Premium Pottery Classes
Growing as a potter requires experimentation and education. Experimentation means that you have to make headway into new and uncharted territory, but with the guidance of an experienced potter, you don't have to go alone.
You may have read our article on Free Pottery Lessons for Beginners, but now you are ready for more than the basics. If you are looking for paid lessons on specific techniques, or guided lessons with more one-on-one support then the list below will give you assistance with topics ranging from advanced wheel throwing, glaze formulation and pottery theory.
Located in Noble, OK, Earth Stoke n' Fire offers online and in-person pottery classes, as well as an artist's retreat. They offer classes on all topics of ceramic production from digging clay to throwing, glazing and firing, plus kiln building, glaze formulation and business classes. Individual classes range from $20-$60 and last 2-4 weeks.
- Comprehensive – The range of topics covered is enormous. Anyone from a hobbyist to a fine artist to an aspiring production potter will find a class, or set of classes, to help them.
- Inexpensive – Single classes are cheap, so if there is one specific topic you need extensive help with, or you want to learn in bite-sized chunks then you won't have to spend a lot of money.
- Not for absolute beginners – there are classes that cover the basics, but you will want to have some pottery experience before enrolling.
- Not cheap – Single classes may be cheap, but if you are interested in the whole curriculum then – even with the class package discounts – you need to be prepared to spend a few thousand dollars.
Who it's for:
- Production Potters.
- Fine Art Potters.
- Dedicated hobbyists – people who are looking to make pottery a lifelong pursuit.
Simon Leach comes from a well-known family of potters, starting with his grandfather, Bernard Leach who was famous for leading the English studio potter movement. Simon has a very active YouTube page where he has a lot of basic tips and tricks, as well as throwing demonstrations, but he also has premium throwing lessons on PowHow, which show more advanced throwing techniques in greater detail.
- Expert Advice – Simon Leach has been a potter for almost as long as he has been alive, and having grown up in a family of potters there is no one more knowledgeable.
- Face-to-face webcam classes (when available) – PowHow offers previously recorded classes and live face-to-face classes.
- Price – a lot of the same information is available for free on Simon's YouTube page.
Who it's for:
- Experienced studio potters – the lesson format is geared towards people who can take the lesson while seated at the potter's wheel, so having a studio is almost essential.
The 92nd street Y has a series of online lectures on the theory and design aspects of pottery. While you may not find any direct instruction for shaping clay, glazing or firing, you may gain new inspiration and understanding that you will carry into your pottery. Each lecture is available On Demand for $15 each or $60 for the entire series
- Theory, history and design – while the other lessons we have covered have mostly been focused on shaping clay, the Virtual Clay series talks about some of the more cryptic aspects of being a potter and an artist in a contemporary context.
- Prerecorded lectures – While interesting, there is little chance for dialogue or continued learning from the lecturer.
Who it's for:
- Potters interested in history and the context of pottery in contemporary art, and culture at large.
- Academic Potters.
For potters interested in highly technical glaze formulation, Matrix V6 is an essential software package. Matrix can tell you absolutely everything you need to know about a glaze recipe (except color, sorry). It can tell you how a glaze will fit on a clay body and it will help you reformulate a glaze to correct errors like crazing, dunting and bubbling. It is also incredibly complicated and daunting to most first-time users, so to help they have created the online class available at glazetechnology.com.
- No experience necessary – the class is built on the assumption that you have no experience mixing glaze, or with chemistry in general.
- Highly technical – This class is all about everything you need to know to completely master Matrix V6.
- Value – Matrix will cost you about $75, and the class will cost another $52, but they can save you thousands of dollars by taking the mystery out of glaze formulation.
- Highly technical – This may not be good for potters who are only interested in a glaze's appearance and not its technical qualities.
Who it's for:
- Potters interested in glaze formulation.
- Pottery instructors.
The premium instructional magazine from Ceramic Arts Monthly is an almost essential addition to any studio. Pottery Making Illustrated is available in print and online and features dozens of intermediate and advanced techniques and projects presented in clear, illustrated, step-by-step guides.
- Step-by-step instruction – each lesson has clear, concise, instructions with illustrations and photographs.
- Back issues – your subscription comes with the last 6 back issues and the rest are available in PDF format for $3.99 each.
- Individual lessons, not comprehensive classes – as a whole, Pottery Making Illustrated is a wealth of knowledge, but like Ceramic Arts Daily, it is not organized as a comprehensive course.
Who it's for:
- Art educators – many of the projects in Pottery Making Illustrated make excellent art projects for all levels.
- Studio potters – you may not follow the lessons in every issue step-by-step, but you will absolutely expand your abilities and improve existing techniques.