There’s something extraordinary about getting your hands on clay, and the way you can shape it into something functional, decorative or a combination of both.
Whether you’re just a curious beginner or more familiar with the craft, these Triangle businesses have a lot to offer in ceramics and pottery classes. Since all of them offer beginner classes, we’ve pulled out upcoming events that make these individual studios unique. For a more complete listing of classes, please contact them directly.
Branded Vessels Pottery Studio
Info: Leesville Road and Cressmont Drive, Raleigh, 919-676-9642, brandedvesselspottery.com
Branded Vessels Pottery Studio is run by Vanessa Baughman and offers pottery classes that are designed to meet your needs, whether it’s a personal class or for large groups. She offers a spring-summer class as well as a fall class, with six students at most. She also offers workshops for up to 15 home schoolers or Girl Scouts (where they can earn a pottery badge), teaching either with traditional or air-dry clay.
Litmus Gallery & Studios
Info: 312 W. Cabarrus St., Raleigh, 919-571-3605, litmusgallery.com
Litmus Gallery & Studios offers individuals the chance to explore their artistic abilities through sculpting with clay. Sculpture classes are scheduled on a regular basis for adults, beginners and experienced artists. In January, a six-session workshop will be offered Jan. 9-Jan. 27, where artists create a realistic 3-D stoneware clay portrait bust of the human head. Additional figurative workshops will be scheduled that emphasize sculpting the entire human figure.
Pullen Arts Center
Info: 105 Pullen Road, Raleigh, 919-996-6126, nando.com/pullenarts
Pullen Arts Center, which is run by the city of Raleigh, is open to anyone who is curious about art and wants to try different mediums, including pottery. Upcoming classes include making home accessories (Household Hardware, Wednesdays, 7-9:30 p.m., Jan. 13-Feb. 24) and birdhouses (Bird Bath and Beyond, Wednesdays, 7-9:30 p.m., March 9-April 20). Additionally, they will offer an intergenerational clay workshop 6-8 p.m. Jan. 21 and Jan. 28, where children ages 6-11 can come with an adult and make pottery together with a focus on hand-built pottery.
Sertoma Arts Center
Info: 1400 W. Millbrook Road, Raleigh, 919-996-2329, nando.com/sertomaarts
Sertoma Arts Center, also run by the city of Raleigh, is open to people of all ages and skill levels for pottery classes as well as other classes in varying mediums. January classes include: Throwing Plates & Platters (ages 16 and up), Fridays, 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Jan. 8-Jan. 29; Creatures of Habitat (ages 16 and up), Tuesdays, 7-9:15 p.m., Jan. 19-Feb. 9, Wheel Throwing For Teens (ages 13 to16) Mondays, 4-6 p.m., Jan. 25-Feb 29; and Valentines in Clay (ages 5 to 15) Tuesdays, 4:15-5:30 p.m., Jan. 26-Feb. 2.
Info: 231 Bickett Blvd., Raleigh, 919-802-5088, wildatartkids.com
Wild@Art is a children’s art studio. Winter and spring classes and workshops for 2016 will be on the website soon. Ceramic projects, such as seasonally themed bowls and figurines, are often worked into multimedia classes where students learn how to work in a different medium each day.
Cary Arts Center
Info: 101 Dry Ave., Cary, 919-469-4069, nando.com/caryarts
Cary Arts Center offers classes for individuals ranging from young children to adults. Those who have taken either a beginner class or an orientation class can obtain an open studio pass to use the facilities. In 2016, the town-run center will offer classes for individuals 16 and up where they can learn to make bottles, Thursdays, 7:15-9:45 p.m, Jan. 14-Jan. 28; garden pottery, Thursdays, 7:15-9:15 p.m., Feb. 4-25. Additionally, there is a class on trimming pottery on Mondays, 7-9:30 p.m., Feb. 22-March 14.
Cely’s House Creative Workshops
Info: 115 Dixie Drive, Chapel Hill, 919-929-3591, celyshouse.com
Cely’s House offers pottery workshops for both children and adults. Owner Cely Chicurel offers beginner and intermediate adult classes for five to six students, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. Pottery classes for both children and adults are 3:30-5:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, along with a parent and child hand-building class at 7-9 p.m. Fridays. Additionally, Chicurel offers a special needs class for individuals of varying ages once a week from 12:45-2:45 p.m. that focuses on pottery as well as other crafts.
Info: 705 Foster St., Durham, 919-530-8355, claymakers.org
Claymakers is dedicated to pottery and the clay arts and to supporting adults in developing skills and finding creative expression in clay. Throughout the year, Claymakers offers six to seven-week classes back to back, with the next session starting Jan. 11. On Jan. 8-10, there is a traditional earthenware masterclass for all levels ages 18 and up with ceramic artist Christopher Donald. Additionally, a salt-firing class will be offered the last week of February.
Durham Arts Council Clay Studio
Info: Northgate Mall, 1058 W. Club Blvd., Space 836, (outside access from mall), Durham, 919-286-4238, northgatemall.com/directory/durham-arts-council-clay-studio/
The Durham Arts Council Clay Studio offers the chance to create work from a block of clay all the way to a glazed and finished product. Classes start in January for all levels, and all tools are included with each class. Monthly parent/child workshops are offered the first Monday (10-11:30 a.m.) and Tuesday (4:00-5:30 p.m.) of each month, where you can build items this winter and spring ranging from birdhouses to lanterns. Starting in February, the studio will offer date nights, where a couple can work with clay together.
Info: 205 W. Main St., Suite 104, Carrboro, 919-933-9700, glazedexpectations.com
Glazed Expectations is a sculpture studio for children. The studio holds summer camps and after-school classes in clay sculpture and hand building for children, ages 5 to 13. After-school classes are 90-minute single sessions offered 3-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, which can be scheduled once or more often. Summer camp sessions are also offered in June through August for either full days or half days.
Betsy Greer writes about craft and activism at craftivism.com. Reach her at email@example.com.