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The Wonderful World Of Pottery

Pottery comes in so many styles, sizes, and from many traditions. Every ancient culture has a type of pottery for cooking and storage. We are most familiar with dishes, mugs, plates and serving platters. Many of us envision throwing on the wheel when we think of pottery pieces but did you know these same items can be made with a slab? It’s called hand building. Most of our workshops use this technique.

Two Ways to Explore Pottery at Nature Speaks

There are two ways you can explore the world of pottery at Nature Speaks Pottery studio. You can take a workshop with a teacher or follow the path to work independently in the studio by taking the Beginner’s Hand Building Course. All workshops and courses include clay, gaze, tools, supplies, firing, glazing techniques and instruction in a relaxing atmosphere. 


*Workshops are teacher led, where you create one type of item, and they usually span one day/week for two consecutive weeks. Prerequisites are stated at their workshop description; otherwise, none needed.


*The Beginner’s Hand Building Course happens twice a year. No prerequisite. It is made up of three courses. When you are finished with all three, you will be able to use all the equipment in the studio, understand basic hand-building techniques and glazing styles. Throwing on the Wheel can be taken afterwards.


Intro To Pottery I: Pinch Pot Creature and vase. Skills are making and joining pinch pots, slipping and scoring, adding attachments, making cylinders with a pattern, attaching bottoms, adding texture and sprigs, how to smooth and finish with brush on glazes. 3 sessions.


Intro To Pottery II: Wall hanging and (4) small plates. Skills are extruding coils, using underglazes on raw clay, using GR Pottery Forms, texture, attaching feet, Sgraffito technique, preparing and dipping glazes. 3 sessions.


Intro To Pottery III: Mugs and Vases with handles. Skills are altering cylinders, making handles, feet, and attaching bottoms; slip trailing technique and dipping or spraying glaze. 2 sessions.

After this course, you may sign up for Supervised Studio Time until you and the instructor are comfortable with your skill set; at which time, you can sign up for the Open Studio Independent Sessions. Students purchase their own clay for these by going to eStore page.

Also, after the Beginner’s Hand Building Course, you can do sign up for the Wheel Throwing Workshop.

Go to Book Online to see what’s scheduled and sign yourself up for some creative clay time!

Sessions are typically scheduled a week apart to allow for drying and firing. Courses include clay, glaze, tools, supplies, firing, glazing techniques and instruction in a relaxing atmosphere. Class size is limited. Preregistration is required. A waiting list is kept when classes are filled.

The Many Creations that Come out of Nature Speaks Studio…

that YOU can make!

Mug Workshops

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Students will learn basic tools, shaping and decorating with glazes. 

GR Pottery Forms

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Students learn how to use the GR Forms to mold plates and bowls for their home or a gift. Stenciling or stamping may also be applied to the design.

Mystical Garden


Create fairy houses, landscape, and such using various techniques.

Dishing It Out!

In the first session, students will learn the technique of rolling clay slabs, ribbing and texturing the surface. The next step is to drape the clay over composite molds and form into a dish. Two pieces will be made in this class, a serving tray and a small dish. The second session is for smoothing and cleaning up the piece to make it ready to be bisque fired.  Finally, pieces will be glazed according to individual tastes and fired.

After completion of this course, students will be eligible to take specially scheduled Open Studio sessions to make a complete set of dishes.

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Ceramic Flowers


Through demonstrations and individual guidance, students will learn techniques to form and join flower parts and add texture to hand-built ceramic flowers.  Students will use slab rolled clay, sculpting tools, patterns, cookie cutters and basic pottery tools to manipulate clay into delicate, colorful flowers.  Aluminum wire is provided to finish the flowers with stems.

Impressed By Nature Workshop

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Students will learn how to press leaves into a slab of clay to create an impression that can be cut out and used to form dishes, business card holders, napkins rings etc. There is no limit to the variety of dishes and pieces that can be made using leaves.

Taking Clay to the Next Level

Extruded Oil Lamp Workshop

This project uses an Extruder to form large tubes of clay that will be turned into oil lamps that look like a pillow. The class offers instruction in using the Extruder, constructing the lamp, texturing the surface, and adding “feet” to the bottom. We will also go over adding flowers, leaves etc. (Sprigs) to the surface of the lamp. Fiberglass wick is provided to complete the project.


Extruder 101

Students will learn how to use Extruders safely and the skills needed to produce coils, tubes and cylinders using the two sizes of Extruders in the studio.  They will explore the possibilities when using the Extruder machines, turning extruded shapes into wonderful, unique designs. The Extruder offers an additional opportunity for students to expand their experience with clay.


"Oops! Our Slips Are Showing"


In the first class, students will construct pieces to be used in the next three classes. In subsequent classes, they will be introduced to Sgraffito and Slip Trailing techniques as well as creative ways to add colored slip to a project. In the final class, students will finish projects by glazing.

Group Events

Family, Friends, Church groups, House guests...If you have a group that would like to do a pottery activity class (a 1-day event), these can be scheduled when classes are not in session. Contact Jean Ann to find out more.

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