5 hands-on pottery classes to try in Suffolk this summer

Woman's Hands Shaping Clay into Bowl on Pottery Wheel

Why not try your hand at pottery this summer? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Following the widespread success of shows such as The Great Pottery Throw Down, coupled with the lockdown-fuelled resurgence of arts-based hobbies, more people are looking to pick up a new skill.

Here’s a handful of pottery and ceramics classes across the county that are worth checking out locally.

Katie's Pottery Studio in Leiston

Katie's Pottery Studio in Leiston - Credit: Katie's Pottery Studio

Katie’s Pottery Studio, Leiston 

If you happen to be near Suffolk’s Heritage Coast, Katie Gleeson’s pottery studio is your one-stop-shop for learning all you need to know when it comes to ceramics. Offering one-to-one tuition for a variety of traditional techniques, Katie will be your guide when it comes to hand building, throwing on the wheel, decorating and glazing.  

Katie has been a potter for 40 years, and works with those of all ages and abilities, including blind people and those who have had strokes. She also offers birthday parties, hen parties, and date night sessions for couples.  

Her classes – which are two hours long – cost £30 per hour and include decorating, glazing and firing of three modest pieces. Extra pieces are charged at £2 per pound. Alternatively, five adult sessions are available over four consecutive weeks for £300. 

Honeypie Handmade, Ipswich  

Get to grips with the way of the wheel at this introductory ceramics course. Honeypie Handmade’s beginners pot throwing classes are perfect for anyone who is a total novice, as no experience is required.  

The classes take place over the course of four weeks, during one two-hour sessions per week either between 10am and 12pm, or 6.30pm and 8.30pm. The course – which is for a maximum of two people –costs £125, and includes both the clay and firings.  

Most Read

In your sessions, you will learn various techniques including clay preparation, pot throwing on the wheel, decoration and carving into your pot. All work will then be fired – alternatively, students can choose to book onto one of the glazing workshops to decorate and glaze their creations. Upcoming classes will be taking place on August 19, August 26, September 2 and September 9. 

Adam Marsh Ceramics, Ipswich 

With a focus on traditional and classic shapes recreated in a contemporary style, ceramicist Adam Marsh teaches avid crafters across a range of weekly classes and one-off workshops. 

His weekly classes take place over the course of over twelve weeks, and run Monday to Friday between 7pm and 9pm, or on Saturdays between 10am and 2pm. Bookings for the autumn have been open since May 31 for existing students, and from June 14 for new students. Classes for the following term will commence starting the week September 6 until December 3, excluding October half term.

The courses are tailored to each student’s interests and abilities, with Adam welcoming adults and young people of all ages and skillsets. Attendees will learn many aspects of ceramics, including throwing, hand-building, glazing, and firing.

Karl throwing pottery

Karl throwing pottery - Credit: Karl Greene

KGreene Pottery, Ipswich 

Karl Greene of KGreene Pottery has commenced his Ipswich-based pottery sessions once again as of last week. The qualified primary school teacher – who specialises in raku and reduction fired stoneware pottery – offers classes for all abilities including beginner, intermediate, and advanced.  

Students will be taught how to throw pottery as well as hand build in these hour-and-a-half long classes. Sessions start at £45 for a one-off session, or £43 each for one session per month.

Tony Carter Pottery School, Debenham 

For anyone looking to start their pottery journey in the mid-Suffolk region, Tony Carter’s pottery tuition could be for you. Situated in the village of Debenham, his light and airy studio is the perfect place for you to get to grips with clay, as you’re taught over a rolling four-week project session.  

All projects are appropriate to the student’s ability – with beginners being taught all of the basics before progressing and gaining confidence as you go. Each session is two hours, and there is a maximum of four students per session. Projects start with simple clay preparation, tile making, and using textures and colours, right the way through to slab building, throwing, coiling, basic model and mould making, slip casting, and glazing. 

Four-week sessions cost £115, which includes everything including materials and firing of your work.