Give Pottery a Whirl in This Low-Pressure Class

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Activity: Clayways pottery class
In 10 Words or Less: A laid-back introduction to pottery techniques.
Where: Burnet Road, just south of 2222
Cost: $40 for a three-hour class
Rating: armadillo armadillo armadillo armadillo

Full disclosure: A coworker got me into this class for free. Shout out to James!*

You never know what you’re going to get when it comes to arts and crafts classes. I once took Introduction to Beading, which sounds like the easiest class of all time– put bead on string, repeat, tie knot, done. But the instructor was an elderly female drill sergeant who would literally yell if your hands weren’t in the right position. (Did you know beading has positions, like ballet? I can never forget. I’m scarred by that experience.)

Luckily, Clayways gave me exactly what I wanted out of a pottery class. No additional therapy needed, hooray!

Clayways Pottery
Jennifer, the instructor, wasn’t scary in the slightest. She started the class with a 30-minute demonstration of exactly what we would be doing– using a pottery wheel to make two small bowls. Then, she gave each of us a lump of clay and walked the class through the process step by step. No matter what horrible mess you were making, she’d compliment it (“How adventurous!”) and then try to fix it for you.

Clayways Pottery Class
After we made two bowls (or two spoon rests, for those who totally jacked it up) we headed to another part of the studio to paint our masterpieces. Jennifer showed us a few painting techniques and then set us loose. The whole class was the perfect blend of personal attention and autonomy.

Clayways Pottery Class
The finished product! No, just kidding, but it IS for sale in their store. I think it’s just what your living room needs.

The only thing that annoyed me was a few of my classmates, who kept freaking out because their bowls turned out lopsided. You’re not going to be reenacting that scene from Ghost the first time you try pottery, people. You’re going to make a weird, misshapen monstrosity. Embrace it.

Clayways Pottery Class
The REAL finished products. The gray clay will be white after it’s been fired.

I had lots of fun taking Clayways’ Pot Shot class, and would highly recommend it to anyone who’s interested in trying pottery for the first time. It’s oddly satisfying turning a lump of clay into something else, even if you make a mess doing it.

Clayways Pottery Studio

Helpful Tips:

  • They have like three parking spots in the front, and they back up onto Burnet and are terrifying to get out of. Park around the back of the studio instead.
  • Book ahead! Classes are limited to 12 people and fill up fast.
  • Bring a towel and wear clothes you don’t care about, because you’ll get clay and paint all over them. I wore a XL Grumpy Cat T-shirt I got for my birthday.

*Do people still do shout outs? I sound like a radio DJ from the ’90s.

Clayways Pottery Studio Website