We are currently meeting on Zoom until we can meet in person again, and it has worked out really well! I deliver the clay and pick up the projects to be fired every few weeks. This class focuses on hand-building, sculpting, and “throwing” on the potter's wheel with stoneware clay. The student will learn to sculpt projects like fish, dolphins, whales, dogs, and elephants. They will also learn to hand-build projects like mugs, roses, cereal bowls, flower vases, pencil holders, jewelry dishes, and birdhouses.
The student will learn techniques on the wheel like “raising and lowering” to center the clay, attaching clay embellishments, and adding texture with stamped designs. This will be a virtual experience on Zoom until we can meet in person, and everyone will get to “experience” the wheel once every few weeks. The first hour of class is instructional with a different project every week, and the last 30 minutes is reserved for two students on the wheel while the others make their own creations. I use stoneware clay which is more durable than earthenware, and all projects are microwavable and dishwasher safe.
When meeting in person, students will be actively working with clay, glazes, buckets of water, sharp tools, and a motorized pottery wheel. Since every child has a different maturity level, I have included younger students, but if your child has difficulty with self-control, then this class may not be a good fit for them until they are older. Thank you for understanding.
For sample lesson plans, please see the bottom of this page.
Due to the smaller class size and the high cost of equipment, glazes, and firings, the cost is $400 per semester for the 1.5-hour class. The handmade treasures your student will create are priceless, and they will be enjoyed for a lifetime!
This is a year-long class, and students will be automatically enrolled in the second semester unless other arrangements are made. Since there are limited spaces in the class and it fills up quickly, please release your saved spot if your plans change in order to keep from taking the place of another student. Thank you for your consideration!
Charter funds accepted: Yes. (See a list of approved schools below)
All charter schools (except Inspire), please request a monthly PO of:
$100/mo for 4 months ($400) for Sep - Jan, 1st semester
$100/mo for 4 months ($400) for Feb - June, 2nd semester
Inspire students: Please request a PO for the total amount since they do not require classes to be complete before paying.
Private pay: Please make a check payable to Robin Young and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the mailing address. Venmo also accepted.
List of Approved Charter Schools (I will apply to others upon request):
Cabrillo Point Academy
Dehesa / Dimensions
National University Academy (NUA)
Pacific Coast Academy
For more information along with photos of class projects, please visit www.robinyoungpottery.com.
The student will learn to prepare the clay by “wedging” before learning the technique to create a pinch pot. Wedging the clay removes air bubbles and creates an even level of moisture to prevent cracking.
Use a wire to slice a block of clay into a cube shape (equal sides) about the size of an orange.
Pass the clay from hand to hand, pounding the corners only with your palm to create a rounded shape (sphere).
Press your thumb into the center of the sphere almost all the way through. If you accidentally push a hole through the bottom, then “patch” it with extra clay.
Reach both thumbs into the deepest part of the hole, and slowly “pinch and turn” with light pressure.
“Walk” your fingers around the pot with your thumbs on the inside and fingers on the outside using “small steps”. (Don’t pinch toward the top since this tends to become too thin).
Keep pinching and turning until the pot is about ¼ “ thick. It should be an even thickness with no lumps.
Turn the pot upside down and tap the rim lightly on the table to compress the clay particles.
Don’t spray the pot with water since it will cause the clay particles to separate and become weak (similar to spraying water on a sandcastle). Instead, dip your finger in water or slip to smooth any lumps or cracks.
Sign your name on the bottom of the pot using a rounded stylus or old writing pen. Don’t use anything too sharp or it will cut the clay which could cause a crack.
Lesson 2: Coil pot with swirls
The student will create a small pinch pot, roll coils to create swirls, and attach coils to the pot using the score and slip method. The pot may be built up to any height with coils.
Lesson 3: Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus
The student will form geometric shapes from the clay representing separate parts of the sculpture, and then they will score and slip the pieces together before sculpting details into the shape.
Lesson 5: Centering the clay and “throwing” a pot on the wheel
Video lesson for centering and throwing a bowl on the wheel: Click here.
Lesson 6: Coffee/hot chocolate mug on the wheel
Lesson 8: Cat Sculpture
The student will form geometric shapes from the clay representing separate parts of the cat, and then they will score and slip the pieces together before sculpting details into the shape.
Lesson 9: Large Coil Pot
The student will roll long coils of clay and form them into various shapes. They will score and slip to attach the coils together to form a cup, vase, or bowl.
Video lesson for creating large coil pots: Click here
Lesson 12: Roses
Lesson 13: Flowerpot
Press designs into flat disks of clay about the size of a ping pong ball.Using a terracotta pot as a mold for support, add the disks of clay to the inside of the pot facing outward. Fill in the seams between disks by blending in small pieces of soft clay. Create a “tent” with a plastic bag so the clay can dry slowly to prevent cracking.
Lesson 14: Elephant
The student will form geometric shapes from the clay representing separate parts of the cat, and then they will score and slip the pieces together before sculpting details into the shape. The clay should also be blended at the joins to keep the pieces from separating during the drying and firing process.
Lesson 19: Dog sculpture
Make separate geometric shapes representing each part of the dog. Score and slip the pieces together before joining them to create the general shape of a dog. Use your fingers or sculpting tools to blend the joins together, and also to begin to add detail and define the shape.