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The Best Pottery Classes in London

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Glaze your eyes over our round up of the best pottery classes in London

The Best Pottery Classes in London

Crown Works Pottery. Photography: Gianna Nicole Photography

Glaze for Days: Crown Works Pottery. Photography: Gianna Nicole Photography

When going to a pottery class in London, it’s good to remember that pottery is a process from clay to cup: meaning there’s a whole range of classes, courses, and clay throwing exercises that can make it confusing to know which to book first. We’ve rounded up the best places in London (both North and South) according to experience, type of course, and what the vibes are – whether it’s a place to take kids, or go on a date, or simply go as a professional practising artist.

Here are the best courses and sessions to choose from that vary in commitment and cash.

A group of potters at Make Your Own Pottery Studio

Image courtesy of Make Your Own Studio

Top of the Pots: Here are the Top Pottery Places in London

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the front store of Studio Pottery London

Best For… Artists

Studio Pottery London

Just a short walk from Victoria station, Studio Pottery London has welcomed the likes of artists and designers like Harris Reed and Faye Wei Wei (allegedly Harris Reed had to take off many rings and accessories before being able to finally start moulding the clay). Part exhibition space, part studio (but works so well as a concept), there’s a range of courses and classes on offer: tasters, private classes, foundational classes (for more intermediate), and then ongoing (for the more advanced). Studio Pottery London often host evening talks with potters like Henry Holland and others, so that’s also worth checking out.

BOOK IT: studio-pottery-london.com

Image courtesy of Studio Pottery London

The Pottery Café in Battersea, with a mother and child painting pots

Best For…Taking Kids (or Beginners)

Pottery Café

Undoubtedly wholesome, The Pottery Café is best for those who put themselves under far too much pressure in art, and just need a chilled low key environment in which to be creative and not feel intimidated.

It’s the kind of place that kind of feels like your old art classroom at school but in the best nostalgic way possible. There’s also a gorgeous café, so you can order a flat white while you peruse which objects you’ll paint (too many to choose from). Some pottery places do a ‘drink and paint’ kind of thing, but this is most definitely a day time kid-friendly kind of space.

The Pottery Café, which has two studios: one in Fulham, the other in Battersea, is just for decorating (so swerve past this one if you want to throw clay).

It’s equally just as popular for kids parties, families, and just about anyone really who’s into just taking a few hours out and paint a pot.

You’ll need to book ahead to avoid disappointment.

BOOK IT: pottery-cafe.com

Image courtesy of Pottery Café, Battersea

a TikTok of Social Pottery London

Best For…Wholesome Friend Dates

Social Pottery London

Social Pottery London TikTok’s latest obsession, and it’s hard not to see why. With three studios in tow (two in Kentish Town, the other in Milton Keynes), Social Pottery is catnip for millennials and young folk looking for time to be creative and chat with friends.

Like The Pottery Café, Social Pottery is just for painting pottery, rather than playing with clay. There’s a range of options on offer: daytime painting pottery, pottery classes for kids, boozy painting pottery, and late night boozy pottery painting (the latter two, unsurprisingly, are the ones that go viral on TikTok).

BOOK IT: socialpotterylondon.com

Image: TikTok/ @kkaylawhite_ Background Image: Getty Images

a close up of someone making a bowl at Kiln Pottery

Best For…Meditative Painting

The Kiln Rooms

If you’re looking for pottery classes in London, The Kiln Rooms are a safe bet when it comes to offering a range of options. From bright shiny new beginner taster sessions, through to full 12 week courses and hiring a wheel, to everything in between, The Kiln Rooms is an easy choice for those looking for a bit of flexibility before committing to a fully fledged hobby.

BOOK IT: thekilnrooms.com

Image courtesy of Kiln Pottery, Instagram: @thekilnrooms

Crown Works Pottery, Photography: Giulietta Hextall

Best For… Experienced Potters

Crown Works Pottery

East London’s go to pottery, The Crown Works, tucked in beautifully in a Victoria mews in Bethnal Green, the places runs as a kind of school meets professional studio with full time potters practising in the space.

Which is great, as newcommers can soak in the atmosphere of a professional space. There’s a range of options on offer: short taster sessions, beginner and intermediate workshops and more specialist one off master classes.

All of the pottery classes are run by professional full time potters, with a passion for sharing their knowledge of this diverse material.

The classes are usually limited to ten or under to keen them intimate and low key.

