705 Foster Street  Durham, NC 27701
(919) 530-8355 ::
Classes Session 2 2017

 Session 2: February 27 – April 15, 2017

 Monday Classes      No open studio on Monday

Cone 6 Salt Firing

Salt firing is a process in which ordinary salt is put into the kiln at high temperatures, where it then vaporizes and combines with the clay surface to form a glaze. Salt-fired pots have a distinctive "orange peel" surface. Learn to prepare work that takes advantage of and capitalizes on the surfaces achieved this environment by working with slips and glazes, or simply leaving exposed clay. Newcomers will learn about loading the kiln and introducing salt into the hot kiln during the firing. Students will need to have taken a previous, introductory clay class, and all students are expected to load and unload the kiln. This class meets initially at Claymakers, but some meetings are north of Durham, at the kiln site. Firing dates will be selected during the first class meeting. While a previous introductory clay class is a prerequisite, students new to atmospheric firing are welcome. Price includes a firing fee.

Monday evenings, 6:30-9:30
Session 2: February 27 - April 10
Evelyn Ward

 Tuesday Classes Tuesday Open Studio 1-6 pm

Continuing Wheel, mornings

This class is for intermediate to advanced students who understand the basics of centering and pulling up, but would like additional guidance to refine their skills. Students' skill levels and particular interests will direct this class. Topics may include learning specific new forms (pitchers, plates, lidded pots, etc.), throwing larger, attention to details (handles, feet, rims), and surface decoration. Participants will have the option of firing in the gas kiln.

Tuesday mornings, 10:00-1:00
Session 2: February 28 - April 11
Deborah Harris

Wheel: Beginning and Beyond

This class will teach the basics of centering, opening, and throwing a ball of clay. As you begin to master the cylinder form on the wheel, you will learn to transform that basic shape into everyday, useful forms such as mugs, vases, and bowls. You will also learn basic glaze application techniques. We will use stoneware clay and fire our pieces in the electric kiln. This class is appropriate for beginning students. Continuing students who want a solid review of the basics are also welcome. Beginning and continuing students will have the opportunity to develop at their own pace and work on the forms that interest them.

Tuesday evenings, 6:30-9:30
Session 2: February 28- April 11
Instructor: Nancy Garrett-Mead

 Wednesday Classes     Wednesday Open Studio 1-6 pm

Intermediate/Advanced Hand Built Ceramic Sculpture

Students interested in creating free-standing 3D sculpture, relief wall pieces, or hand built vessels are invited to participate in this class. Weekly demonstrations present planning and construction techniques and show approaches to solving a variety of sculptural building and finishing challenges. Emphasis will be given to mixing and using different types of paper clay as a base material. In work sessions, students can expect to experiment with and test studio materials in the process of developing their individual finishing techniques and color palettes. Because the typical range of student projects poses questions beyond those discussed in group demonstrations, students can expect specific support with their work. Class discussions will also consider the aesthetic and design qualities of work in progress. A previous introductory clay class is a pre-requisite.

Wednesday mornings, 10:00-1:00
Session 2: March 1 - April 12
Instructor: Caroly Van Duyn

Introduction to Clay Techniques

This class will introduce you to the traditional methods of pinching and coiling and construction with slabs, as well as working on the electric potter’s wheel. The emphasis will be on learning forming techniques and the working properties of clay. In this class, you will make cups, mugs, and bowls on the wheel, as well as with basic hand building techniques, and a variety of glazing and decorating approaches will be introduced. You will have the opportunity to explore and experiment to discover your own best method of self-expression in clay. This class is especially suited to the beginning student.

Wednesday mornings, 10:00-1:00
Session 2: March 1 - April 12
Instructor: Lisa Brown

Sculpture and Hand Building

This class is designed to help you create the hand built project(s) of your choice. From 3D sculptures to functional pottery, demos and discussions will be directed by students’ requests, to help develop your personal work. If you don’t yet have a direction, I’ll help you refine your ideas and move forward. Each session we’ll address creating reliable structures, intentional aesthetic design, and successful surface textures/finishes. All skill levels are welcome, as each student will receive individual attention each class. This open format class welcomes all your questions about hand building with clay!

