Without sounding overly pretentious, I like to think of myself as a creative. I love working on something, from the idea forming process through to the final product, whether it’s writing, photography or another random hobby I’ve picked up along the way. But one creative medium I’ve never really dared to delve into is pottery.
Bar a few clay workshops and sculpting classes during my art GCSE, I’ve always been a bit afraid of it. But I love pottery. I adore the handmade, one-of-a-kind nature of it. All of its bumps, kinks and quirks that make it unique.
But as I’m using this year to try and tackle a few personal fears, pottery seems like an easy one to tinker with and tick off my list. Which got me thinking, where can I go in London that offers pottery classes for novices like me? Well, apparently quite a few places indeed.
From one-to-one classes to group sessions, if you’re longing to ignite your inner ceramist or just fancy trying out a new hobby to see if it’s right for you, read on to find out the best pottery classes in London. Plus, some kits to try at home.
The brainchild of sculptor Ana Kerin, Kana London is a result of her training in sculpture and fine art. The project began to take shape in the capital almost ten years ago, and has gone on to become a truly special studio space.
As well as making and selling her own stoneware, Kana London boasts a series of workshops that Londoners can take part in and create something truly unique and special. From Zoom classes to summer schools, there’s something for everyone, whether you’d call yourself a sculpting expert or a complete novice.
Kana London’s Saturday classes have started up again, and have availability from September, including clay taster sessions and self-guided clay practice sessions. They also offer three-week workshops for those wanting to take their skills to the next level.
Located just five minutes from Hammersmith tube station, The Clay Garden is the perfect place to ignite your pottery dreams and unleash your inner creative.
For those wanting to pick up a new skill or two, look to their pottery classes and start your journey today. Their classes include the ceramic sampler, where you can learn the basics in a four hour intensive session; a five week beginners class where you’ll have the chance to get to grips with wheel-throwing and trimming, hand-building techniques, and texturing and engraving too; and a 12 week beginner, intermediate and progression course. They are also planning to start up some kiddie workshops too.
For those with more experience, they also run a membership programme that allows you to use the studio space and grow in a really close-knit community.
Railway Arch, 64 Cambridge Grove, London W6 0LD
Whether you’re starting out from scratch or you know your clay, Turning Earth offers classes for everyone. You’ll be able to learn everything from pinching to coil, building your slabs to learning how to use a clay wheel.
Turning Earth offers full courses – these are either eight to 12 weeks in length – and are taught by ceramic artists from In Production, Turning Earth’s incubator of professional makers. They also have a sister site in Hoxton that boasts a big studio space and classes too.
Learning Hub, 11 Argall Avenue, Leyton, London, E10 7QE
Set up by Danish ceramicist Stine Dulong, SkandiHus offers some of the best pottery classes in London. Now with locations in both Clapton and De Beauvoir, head here for everything from pottery taster classes to specialist workshops, plus drop-in sessions for those who have dabbled in pottery before.
Their taster sessions offer eager pottery enthusiasts the chance to test their skills and learn the ins and outs of crafting with clay. Work your magic and fall in love with the little pots, trinket holders or bowls you end up hand making yourself.
For those not wanting to get their hands quite as dirty, look to Pottery Cafe. Here you’ll be able to pick and choose from their selection of handmade, ready-to-paint English pottery, made by Emma Bridgewater and other English potters in Stoke on Trent, and unleash their inner artist by painting them up.
Perfect for children’s birthday parties, hen dos or just for a fun day date, Pottery Cafe will see you rolling up your sleeves and going at the pottery with a paintbrush and sponges. They now boast locations in both Fulham and Battersea.
Fulham & Battersea
Crown Works Pottery, based in east London, hosts classes run by professional full time potters. The classes are small and intimate, limited to just ten people per session, providing all pottery students the chance to get all the help and support they need to complete their product.
They run regular classes, ranging from two-hour sessions through to five-week courses. So whether you’re starting out or are on a mission to set up your own pottery business, there’s something for all.
From novice to master class, a few sessions at Jess Jos will get you well on your way to becoming an expert potter.
Set up by experienced potter Jess Joslin, the Jess Jos studio specialises in teaching the potter wheel, offering classes for beginners through to experienced potters. Book in for one of their sessions, from intensive beginner classes to glazing classes for those wanting to learn all aspects of pottery.
Classes from now until August are currently sold out but keep up to date via their newsletter to receive emails for new dates from September.
From novice to master class...
Stepney City Farm, London, E1 3DG
For those wanting to try it out at home first, why not try out a DIY home kit? Here are our favourite air-drying clay kits…
Helping millennials on their way to becoming professional potters at home is Sculpd. You probably saw their products all over Instagram during lockdown but essentially they offer DIY clay kits packed with everything you need to make up a few trinkets at home.
From miniature bowls to cute, textured plant pots, inside their boxes you’ll find equipment and air-drying clay (clay that you don’t have to put in the oven), plus a step-by-step guide to help you on your way.
Born out of lockdown, Clay Club is a fun creative kit that’ll see you whipping up your own pottery at home in no time. Each kit is packed with everything from carving tools and clay to handy instructions to help you out when needed.
No kiln is needed as the clay included is air-drying, meaning it fully dries in the air within two-four days. Packed inside, expect acrylic paint too and brushes so you can make that boob plant pot you’ve been lusting over by hand at home.