Ceramic art has been gracing the family home for thousands upon thousands of years. Evidence suggests that the potter’s wheel has been used since 4,000 BC. Still today, clay is formed by hand, using a similar wheel – albeit with electric power. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, anyone can learn to create ceramics. Any of the following schools around Cleveland would be happy to show you the basics.
Art House, Inc.
3119 Denison Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44109
If you want to learn ceramics from start to finish, Billy Ritter might be the instructor you’re looking for. Ritter offers two six-session courses at the Art House. You’ll learn the wheel and all of the necessary techniques to create your basic shapes. Forming, trimming, glazing and firing are all covered in the basic course, along with an understanding of the history of ceramics.
Ohio Ceramic Supply, Inc.
2861 State Route 59
Ravenna Township, OH 44266
If you live on the south side of Cleveland, you might want to join a veteran teacher with 35 years of experience. Larry Knight has been doing ceramics since 1978 and has been teaching for 27 of those years, both domestically and internationally. He teaches both low and mid-range fire techniques from clay hand-building to surface decorating and everything you need to know in between. Look for Knight at one of his monthly classes at Ohio Ceramics Supply in Ravenna Township near Kent.
1925 Coventry Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
Located in the basement of the Coventry Library, Clayworks Pottery is a place for adults and teens to learn the craft. Classes are two hours long and continue for eight weeks. Learn hand-building, wheel-throwing and glaze application. All skill levels are welcome and space can be rented for independent work if you want to continue after the classes.
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The Cleveland Institute of Art
11141 East Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
Both beginning and advanced courses are offered in wheel-throwing at CIA. Amy Krusinski Sinbondt assists students in creating forms from rustic tea bowls to sculptural objects. Learn about centering, creating cylinders, cups, bowls and plates. Then continue with techniques to carve, join and decorate your pieces. All experience levels are welcome in these 10-week sessions for adults.
Valley Art Center
155 Bell St.
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
Valley Art Center offers one of the largest catalogs of courses for ceramics in the Cleveland area. Joan Rusek teaches the Ceramic Plaque Workshop, enabling you to create two personalized plaques, trivets, tiles or signs. Rusek also teaches a class on creating figurines from polymer clay. Her third class covers wheel-thrown and hand-built dinnerware and gift pieces. Tracy Shea helps beginners learn the basics of the potter’s wheel as well as coil, slab and pinching techniques to make a variety of pieces. Then, gain experience with glazing, decorating and firing your pieces.
Doug Bardwell is a freelance writer, traveling the globe in search of unique experiences to share with his readers. He writes about travel, tech and the active life from his base in Cleveland, Ohio. Doug’s work can be found on Examiner.com