It’s stunning how many images of pots - historical and contemporary - are available online, particularly as museums work to get their collections represented digitally. Here are the search results (from Nasca stirrup jugs to a Bronze Age English beaker to the lovely Zen Tea Ceremony tea caddy pictured above) from searching for “pottery” on the British Museum’s collections page.
A generation ago (AKA when I apprenticed) the range of work a budding potter could study was usually limited to what ceramics were in the collections of their instructors and their schools, what books were in their local libraries and what access they had to museums and galleries in major cities. I think the time I spent poring over each image in my beginning clay textbook must have added up to at least one hour a piece. There wasn’t as much to see, so we looked at what we had long and hard.
Now there’s a good chance that within one Google session you’ll be able to find great support materials for any style, approach, technique, functional application, surface, philosophy, era, etc that piques your interest. Happy hunting!
I just came across a great site for handbuilding ocarinas (traditional clay whistles). It walks you through the tools you’ll need, how to create a paper pattern for the body of the ocarina, beveling and sealing seams, creating the mouthpiece and soundhole, etc. Lots of support photos make every step clear. This would be as easy to do at your kitchen table as in the studio.