Ceramics are a fun and engaging way to create an original work of art by using your bare hands. Some of mankind’s earliest expressions of art were through pottery which was both functional and beautiful. Few crafts offer more interaction than the whirl of the potter’s wheel as you sculpt and mold a mound of clay from a nondescript blob into a work of art. Whether you have some knowledge of ceramics or none at all, check out these classes which are sure to fit your skill level and schedule.

Hinckley Pottery
1707 Kalorama Road N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 745-7055

This is a great way to find out if pottery making is for you. Hinckley offers a one-time class where you can try your hand at the potter’s wheel without having to be locked in to future classes. It’s a total win-win situation. Hinckley Pottery is operated by a group of experienced, enthusiastic and dedicated instructors who love their craft and have been practicing it for decades. From the chief instructor and founder to the student who loved the craft so much that she became an instructor, you will find no shortage of craftsmanship here. Full class schedules are available on an ongoing basis in sessions of 10 consecutive classes. Fees include personalized instruction, clay, tools and equipment, glazes and firing.

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Eastern Market Pottery
225 7th St. S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 544-6669

Established in 1968, Eastern Market Pottery offers small and informal classes to encourage a relaxed, close-knit environment and personalized instruction to accommodate students of every skill level. Classes are taught four nights a week and Thursday mornings by skilled, experienced potters who provide instruction on making pottery on the wheel as well as methods for decorating and glazing. The business’ new 1,100-square-foot air-conditioned studio is equipped with two new kilns and is also open to students on Saturday afternoons.

The Art League
Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N. Union St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 683-2323

With a host of talented and well-known artists and instructors, the Art League offers classes year-round during the week, weekend, day and evening to accommodate just about any schedule. If you’re a beginner, you can learn how to create basic vessels and forms on a potter’s wheel, while those with more experience can delve into advanced clay techniques and focus a little more on design, glaze and finish. Courses cover every skill level, from the novice to the professional. There are even classes in tiles and mosaics.

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All Fired Up!
Cleveland Park
3413 Connecticut Ave.
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 363-9590

4923 Elm St.
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 654-3206

This paint-your-own-pottery studio is all about creativity and fun and believes that everyone should have access to making art. Its “home away from home” environment encourages originality and self-expression. And there’s no time limit placed on creativity as All Fired Up does not charge a separate fee for studio time and recognizes the fact that adults and children need different amounts of time based on the size of the pottery they are painting and the complexity of the design. The studio charges only one fee which includes instruction, paints, studio time and glazing and firing. Students are free to maximize their creativity without having to watch the clock.

Corcoran College Of Art + Design
500 17th St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 639-1800

The Corcoran College of Art + Design is the only one of its kind in DC and offers an array of ceramics classes for all levels of skill and experience. Classes include an introduction to the potter’s wheel where students learn wheel throwing to create functional pottery; an introduction to hand-building which teaches fundamentals like the pinch, coil and slab methods; and intermediate wheel throwing where students can sharpen their throwing skills as well as learn decorative techniques.

Kevin Don Porter is the author of OVER THE EDGE and MISSING—two mysteries available on Amazon.com. Visit his website at www.kevindonporter.com..