?

What do you listen to while working with clay?
MudTalk Podcast - Pottery, Ceramics, Business
029 - What do You Listen To While Making Pottery?
What do you listen to while making pottery?


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What do you listen to while you are working with clay? How does it affect your work?


This is episode 29 of the Mudtalk Podcast and it is a fun one. The topic  is, “what do you listen to while you work with clay?” 

There were so many responses that I won’t be able to read them all! But if you are in need of some new audio content there will be plenty of ideas in this episode. I thought this would be a great topic because I’m always looking for interesting things to listen to while my hands are busy with clay. Unfortunately it has taken me forever to get this episode recorded so most of the following responses were from a very long time ago.

Thank you for listening to THIS podcast. I hope you are currently working with clay as you listen.

A short disclaimer: I will include a few clips of some of the great suggestions. I don’t own the copyright to any of these works of audio but they are presented here for educational purposes only.

Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, let’s hear what other potters and ceramic artists listen to as they work with clay.


A few people including Pubali909, and Ingridj1957,  enjoy the peace and quiet and listen to the sound of the process or complete silence.


A few people including Nicolaashley1101, Moequintana1, Anna C-N all mentioned audiobooks.

Rawstudios Audiobooks; the best combination ; the intense meditative effect from the throwing makes the books even more vivid .

Dtaylorsatm Audible books, Perry Mason and Agatha Christie mysteries

Angela M Audiobooks and pottery. Complete bliss 😌

I also enjoy audiobooks. You have probably heard of audible.com, Amazon’s audiobook site. You pay a monthly subscription fee and get to choose a certain number of audiobooks every month. There are also some other similar sites. But did you know there are resources out there that offer FREE audiobooks? 

One great free resource I’ve found is called Hoopla. I get free access from my local library. I can can borrow digital items such as ebooks, audiobooks, movies, and music. I think they raised the number to 10 per month during the pandemic! The selection isn’t massive but there is enough to keep me listening.

I have also started using an app called Libby which connects to the Indiana Digital Library. I get access through my local library. They have a much bigger selection but only have a limited number of each item so you may have to get on the waitlist for certain items, just like a physical library.

One more free resource is Librivox. It offers free audio versions of public domain books. Lots of old classics available.

If you are interested I’ll put a link to some of these audiobook resources in the show notes.


Podcasts seem to be a popular choice for a few reasons. Most of them are free. There is always new content. And now you can find a podcast about almost anything you can think of. Just think about the podcast you are listening to right now… One guy with a laptop and microphone reading his favorite replies to social media posts about pottery. What a time to be alive!

Pen and ink pottery Podcasts!! #2dopequeens #codeswitch #sooomanywhiteguys #savagelove

Canmore pottery Strictly podcasts. Is it a pottery podcast??!!!

Scetinozkan Podcasts how stuff works and some Turkish podcasts about philosophy, [and] technology . Learning something helps the creative process for me.

Dundeepottery Podcasts…CBC, Annemarie at The Current, Out in the Open with Piya Chattopadhyay, Planet Money, This American Life, Someone Knows Something, Serial, S-Town, trying Sawbones today… and of course Red Clay Rambler. So much to learn so little time!!

Jeffszarzi Podcast: Meat Eater, 99% Invisible, Radio Lab, tales of RCR, Potterscast, trumpconlaw, freshair.

Penni.q.pottery @casefilepodcast best ever👌🏼👌🏼

Paula C I’m a podcast listener. Tales of a Red Clay Rambler, Dan Carlin’s Hard Core History, Stuff to Blow Your Mind, etc.

I enjoy listening to podcasts and audiobooks as well if I’m doing part of the process that doesn’t require a lot of thought. I love the idea of maximizing my use of time so if I can learn something AND make pots I feel super productive. So I’ve listened to quite a range of podcasts, including topics like being a better writer, selling things on Etsy, and building a brand. And of course some of the other pottery podcasts.

