For beginners searching for pottery classes in Chicago, this article is just what you need.
Have you always wanted to give pottery a go but are not sure where to start? Read on for some tips and to find out where you can take pottery classes in Chicago.
From the old to the very young, people love messing around with clay. Somehow it seems to be built into us, hard-wired after thousands of years of making.
Another beautiful thing about pottery is that it has no cultural bounds. Interestingly pottery’s popularity has never been higher than at the moment. Read on to find out about some of the pottery classes in Chicago.
Choosing the Right Equipment for Your Pottery Class
In a standard pottery studio, you will find tools that will make your poetry learning journey a fascinating and stress-free one.
You will find tools such as as slab rollers, kilns, pottery wheels, extruders, storage shelves, and more. In this section, we will talk about some of these basic tools.
Though there are numerous hand-building and pottery making equipment out there, the most revered remains the kiln.
There are multiple kiln types to choose from. There are two broad categories and they are intermittent or periodic kilns and continuous or tunnel kilns.
- Pottery Wheel
The pottery wheel is a device used in throwing circular ceramic ware. It is used to apply rings of color and incised decorations, and trim excess clay from dried pieces.
Mastering the workings of the wheel takes time because it goes beyond mastering the different wheel throwing techniques. It involves steadying your hands, maintaining the recommended wheel speed and applying water sparingly, and wheel wedging.
- Work Table
Depending on how large the studio is, you will find two tables, one for glazing and the other for clay preparation. For a large-spaced studio mid-grade plywood sheet enclosed with heavy canvas is perfect for a work table.
While earthenware pottery doesn’t need a glaze, porcelain and stoneware do. Glaze functions as waterproof, decoration or colouring, and toughens the surface of structures.
Therefore it is advisable for beginners to purchase readymade glazes.
- Storage Shelf
You will need a Storage Shelf for preserving your moulded pieces before they are fired or glazed. A wooden shelf is perfect provided you have enough space.
Other tools you might be needing include Wire tool, Needle tool, Sponge, Trimming tool, Ruler, Paintbrush, and Glazing tongs.
The List of Studios with Pottery Classes in Chicago
Pottery is an art that has been practiced for centuries. It’s no surprise then, that you might be Interested in taking any of the pottery classes in Chicago. Here are some studios for pottery classes in Chicago.
Penguin Foot Pottery
Penguin Foot Pottery strives to create a welcoming, inclusive teaching studio that builds on community growth and creativity.
Their wide variety of classes and workshops are geared towards everyone – from first time potters to advanced makers.
Whether you are new to ceramics or it is a lifelong passion, they love to help in the pursuit of clay!
They have sporting three electric kilns, a slab roller, extruder, spray booth, and 37 potter’s wheels.
Their studio clay is a white stoneware and they fire at cone 6 with a rotating variety of hand-mixed glazes, slips, and terra-sig at your disposal.
Their classes are organized by level (one, two, or three) and with both afternoon and evening/weekend times available.
Each session is four weeks with class meeting once a week for four weeks during your scheduled time.
The class price includes all supplies, 5 to 10lbs fired clay, and open studio.
- Wheel Throwing Level One : $140
- Wheel Throwing Level 2A Refinement: $140
- Hand Building Level One: $140
- Hand Building Level Two: $140
- Hand Building Level Three: $140
- Kids Wheel Throwing: $140
- Family Clay: $215
For over 38 years Creative Claythings has been the most affordable and fun ceramics teaching studio in Chicago.
They offer some of the top pottery classes in Chicago, as well as effective teaching practices that guarantee you to have at least 6 successful pieces that you can be proud to show off!
All instructors are proficient in both hand-building, wheel throwing, and the exquisite art of the Samurai sword.
Specialized techniques have been developed by their staff to compensate for the “tactile memory” and specific muscle development gained only through time and experience.
Class size is limited to 11, which is the ideal number of people to make things interesting, but intimate enough to assure individual attention from the instructor.
They are dedicated to bringing you the well-documented stress reduction and healing properties of clay.
Creating an emotionally safe, fun, and educational atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion is their priority.
