705 Foster Street  Durham, NC 27701
(919) 530-8355 ::
Classes Session 3 2017

 Session 3: April 17 – June 4, 2017

 Monday Classes      No open studio on Monday


Raku is a low temperature, easily accessible firing method that can be used to create unpredictable and exciting ceramic surfaces. Work is removed from the kiln while it is still glowing hot and, in this class, students will prepare work for unglazed raku (naked raku or horsehair) by using terra sig and slip, and make pieces for finishing with the studio glazes and post-firing reduction. Previous wheel or hand-building experience is needed, but students new to raku are welcome. Price includes a firing fee.

Monday evenings, 6:30-9:30
Session 3: April 17 - May 29
Evelyn Ward

 Tuesday Classes Tuesday Open Studio 1-6 pm

Continuing Wheel, Tuesday 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 3: April 18 – May 30
Deborah Harris

Exploring the Extruder

In ceramics, the extruder is a simple mechanical aid that operates on the same principle as a cake-decorating tube. By forcing clay through dies, the extruder assists in quickly making solid shapes or hollow tubes, and it can be an indispensable tool for both sculptural and functional ceramic artists. In this class, we will use it as a starting point for the clay work of your choice. We will create clay components to modify or combine, as suited for your projects (extrusions can form coils for coil building, become the added handles, spouts, or feet for pottery, or turn into an unlimited variety of sculptural forms). We will explore design challenges and the technical aspects of assembling, finishing, and glazing works. Students will also learn to assemble the extruder with ease, and become comfortable with quick cleanup steps for all equipment. Newcomers to clay are welcome!

Tuesday evenings, 6:30-9:30
Session 3: April 25 – May 30 (please note that this class begins one week later than other Session 3 classes)
Instructor: Caroly Van Duyn

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 3: April 18 – May 30
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 3: April 19 – May 31
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 3: April 19 – May 31
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 3: April 19 – May 31
Instructor: Charlie Evergreen

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Everything but the kitchen sink - and maybe the sink, too! This class will focus on all kinds of kitchen items, including baking dishes, mixing bowls, serving bowls, pitchers, spoon rests, utensil holders. Requests for demonstrations of forms are also welcome. Glazing demonstrations will include an orientation to reduction glazes, for students interested in using the gas kiln. An introductory wheel class is a prerequisite

Wednesday evenings, 6:30-9:30
Session 3: April 19 – May 31
Instructor: Gaines Bailey

 Thursday Classes   Thursday Open Studio

Alternative Finishes, Unglazed Surfaces

For sculpture and pottery, we will work with slips, terra sig, patinas, underglazes and even polished bare clay to create finished surfaces that are as satisfying and complete as glazed surfaces. These materials can be used to deeply enhance your piece’s physical textures, and can be layered, carved, sanded, etc. to produce effects that no glaze can duplicate. As this class focuses on finishing, in order to maximize your benefit, students are encouraged (but not required) to have leather-hard work at the beginning of class, and produce additional work outside of class hours. If you want to expand beyond feeling like you have to glaze every piece you make, join us for a fun exploration of alternative finishes and unglazed surfaces!

Thursday mornings, 10:00-1:00
Session 3: April 20 – June 1
Charlie Evergreen

Continuing Wheel: Focus on Closed Forms

In this class, we'll pull and collar-in our pots to make closed forms. Closed forms include narrow-necked shapes, such as jugs and bottles, for storing liquids, as well as forms that are completely closed at the top. Completely closed forms can be altered in interesting ways--ribbed, pushed, and paddled from the outside while the air inside provides counter-pressure. We'll explore closed forms as the starting point for a variety of functional and decorative pieces, including bottles, lidded boxes, juicers, salt shakers, teapots, butter dishes, double-walled bowls, and sculptural forms. Previous wheel experience is necessary.

Thursday evenings, 6:30-9:30
Session 3: April 20 – June 1
Liz Paley

 Friday   Friday Open Studio 1-9 pm

 Saturday Classes   Saturday Open Studio 1-6 pm

Challenging Limits: Sculpting with Paper Clay

This class introduces the central techniques of sculpting with paper clay, from methods of preparing the materials to various forming and decorating practices. The properties of paper clay solve a number of the technical challenges faced by ceramic sculptors and hand builders, and introduce new possibilities for construction. It is easy to mold and use, has much greater dry strength and cracks less than regular clay, allows for the joining of bone dry pieces, and simplifies any repairs that may arise. Class discussion will include information about different clay bodies and finishing materials. Students will work on self-selected projects, and classes will include demonstrations and one-on-one instruction.

Saturday mornings, 10:00-1:00
Session 3: April 29 – June 3 (6 weeks)
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 and presentations, and one-on-one instruction.

Saturday mornings, 10:00-1:00
Session 3: April 22 – May 27 (6 weeks)
Instructor: Lisa Brown

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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.