One of the more “fun” podcasts that I listen to is called Nateland. It is comedian Nate Bargatze and a few of his comedian friends talking about random topics. It is good clean fun without getting into politics or any depressing issues that are common today. If you want something that isn’t too serious and will probably make you smile, maybe even laugh, I would recommend it.

The really cool thing about podcasts is that just about anyone can create one. In fact, if you have an idea for a pottery related podcast, we could help you publish it on ExpertClay.com completely for free. Something to think about.


Of course many responses mentioned music! And there was a really nice selection of styles and artists.

Maddi.laine Pop and indie music 🎶

Crw_designs I have an ‘art’ playlist that has over 700 songs… everything from Led Zeppelin to Dispatch to Fleetwood Mac. I can’t work without music. I’ve never tried podcasts.

Paolarb Washed out station on Pandora … it’s a dream! 😍

Sar_in_dip_ity Songs that pull deep emotions from me. It helps me relax and put intention and creativity in to my work. It’s therapeutic

Ole_ole_arts Always have Pandora on…can’t be creative with peace and quiet. Most of the week it’s CSN, Steely Dan, Beatles, Eagles, etc. But on Fridays have to mix it up with Earth, Wind & Fire💃

Wanderingforward Worship music or Celtic music. But mostly worship music these days – I have MUCH to praise Him for. ❤

Sarafreedom_ I love listening to metal and psych rock. Puts me into a focused meditation and makes me feel bad___! #blackcedarceramics

Gomezceramica lately I’ve been obsessed w/ the Into The Wild soundtrack

Landrum_pottery I find a classic rock and country playlist, and pop, sometimes EDM each song effects what I make it’s a direct link to how I feel usually. I’m Working through spotify playlists. A friend of mine recently showed me ‘Yellow’ by Gourmet. It’s a fun song @potterymakinginfo

Carmenarrowood 60’s oldies

Theatre nerd 3 Fleetwood Mac. Because it’s fun.

Annick_and her pottery Bee Gees because there is nothing sweeter than their music and their harmonies!

The_signing_gimp Fall Out Boy’s new album because it helps me wedge better…lol

James clements1962 Steely Dan, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Widespread Panic, etc.

Falcon fire ceramic studio I’m the first to admit my music tastes are strange, but most days I’m blaring German metal, the likes of Rammstein, Eisbrecher, Unheilig, BlutEngel, and a few others. Also love trancy stuff, like Amethystium. It helps that I make fantasy creatures and other handbuilt creations.

My apologies for not knowing how to pronounce most of those names.

Nicholson_terry 70’s and 80’s Music

Pathwaypottery Pandora. Been listening to a lot of Needtobreathe lately!

Desiredstatecraft Mainly jazzy hip hop or mellow stuff like Moonchild, Tom Misch 😊

Jeikobu_jeikobu Dub. because vibes.

Prrpots I like to listen to music while working, but I hate headphones and work in a public studio space, so most of the time – nothing. When I do give up and put on the headphones it’s usually either folk music or electronica depending on my mood and what I’m working on.

David van S Michael Hedges

Jane L H Reggae ❤️💛💚

Laurence P Peter Gabriel with a huge cup of tea !

Denise B-D 60s that I can sing to, lumineers led zepplin radio and many other random genres on spotify. But classical especially Chopin help my creativity the most.

David S I have my thumbprint Pandora station dialed in to ottmar Liebert, Pink Floyd, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Beach Boys, the Beatles, Yanni, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young… it’s very eclectic but I love it… oh, and I stream NPR, especially love Terry Gross

Karen S I have a bunch of my own made CD’s with all kinds of music that I listen to. Lately it has been modern/contemporary country music. Darius Ruckus leading the way with Wagon Wheel song.

As for me, I love to listen to music, especially when I’m doing something that I actually have to think about and can’t focus on dialogue. Measuring glaze ingredients. Answering emails. Listing pots. Or maybe I just need a little energy that music can bring. These are the times where I crank up the tunes. I’ll listen to just about anything… from Bob Dylan to NF. Chuck Berry to August Burns Red. With the streaming options available now we can listen to just about anything we want!


