See “Sign-up now” page for details on classes currently being offered.
Let your imagination run wild as you sculpt monsters. There is no right way (and no wrong way) to make a monster. Instead create your creatures completely from your imagination or based off of images from different living or mythical animals, combined to make something monstrous!
Without the pressure of getting it “right,” experiment with building solid, pinching, coiling, slab building and/or using armatures and other forms of support while building. We will create textures for skin, scales, fur, etc and learn techniques to sculpt basic monster anatomy such as eyes, nose, ears, mouths, teeth, claws, horns, etc. Additionally, only if you already know how to throw on the wheel, you are welcome to include thrown forms into your creations. All levels of clay experience welcome.
Learning to Throw: Developing a Practice.
This class will be an introduction to wheel-thrown pottery with an emphasis on repetition, developing a practice, taking risks, and exploring the limits of the clay – to learn basic skills. Students will learn how to center clay, shape basic forms, make handles, trim, and glaze pottery. Students may or may not go home with a finished pot.
Introduction to Handbuilding with Slabs
This class will cover techniques for creating functional and sculptural pieces using soft and hard clay slabs. We will explore various techniques for creating surface designs and textures on clay, options for using forms, molds and templates, and methods for joining and attaching clay pieces to build more varied and unique pieces.
Sculpting the Figure
This class will be an exploration in creatively interpreting the figure rather than realistically rendering it. In order to do so, we will explore the human figure’s basic proportions and anatomy with an emphasis on the anatomy of the face. We will start with several small studies and then each student will try their hands at creating a bust or other figurative sculpture. Students will learn the technique of sculpting solid and hollowing out and potentially explore using other techniques such as slab, pinching and coil to create their final piece.
Intermediate Throwing: Nothing Precious, Nothing Saved
Put a Lid on It! Making Lidded Vessels on the Wheel
In this class students will learn a variety of techniques for creating lidded vessels. We will cover different types of jars, exploring galleries, flanges, inset, domed and cap lids and if there’s time, covered dishes such as round butter dishes.
Basics and Beyond: Building Skills on the Wheel.
For beginners and those with some clay experience who want to deepen foundational throwing skills and learn new ones. Learning and practicing centering, shaping basic forms, trimming, pulling handles, decorating and glazing.
Advanced Beginner/ Intermediate Wheelthrowing.
This class is geared towards experienced students who are looking to hone and refine wheelthrowing skills through a series of demonstrations, projects and practices. In the spring session, we will focus on creating place settings for the table that have a distinctive voice expressed through form and surface.
Introduction to working in clay
This beginner and experienced beginner level class will introduce techniques for both wheelthrowing and Handbuilding. Through demonstrations and plenty of practice time, learn to create and refine basic forms on the wheel and by hand building with pinching and slab building techniques. Suitable for total beginners and for those with some experience who would like to review and refine their techniques.
Mindful Handbuilding : A mindfulness based art experience with clay
We will explore basic handbuilding techniques with a twist of the contemplative. Self awareness is optimized through this creative process.
Together, we create a judgement free zone in a serene, spacious studio. Each class begins with a short mindfulness meditation supporting the creative intention for that week.
Gradually introducing new information and techniques, the outcome will be a series of projects designed for opening the mind, hands, and the creative spirit.
Stuck in the Mud Throwing Mini-Clinic
A three class series for experienced students. Unlearn old habits and spend 3 weeks practicing and rebuilding basic skills. $75 for 3 classes.
Summer Programs for Children and Teens
The Handle Factory in Collaboration with Shelburne Falls Yoga and The Art Garden offers Clay, Yoga and Art Programs for children ages 6-12 and teens.