Taking Photos of Ceramics

Regretfully, I never got around to taking a photography class in college, so I've had to figure out how to take images of my pots myself. In college, we used slide film, but it seems like everyone now is accepting digital images which is both more convenient and less expensive than slides! I've tried a variety of techniques for shooting images of my pots...here's a few that I've tried:

1.) Portable Photo Studio
I think I bought mine at Best Buy for about $50, but you can find them in other places for more or less depending on size.
*Pros: nice diffused light, easy to set up and store
*Cons: too small for larger work, gray and blue backgrounds not the best colors for pottery
Overall, I think the cons outweigh the pros unless you make small work and get your own background.

Here's an image I shot with this method. It's not very professional looking at all...no gradation.

2.) Inside photography with studio gray backdrop by Savage
I haven't had much luck with this one either. I don't want to invest the money in professional lighting, so my pictures don't come out with the gradation that I was looking for. Also, the paper can crease and scratch easily.
*Pros: more professional looking than w/o a backdrop
*Cons: more expensive to set up, scratches and creases easily

Here's an image I shot with this method. Better than the one above, but still not great.

3.) Gradated background with natural light
This is my favorite method so far. It is also relatively cheap and easy! I used natural light diffused with a sheer curtain and a homemade reflector to light up the dark side of the pot.
*Pros: professional looking photos, cheap, easy
*Cons: can only shoot during daylight

Here's an image I shot with this method and also a photo of the set-up I use.