And even with all the other on demand options, it is good that some people still enjoy the good old radio.

Paco L and Studio gallery pi said simply “Radio”

Earthartam NPR

Jackie C NPR. As I no longer watch the news or read the paper, for the sake of my sanity. So NPR is how I stay informed.

Susan D W NPR – National Potters Radio.

Jericho studio pottery Pretty much always BBC radio 4. Nothing beats it really.

Sunshine_pottery CBC radio! I love listening to the different documentaries and the news from a Canadian perspective.


There are also quite a few people, like myself, that listen to a mix of things.

Lahceramics Spotify playlist called Sunshine and Lollipops or library audiobooks- spy, mystery and biography.

Dowidat.ceramics Audiobooks, podcast, and jamming music

Shedceramics Radio dramas or jazz.

Motherpotter It varies from music to audiobooks, but often it’s musicals.

Svartfalk Music or podcasts. It helps me focus on monotone tasks like decorating by carving scales

Nu.prayana @potterymakinginfo I listen to different kind of things, sometimes Tina Malia for quiet and chanting mood, sometimes Relaxing music for creativity on YouTube, other times I listen to Louise Hay affirmations podcasts, they are great! Sometimes I listen to Simon Sinek’s videos on YT, and other times I listen to the wheel going round and round :) what about you? 🎶 🎧 📻

Atelier dume janet_pottery Movies, series, documentaries, my favourite playlist on Deezer, Radio Brussels… the birds,the wind, nature (if the digital sounds annoys me :)

Hilly K Usually the radio but sometimes an old movie too……depends what I’m doing! Either way, its always wonderfully peaceful……even when things go wrong..😂

Diane S Any old movie in the background

Process Dependent

One thing I thought was interesting is that many people listen to different kinds of audio during different parts of the process. For example,

Stonecropstudio Decorating? Audiobooks! Throwing? Silence😉

Kds_studio For throwing, I listen to Dave Mathews, classical or opera. For glazing, audio books or podcasts. My favorite podcasts are npr, Ted talks, and Ted radio hour.

Jenbavpear Silence for throwing, bluegrass for glazing.

Rex.wares I love this Spotify playlist, Lush Vibes, for throwing. It sounds like rain in a jungle. Podcasts for trimming and decorating.

Myers.mckimm.ceramics Depends… podcasts for the throwing, music for cleaning and mixing glazes, netflix for assembling (handles, earrings, underglaze\overglaze decals.

Sigueceramics Throwing is meditative for me, so Dead Can Dance, or David Whyte’s interview with Krista Tippett on OnBeing. While trimming, Florence and The Machine are a favorite.

Colibripottery Classical for throwing and hand-building. Heavy metal for decorating. Yeah i know.

Wildfirepotterypenn It depends where I am in the process. EDM or something upbeat for throwing to aid creativity and to keep myself in a rhythm. Trimming is more mellow so maybe new age, jazz, or opera, glazing can be monotonous so something harder like hard rock to help break that up. Rarely spoken word.

East2westpottery Depends on stage in process and mood;blues/jazz, rap/mo-T, psychedelic rock, soft 70s, chill/lounge😁🎧

Anna R Depends if I’m on the wheel or decorating. Sometimes podcasts sometimes classical music.

So there you have it. A great but somewhat dated list of what our fellow potters are listening to when they are making pots. I wonder how many people would have a different answer now. There are always new podcasts coming out, artists dropping new albums, more audiobooks, etc. Anyway, maybe you have heard something here that is new to you that you can explore further. And of course, I can’t even tell you how thankful I am if you are listening to this podcast. It is an honor to be part of your process and share some perspectives from all over the world.

Our next episode will be about how we can grow the clay community. Until then, keep listening, keep making, and stay muddy.

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