BOOK IT:crownworkspottery.com

Imagery courtesy of Crown Works Pottery, Photography: Giulietta Hextall

a group of people doing pottery at Clay Time in London

Best For…One Offs

Clay Time

North London’s easy choice as one of the best pottery classes in London to book, Clay Time is a very no frills, get straight into it kind of space. Again, Clay Time divvies out the process of pottery into neat offerings. One’s to make your own pot from clay, paint from pre-made pots, or learn to improve your skills on a course, and finally, there’s creating a whole cohesive work of art. A class which has particularly got our curiosity piqued is the one to make your own plant pot.

BOOK IT: claytime.london 

Image courtesy of Clay Time. Facebook: Clay Time

Make Your Own Studio in Peckham

Best For…

M.Y.O (Make Your Own)

Tipped as more ‘creative classes’ under which pottery more often than not falls under, this one is perfect for a lovely friend hang out, solo hobbyist afternoon, or date that is just extremely chilled, unpretentious, and you’ll always be amongst the loveliest of people who come here. At M.Y.O. it’s never about being the most perfect creator, it’s much more about ‘play’ and loosing yourself to the gods of clay.

There’s tonnes of classes, workshops, and all the rest of it on offer (and in various places too), so it’s best to check their calendar on the website to find out and book.

BOOK IT: myo.place

Image courtesy of Make Your Own, Peckham

Go For a Decorating Class if You’re a Beginner

If you’re new to the game and just want to do a one off to get the lay of the land; it’s best to try out a decorating class. Which means just painting the plates. You’ll be able to pick from a shelf pre-prepared bowls, plates, mugs that have been bisque fired – the initial glaze phase – ahead of time. It’ll usually range in price (the bigger, the more expensive) and you’ll normally pay a flat fee to use the space and for them to glaze it afterwards.

If you’re based in South West London, The Pottery Café is your best bet.  The Pottery Café has two studios one on The Northcote Road, Battersea, and one in Fulham. Expect to be amongst kids, kids’ parties and a flurry of other people. Expect also a lot of Emma Bridgewater mugs flying about in the gift shop.

Five Minutes with Emma Bridgewater

 

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It’s always nice to come in and have a few vague ideas of what you might want to do (you could make a Pinterest board or collect ideas on an Instagram saved folder) that helps get rid of that ‘white plate panic’.

It’s also good to note that when you’re drawing your design on, the pencil mark will burn off in the kiln when it’s fired. And with the specific paint you’ll use there, always try and see if there’s an example of what that colour looks like when it’s been fired, as it often comes out quite different. Some colours, just come out looking differently and with other colours, it’s just has more transparency to it, so it’s good to assess if you need to have more layers on.

The Best Class to Throw Clay

hands making a pot on a pottery wheel

Image: Courtney Cook, Unsplash

Before decorating and firing, you have the clay. This class if always going to be more technical and requires instruction (unlike decoration classes, where it’s pretty much pick up a paint brush and go with a few hacks thrown at you). You’ll learn about throwing clay, popping air bubbles, what it’s like to create a good rim and strong walls for a vase or bowl, for example. This class is where you’ll have a go on a pottery wheel, so you’ll learn a bit on how to work a wheel.

Throwing clay is always a wonderful to bring in slow, meditative, and creative moments for your day, and a great opportunity

If you’re new to throwing clay, our choice would be the beginners session at Studio Pottery London. You can either book for yourself or with a group of friends. You’ll get your own wheel and get expert guidance from the best in London. It also helps that the studio is aesthetically gorgeous (and very near Victoria Station, so nice and easy to get to).

Next Stage: Full Course Classes Here’s Where to Head

hands carve out a pot on a wheel during a pottery class

Image: Aedrian Wr, Unsplash

Obviously, pottery is a process: so you may want to do a whole stretched out course over several weeks, starting from clay to cup. That includes throwing the clay, knowing what a bisque firing means, how to glaze (as well as learning niche processes like fettling) and maybe having a bash at learning how a kiln works.

Our pick of the bunch would be The Kiln Rooms. The Kiln Rooms (that have studios in Peckham Levels, Copeland Park, and Belleden Road), run a twelve week course. In the first four to five weeks,  basic techniques such as throwing on the wheel, hand building, mould work, decorating and glazing are covered. After this you are encouraged to develop your own projects with the help of a teacher. The 12 week course costs £320, which doesn’t include the cost of materials, which is £5 per 1kg of fired pot (for reference, a teacup is around £1).