The Joy of Pottery

A Class on The Joys of Pottery

Introduction

This class covers wheel throwing, hand building, slip casting, and decorating ceramics.  The class is intended for the individual or group interested in working with clay and discovering the many types of techniques that can be used in creating with clay.

Student in the class will create some of the following:

  • Slip Cast Pitcher - the student will slip cast a pitcher (there are various molds to choose from), trim the pitcher, participate in bisque firing, decorate the pitcher, and participate in glaze firing the pitcher.  See the description of slip casting at the following link Slip Casting.
  • Wheel thrown plates and/or bowls - this will familiarize the student with the throwing techniques.  Plates will be made with what can be called the patty method.  Make a patty on the wheel, flatten it by pounding on it with a board or the hand (this makes it much easier), trim the edges so it is round with the wheel spinning, then raise the outer edges.  Bowls will be made by using the Strong Arm centering and opening tool where needed.  This tool makes it much easier to make a bowl since centering, without the mechanical help, is a muscle centric effort.  The main effort and technique needed using the Strong Arm is the raising of the bowls sides.  See the description of the class Wheel Throwing under the Ceramic Classes Schedule for further information on wheel throwing.
  • Hand built pieces - the student will make a vase, plate, coiled bowl or other piece using the Bailey clay extruder and the North Star Slab Roller.
  • Bisque decoration - the student will use some fired bisque from Gare and their own thrown pots to try decorating techniques.  This might include painting earthenware underglazes, dipping with transparent glazes, painting stoneware glazes, painting stoneware with slips and underglazes and participation in the glaze firing.  See the description of the class Paint Your Own under the Ceramic Classes Schedule for earthenware bisque decoration.  There are several decorative techniques given in YouTube videos under that class description.

After working with the various processes students may focus their efforts in any of the areas.  Some people prefer wheel throwing and others like to decorate.  Costs for materials such as bisque, decals, glazes and firings are partially included in the cost of the class.  Those who desire to go beyond what we are making as class projects may buy extra supplies once they have exceeded the supply's allowances that are included in the class cost.

Cost and Supplies provided

Payments for classes are either weekly or through the purchase of a class card.

Class card - six weeks of classes you choose which weeks.

  • To come twice a week - $170.00 for six weeks of class
  • To come once a week - $140.00 for six weeks of class

Weekly payments.

  • To come twice a week - $30.00 per week (second class in the week costs $5.00 extra)
  • To come once a week - $25.00 per week

 

The following supplies are provided in the class cost.

  • Clay for wheel throwing and hand building
  • Glaze decorating - The glazes for decorating are included in the class price.  If the student wants to work on extra work they should discuss the cost of the glazes with us.  We have several thousand dollars worth of glazes and underglazes.  The intent is to provide decoration materials for the class work but to allow students to work in any of the open studio hours with the glaze materials.  However, once use becomes excessive you should discuss some type of payment with us for extra use.  This is intentionally vague since costs are heavily dependent upon usage.  The cost of decorating one plate is very low ($1.00 or so).  The cost of decorating a 2 foot high garden statue might run into a few dollars, ($5.00 to $15.00).  The hope is to allow people to work with the costs being reasonable.
  • Firings of clay into bisque and glazed pieces are included in the class price.
  • Open Studio Hours - students are allowed to work for free in open studio hours.  There are restriction as given below so that class sessions run smoothly.  Cost for bisque, glazes, clays and other supplies should be discussed with us if your use of them becomes excessive.

Open Studio Hours

Students enrolled in classes have access to the studios during open studio hours so that they can work on their ceramic pieces as needed.  If a student uses excessive extra clay, glaze, or firings because of work in open studio hours then they should pay for the items used.  This presently is left open ended and you should discuss your usage of extra supplies with us if it becomes extreme.  The intention is to allow students to use the studios at their leisure, but at the same time to not have a large consumption of extra supplies.