Working on the potter's wheel is also called wheelthrowing. Students begin by wedging the clay - similar to kneading bread. Then, sitting at the pottery wheel, you go through 4 steps: centering, pulling up the walls, shaping, and finally, removing your finished pot from the wheel. Sounds simple, but each step takes coordination between your hands and just the right amount of pressure on the clay. Too much pressure and oops! - your pot now has a rip in the side or has just flopped over or worse. We can show you how to make pottery on the wheel!
Look for Beginning Wheelthrowing classes to learn all the basics.
Handbuilding is a way to work with clay without using the pottery wheel - instead we use techniques with coils, slabs or pinching the clay to make functional and sculptural work. We also use equipment like rolling pins, slab rollers, extruders and hump molds to start the process, using more clay to embellish and decorate our work. Using handbuilding techniques you can make anything from a small slab plate to a set of tiles to a life-size figure sculpture!
Look for Beginning Handbuilding classes to learn all the basics.
Mudflat offers one-time workshops for adults so you can try working with clay without committing to a full semester-long class. These workshops are typically offered one Sunday afternoon each month, for 3 hours - check our workshop listings for a complete schedule. Registration is required.
A Mudflat teacher will show you how to use the potter's wheel to make your own pots. First she demonstrates each of the steps for making pottery on the wheel; then each student works at their own wheel and makes small cups or bowls. Each student will save one pot that they make and it will be glazed and fired for pick up at a later date.
A Mudflat teacher will show you how to work with clay using handbuilding techniques Students will make and decorate a tray and a cup using clay slabs and coils. Projects will be glazed and fired for pick up at a later date.
Some classes and workshops are open to wheelthrowers and handbuilders; or combine wheelthrowing and handbuilding skills within the same class or workshop.