Mud, Sweat & Tears Pottery

Beginner Wheel Class

Geared toward the absolute beginner and potters that want a refresher on basic skills. We cover all the fundamentals of pottery making (throwing) from wedging clay to glazing and firing. Split in two sections that build on each other with significant savings for purchasing both together.

We will teach you everything you need to learn to make a pot on the wheel, AND… you’ll also gain the many incidental stress-relieving benefits of creating with clay. The gentle turning of the wheel, the centering of the clay and the single-minded focus needed to create pottery brings the potter into a calm, centered place themselves. It’s a terrific way to end a stressful day or start a new adventure. Throwing pottery will become your personal oasis in the heart of a very intense city.

The Beginner Wheel class is designed for the absolute beginner looking for an introduction to the craft of wheel thrown* pottery. *(From the Old English word “thrawan”, meaning to twist or turn.) This class is also a good place for self-taught or long inactive potters who are looking for a refresher course in the fundamentals of wheel throwing.


10 weeks – $410* (can be split in two payments due weeks 1 and 4)

($100 deposit required when registering)
The deposit is not refundable or transferable.


Beginner Wheel
Sundays 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Tuesdays 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM


To register over the phone, please call us: (212) 974 – 9121

General classes admit students ages 14 and over.

Focus will be on learning the following basic techniques:

Wedging – to manipulate the clay in such a way as to remove all the air and blend it for consistency of firmness and moisture.

Centering – learn to control the clay so it is perfectly centered on the spinning pottery wheel. Centering is the critical starting point in throwing pottery. From a still, centered mound of clay, everything is created. If you have some experience, and still having trouble centering your clay, this class will teach you a proven method that we’ve found easy for beginners to comprehend and master.

Lifting – to move clay up and away from the pottery wheel surface in order to form the walls or sides of your vessel.

Shaping – shaping techniques allow you to take your creations further. Once you master the basic lift, shaping the pot is where you can add your own artistic flare to the walls once you’ve lifted them.

Trimming – is the process of cleaning or shaping the bottom of your pot once it’s been removed from your wheel and has had the opportunity to stiffen up enough to be handled. The stiff but still wet state is called, “leather hard”.

Glazing Techniques – learn the proper way to apply liquid glaze to your pottery. Instruction will be given to help you successfully decorate and color your pottery before it goes into the kiln for it’s final firing. By learning to combine and layer your glaze, you will be able to achieve an infinite number of color and texture possibilities.

Functionality – consideration of the final use for your pottery will dictate the size, shape and finish of your work. You’ll learn best practices for a variety of functionality.

Aesthetics – after mastering the basics of creating pottery, we will guide you in ways to uncover and achieve your desired look, helping you achieve creations that exhibit your personal creative flare.

It is of great importance to us that you have a good time. Helpful, knowledgeable staff, a supportive classroom environment and friendly classmates make for the perfect environment to meet new friends and find your creative expression. Projects include mugs, bowls, plates and a pitcher.  No prior art experience is necessary to take this course. Our curriculum builds in difficulty each week, until you’re completely comfortable in front of the pottery wheel.

We’ve been teaching beginners the art of pottery for over 30 years, including the understudies from Ghost the Musical! Come in, take a class and join the ranks of thousands of others throughout the course of history that have worn the title “Potter”. You will be amazed and delighted with the beauty and functionality of your own unique creations, especially as you enjoy a hot cup of coffee in the mug you made! Create pottery, make memories!

Beginner Class Curriculum

Beginner Class Curriculum by week

  1. Intro and studio tour, Wedging Clay, Throwing a Cylinder – 2 lbs.
  2. Review Cylinders – 2 lbs.
  3. Shaping your pot, Trimming & Handles
  4. Glazing
  5. Bowl Shape – 2 lbs.
  6. Bowls – 3 lbs, Trimming Bowls
  7. Breakfast Plates – 3 lbs.
  8. Dinner Plates – 4+ lbs.
  9. Trimming & Drying Plates
  10. Glazing & Finish up
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