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Pottery

The best pottery classes in London

Want to start making your own fancy ceramics? Here’s where to get started with pottery classes in London

By Sonya Barber
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London has gone potty for clay lately. Ceramic Art London had one of its biggest events to date in March, and the recent Barbican Open Fest saw huge crowds gather for a chance to browse the Turning Earth ceramic market.

Places on pottery courses across the city are getting snapped up quicker than a discount Edmund de Waal vase, so if you want to sink your hands into some wet clay and imagine you’re in ‘Ghost’, you’d better book your London pottery class in advance. Here are four things to remember before you get behind the wheel:

Be ready to get messy
Bring an apron, unless you don’t mind walking around in clay-splattered clothes for the rest of the day.

Stay centred
It can take a while to centre your clay on the wheel, but it’s worth getting it spot on so your pot’s walls are even.

Go slow
Any quick movements can throw your pot off-centre and that can be the beginning of the end.

Be philosophical
Just when it looks like you’ve made a beautiful vase, it collapses! Take a deep breath and start again. That one wasn’t meant to be.

Pottery classes in London

1. Best for... getting inspiration

Things to do Classes and workshops De Beauvoir

Skandihus

You’ll want to quit your job and become a potter as soon as you enter Danish ceramicist Stine Dulong’s beautiful De Beauvoir studio. Try a taster session or take a 12-week course and you’ll soon be trying to recreate her stylish Scandi creations (coveted by the likes of Nigella Lawson and Ottolenghi).

2. Best for… stepping it up a gear

Things to do Markets and fairs Leyton

Turning Earth E10

With a studio under the arches in Haggerston and a huge plant-filled second space in Leyton, Turning Earth is also a thriving open-access members’ studio (and it runs great courses). It’s the perfect place whether you’re a beginner who wants to see what it’s all about or are aiming to take your potting to the next level.

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3. Best for… a beginner’s guide

Things to do Event spaces Peckham

The Kiln Rooms

If you haven’t picked up a piece of clay since school, fear not. The Kiln Rooms in Peckham offer one-off five-hour taster sessions and four-week beginners’ courses where you can learn all the basic techniques and see if pottery is for you.

Katie Wilson

4. Best for... upgrading your tableware

Things to do Classes and workshops Hackney

Kana London 

Is your kitchen looking a little drab? Make your own set of tableware at Kana with guest teacher Sinead Axworthy. Over five weeks, you’ll create something to eat off, a vessel to drink from, a table decoration and two other small dining items. All of which will teach you plenty of techniques and give you the perfect excuse to throw a dinner party.

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5. Best for... mastering the wheel

Things to do Classes and workshops Bethnal Green

Crown Works Pottery

If you want to get to grips with the devilishly difficult wheel, taking one of the intensive throwing courses at this Bethnal Green studio should sort you out. Book on to a day or weekend course and you’ll soon be having your very own ‘Ghost’ moment.

ceramicscoop

6. Best for… practising techniques

Things to do Classes and workshops Bermondsey

Ceramics Studio Co-op

This New Cross artist-run cooperative wants to help make ceramics more accessible. As well as running 12-week courses, they also teach specific one-off workshops on throwing, glazing and using the kiln to help you hone your skills and build up your confidence. 

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