Intro to Clay (Beginners)
- 8 weeks, $180.00
- Tuesdays from 7:30-9:30 pm -taught by Lauren & Lori
- Wednesdays from 7:30-9:30 pm -taught by Caitlin & Tyler
- 4 weeks of handbuilding: pinch pots, coil pots, slab construction & glazing techniques.
- The second 4 weeks will be throwing on the potter’s wheel, trimming & glazing.
- 4 weeks, $90.00
- Sundays from 7:00-9:00 p.m. – taught by Caitlin
- Fairly advanced forms will be taught that build on the ability to throw a good 4″ tall cylinder.
- Projects such as bowls, mugs, and plates will be highlighted.
- Both Advanced hand-building techniques and wheel projects are taught as well.
- 4 weeks, $90.00
- Sundays from 4:30-6:30p.m. – taught by Christine
- Advanced handbuilding and wheel thrown projects
Advanced Clay Hand building & Wheel Throwing
- 4 weeks, $90.00
- Thursdays 7:00-9:00 p.m.- taught by Shawn
- This class focuses on forms that require multiple step construction of pieces.
- Projects are chosen by the class monthly.
- Past projects have included teapots, jars with different styles of lids, footed bowls, etc.
Park West Ceramics
Park West Ceramics is a pottery studio in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood offering pottery classes in Chicago for complete beginners to advanced potters for over 24 years.
Enroll in an 8 week session or join a Friday/Saturday night workshop or become an independent study member.
Beginner classes: Beginner pottery classes are their specialty at Park West Ceramics.
Beginners focus on the fundamental steps of wheel throwing. You’ll learn centering, opening & raising walls, shaping, trimming, and glazing. Space is limited. Cost: $325 for 8 weeks of classes.
Advanced-Intermediate classes: Immerse yourself in an environment dedicate to working with clay.
Advanced-Intermediate students concentrate on refining their skills and creating more dynamic shapes.
You’ll create lids, pull handles, create surface textures, and experiment with glazing techniques. Cost: $325 for 8 weeks of classes.
Lincoln Square Pottery Studio- Learning Center
Lincoln Square Pottery Studio – Learning Center is a not-for-profit studio that specializes in 8 week pottery classes in Chicago in ceramics for adults of all skill levels.
Weekend Workshops (Sundays): Looking for a one-day workshop rather than an 8-week commitment? Then this is the class for you.
Weekend Workshops are held two Sundays a month. Each workshop is from 6-8PM and is a chance to explore various pottery techniques.
Beginning Wheelthrowing (Mon or Wed): Class size is limited to 11 students per class. The $300 session fee includes up to 100 lb. of clay, glazes, firing, shelf space, and open studio time on the weekends, 1-6pm Saturday & Sunday.
Intermediate/Advanced Wheelthrowing (Tues or Thurs):Prior wheelthrowing experience greatly encouraged as this class focuses on more advanced shapes and skills.
Other classes include Handbuilding (Fri) and Independent Study.
When you go to Glazed Expressions to paint, they charge a $6 studio fee for kids and $8 for adults.
On top of that is the cost of your piece. Most pieces range from $12-18. Additional pottery includes a glaze fee which is anywhere from $1-7, depending on the price of the piece.
After you’ve finished creating your work of art, they put a clear glaze on it to make it beautiful and shiny, and then put it in the kiln to cook.
In 7 days your work will be ready to be picked up! Everything is food-safe so feel free to enjoy your plate, bowl, mug, etc.
Reservations for 3 or more are recommended. Just call the store to book.
GnarWare Workshop is a Chicago based ceramics studio. It was started in 2017 by Liz McCarthy. This space is dedicated to providing studios, workshops, and drop-in tutorials to help artists and hobbyists work through ideas.
GnarWare is committed to material and conceptual experimentation as a workshop and community gathering place.
GnarWare encourages conversations around developing skills and de-skilling developments.
Lillstreet Art Center
Lillstreet Art Center has been building a special space for all curious folks — newbies, pros, artists, makers, instructors, hobbyists, students, skeptics, babies, toddlers, teens, 20-70 somethings, retirees, and everything in between — since 1975.
No matter how you define yourself, their space is designed for all to work side-by-side in a friendly, supportive environment.
They offer adult classes & workshops for beginner to advanced students in six different departments: Ceramics, metalsmithing, jewelry & glass, painting & drawing, printmaking, textiles, and digital arts & photography. View their classes.