Wednesday evenings, 6:30-9:30
Session 2: March 1 - April 12
Instructor: Charlie Evergreen

Continuing Wheel: Texturizing Pots

This class will take advantage of the countless possibilities of manipulating the wet surface of clay. We will cover making and using stamps and sprig molds, carving, faceting, stretching, and using found objects as tools. Demonstrations will focus on functional forms. Students should have taken a previous introductory clay class.

Wednesday evenings, 6:30-9:30
Session 2: March 1 - April 12
Instructor: Gaines Bailey

 Thursday Classes   Thursday Open Studio

Sculpting from Life

Students will create a realistic sculpture based on the provided live model (in costume or nude, to be determined). The instructor will demonstrate a part of the process each class, and will assist each student individually for the majority of class time. We will discuss “hollow-vs-solid” construction options, anatomy standards, refining our observation skills, how to communicate to the viewer, surface finishing techniques, etc. Students can expect to finish their work during the session, and experience the unique value of working with a live model. Some clay experience is needed, but sculpting experience not necessary.

Thursday mornings, 10:00-1:00
Session 2: March 2 - April 13
Charlie Evergreen

Continuing Wheel: Thursday Morning Challenge

Have you ever sat down at the wheel to throw a bowl or cup or other form, and ended up fussing over it far longer than you’d like to publicly admit? This class is about giving your inner perfectionist the night off and focusing on process as much as end results. Inspired by Dick Lehmann’s Ceramics Monthly article, “The Thursday Night Challenge,” we’ll start by creating challenges for each other—possibilities might include six bowls in sixty minutes, one-foot-high, miniatures, ten uses of a lemon zester, hands only, etc. We’ll pick one or two challenges each week, throw with gusto, and save time at the end of each class to discuss the solutions we come up with.

Thursday mornings, 10:00-1:00
Session 2: March 2 - April 13
Elizabeth Paley

Continuing Wheel: Pots that Pour

In this class we'll learn to make a variety of useful pouring vessels such as pitchers, ewers, soy bottles, batter bowls and gravy boats. We will focus on special considerations of leverage, balance, and weight while making pots that are comfortable to use, pour well, and don’t drip! Bring your throwing and glazing questions, and plan to fire in either the cone 6 gas kiln or cone 6 electric kilns. Intermediate/Advanced.

Thursday evenings, 6:30-9:30
Session 2: March 2 - April 13
Julie Olson

 Friday   Friday Open Studio 1-9 pm

 Saturday Classes   Saturday Open Studio 1-6 pm

Indoor/Outdoor Sculptural Ceramics

Combine your landscaping skills with your love of ceramics and take your clay ideas into the great outdoors! Create all-weather sculpture or garden containers, large or small, from flower and herb pots to more inventive planters. Demonstrated construction techniques will emphasize durability, attaching parts and drying work evenly, and special attention will be given to selecting or making appropriate outdoor clay bodies and finishing materials. Discussion will include planning design elements to enhance placement of your work relative to plants or other placement in specific settings. Students are encouraged to bring in drawings/sketches (and landscaping dreams).

Saturday mornings, 10:00-1:00
Session 2: March 4 - April 15
Instructor: Caroly Van Duyn

Saturday Clay: Beginning and Intermediate Wheel

Have you always wanted to learn to use the potter's wheel to turn clay into vases, bowls, and mugs? Newcomers to this class will learn to center clay, throw basic utilitarian forms, and gain an introduction to the world of glazing. Returning students will improve throwing and decorating skills and create pieces that are more complex. With a focus on developing skills at the wheel, this class is tailored to students' individual skill levels and interest. The class includes group instruction, presentation, and one-on-one instruction.

Saturday mornings, 10:00-1:00
Session 2: March 4 - April 15
Instructor: Chris Donald

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Classes Overview

Information for Students


Durham County Art Teachers:
Ask us about
Continuing Education credits!

What supplies do I need to bring to my first class?

Enrollment in a class includes 25 pounds of clay and the cost of glazing and firing it.

You are responsible for providing your own small clay working tools.  While a few tools will be available for common use, you will want to build your own collection of tools. 

New students should get an 8 piece Kemper Pottery Tool Kit before coming to the first class.

Pottery Tool Kits are available at Claymakers' Supply Store, at area craft supply stores, or online.

Finally, please bring a small hand towel or apron for your personal use.