Watch: Wheel throwing at Old City’s Clay Studio is harder than it looks

We went to a beginners class. It got messy.

clay studio wheel throwing
Jordan Gunselman / Billy Penn

The Clay Studio in Old City is a hub for accomplished sculpture artists from around the world, but its Intro to Wheel Throwing workshop welcomes total beginners.

Students with varying levels of experience spend two and a half hours learning just the basics of using an electric wheel. Aside from getting a handle on controlling its speed, they learn how to center the clay, drill a hole, open the vessel, pull out the sides and give it some shape. It’s a tedious process, and a slip of the thumb can ruin the product.

The workshop gives novice students a chance to work on a wheel without the commitment of enrolling in one of the studio’s lengthier courses— which range from five to 10 weeks and cost upward of $190.

According to resident artist Daniel Ricardo Teran, who taught the workshop on Aug. 8, students usually make it out of the session with one or two of their own creations, which are included in the $40 course fee.

The next beginners’ level workshop is this Saturday, Aug. 12, at 2:30 p.m. Registration is online on The Clay Studio’s website.

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Arts, Old City