Creativita offers Paint your own pottery, canvas painting, and mosaic making. Drop-in anytime during their business hours.
They will help get you started on any of their fun, easy for any skill level projects.
The majority of their projects range between $25 – $35. You can anticipate painting with them for about 1 to 2 hours. Find our more about their classes.
ViaClay offers classes for adult potters at every level, Kids’ Camps, and one-time sessions for the clay curious. Work space and wheel time is available to Members on a month-to-month basis.
BEGINNER ADULT WEEKEND CLASSES: Six afternoon classes for adults (Saturdays, from 2:30p – 5:30p or Sundays from noon – 3:00p), once per weekend for six consecutive weeks (18 hours of instruction). No previous wheelthrowing experience required.
BEGINNER ADULT EVENING CLASSES: One weekly evening class (7:00p – 10:00p) for six consecutive weeks (18 hours of instruction).
Classes are available Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday evenings. No previous wheelthrowing experience required.
INTERMEDIATE ADULT EVENING CLASSES: Join Emily Christopherson for an intermediate level class! Thursday nights, 7:00p – 10:00p for six consecutive weeks (18 hours of instruction).
AGES 10 – 18 | SUMMER CAMPS: Their summer camp classes for kids meet four times a week — Monday through Thursday — for two consecutive weeks (24 hours of instruction) .
The morning class meets 9:00a – noon and their afternoon class meets from 1:00p – 4:00p.
Kids Clay Room
Kids Clay Room has kids pottery studio, where they offer pottery classes in Chicago that teach children how to make ceramic pieces from wet clay and clay tools.
Handbuilding students use molds, coils, slabs and underglazes to transform clay into fun and unique ceramic pieces.
Wheelthrowing students are taught to use the potters wheel to make bowls, cups and more.
Completed pieces are be ready for pick up in approximately 3 weeks. At this time, their studio is open to children ages 5 and up.
They offer the following:
HANDBUILDING CLASS SESSION: Children will use slab, coil and pinch techniques to create and paint ceramic projects. Basic project shapes are predetermined for each class of the session. Completed pieces will be ready for pick up in approximately 3 weeks. Class size: Min. 4, Max. 8.
WHEELTHROWING CLASS SESSION: During the classes, children will work on a potter’s wheel and learn all the different techniques used to make a wheel thrown ceramic piece. Completed pieces will be ready for pick up in approximately 3 weeks. For ages 10 and up.
The Pot Shop
The Pot Shop has pottery classes in Chicago for beginners, intermediate and advanced potters. Classes meet once a week for 8 weeks.
Registration Cost: $330 Credit Card (MC or Visa) or Check
Adult pottery class fees include everything you’ll need to turn lumps of clay into finished pieces. See class details.
Nodd Pottery offers self-paced individualized group lessons for beginners to experts who want to grow their throwing skills.
They also offer space during practices to learn handbuilding techniques for those less interested in wheel throwing, and plenty of time to glaze!Cost: $25/person.
There are self-guided studio time for everyone! Bring in your own ideas, learn new techniques, practice throwing—the time is yours! Cost: $25/person.
Terra Incognito offer pottery classes in Chicago that combine students of varying skill levels. They find that this helps both the less skilled students who learn from the more advanced students and helps the more advanced students to articulate what, how, and why to do.
Beginners receive an introduction to basic throwing techniques: centering clay, forming cylinders, bowls and plate forms. Cost: $350 and the classes last for 8 weeks.
There are other classes offered. See the class details.
|Color Cocktail Factory
|Pilsen Studios, 917 West 18th Street, Chicago, IL, 60608 – Free Street Parking
|Epic Art House
|1850 North Western Ave Chicago, IL 60647
Adult Classes are Monday, Wednesday and Sunday 7-9 PM
Kid friendly Class available Sunday 3-4:30 PM
Open Studio Time: Tue, Thur and Sun 5-7 PM
|Thrown Elements Pottery
Kid, Teen, and Adult classes meet once a week to learn basic to advanced handbuilding and wheel throwing techniques in clay.
Check out their classes.
|Easel Art Studio
|Pottery class descriptions.
1911 North Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647