The Art of Ceramics

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Do you have a creative side that needs an outlet? Do you enjoy the feel of clay in your hands? And do you enjoy adding beautiful designs to things in your life? Then this art form is right for you.

Making pottery lets you create objects like pots, vases and sculptures out of clay. Fire the object to harden it, then you get creative and decorate it with various glazes. Learn several ways to create a piece. Then practice different methods of applying glazes and design.

How it works

Learn a variety of ways to create art using clay. Handbuilding and wheel thrown are methods taught in introductory and advanced courses. Learn and practice how to apply glazes and finishes to bring your artwork to life.


Create projects with your hands and simple tools. Learn fundamental and advanced techniques to make functional ceramics art. Examples are plates, vases, pots and sculptures. Cups, wall pieces and models are made with clay too. Techniques for handbuilding are pinch pots, the coil method and the slab method.

Handbuilding gives the artist more possibilities than wheel throwing. Sculpting a pinch pot turtle or bowl of fruit is not possible with the wheel. You enjoy more creative freedom when handbuilding clay pieces.

Beginning ceramics classes experiment with glazes and colour combinations. Glazes come in thousands of different colours, styles and textures. Practice applying different glazes and see what happens when firing at different temperatures. Seeing your finished work is exciting as you learn about the process.

Advanced classes teach more making methods. Learn about mould making, slab moulding and sculptural building after learning the basics. Practice joining and manipulating clay into your artwork. Understand and practice advanced decoration techniques using textures and coloured clay. Learn about more methods for glazing and the firing processes.

You also learn and practice various printing techniques onto clay. More advanced courses encourage you to experiment with materials. You develop project notebooks and contemporary pieces at an advanced level.

Both levels teach critiquing methods. Advanced classes include presentations about your work.

Wheel Throwing

This method is what people think about when creating pottery. It is elegant and intriguing. Learn to use an electric potter’s wheel. Practice spinning clay into a pot, bowl, vase and other functional or decorative items. Understand and practice how to stretch and bend clay into the shape that you want. Some steps to throwing pottery are:

  • Preparing the area and clay
  • Wedging to remove air pockets
  • Methods for centring on the wheel
  • Open the clay on the wheel
  • Pulling up or throwing the walls

The same decoration methods work for wheel thrown pottery as handbuilt pottery. Experiment with glazes and different colour combinations to finish your piece. Practice how to combine colours, styles and textures to get a beautiful final product. Firing the same glaze at different temperatures gets you different colours and patterns.

Creating plates, bowls, wall art and cups are only a few things made in ceramics courses. Answer your creative call and find a course to start making your own creations.

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