Clay Workshops at Penland

Penland School of Crafts offers 1-, 2-, and 8-week clay classes taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Class topics include functional and decorative pottery, wheel throwing, handbuilding, clay sculpture, glazing, and salt-, soda-, and wood-firing. Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.

Enrollment for spring 2018 workshops is currently open.





Spring 8-Week Concentration

March 11 - May 4, 2018

Sunshine Cobb, Mug Shot, clay, glaze, 3 x 3 inches each


Sunshine Cobb
Wheelthrowing and Handbuilding Techniques

This intensive workshop will be explore form and content through functional ceramics by diving deep into a combination of both handbuilding and wheelthrowing techniques. And we will cover a broad range of surface solutions. Participants can also expect creative exercises and critical discussions relative to form, surface, and the balance of both. We’ll also have sessions on developing online and social media content and discussions of business models that working artists are using today. You will delve into your makers’ mind and develop new approaches and ideas to your work. All levels. Studio fee: $85. Code S00CA

Studio artist; teaching: Red Clay Lodge (MT), Santa Fe Clay (NM), Anderson Ranch (CO), Penland; Archie Bray Foundation (MT) long-term residency; named 2013 Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly and NCECA; author of the forthcoming Mastering Hand Building: Techniques, Tips, and Tricks for Slabs, Coil, and More (Voyageur Press, 2018).


NOTE: Israel Davis was originally scheduled to teach the spring clay workshop. He had to cancel and Sunshine Cobb graciously agreed to fill in. She is teaching a different workshop than the one that Israel planned so this workshop description differs from the one that is in our printed catalog.






Spring 1-Week Session 3

April 22 - 28, 2018

Lisa Pedolsky, Flask Vase, earthenware, multiple glazes,

14 x 71/2 x 4 inches

Lisa Pedolsky
Handbuilt: Conceive, Construct, Embellish

Using techniques similar to package design and dressmaking, we’ll explore slab-constructed functional forms using earthenware clay. Beginning with concept drawings, we’ll make patterns with paper and roofing felt and then create and assemble clay components. Surface treatment techniques will include layers, slips, sgraffito, stencils, and the use of familiar and unconventional tools. Students will discover how various techniques may be combined to achieve more complex forms and effects. The week will conclude with a bisque firing and glaze demonstrations. All levels. Studio fee: $40. Code S03CB

Studio artist; teaching: Shakerag Workshops (TN), Taos Clay (NM), San Juan College (NM), Plinth Gallery (CO); residencies: NCECA International Partners Program, Centro de Arte Curaumilla (Chile); representation: Plinth Gallery (CO), Diane West (CO), La Mesa of Santa Fe (NM); publications: Studio Potter, Pottery Making Illustrated, 500 Vases (Lark Books).