These 5 SoCal Pottery Studios Offer Inclusive and Creative Classes to the Community

Ready to get excited about a new hobby? The slow craft of pottery is a perfect pastime for a few hours of escape from the digital world. Whether you’re sitting behind the wheel or building by hand, this age-old craft will keep you focused and in touch with the moment. Roll up your sleeves and try your hand at the pottery wheel! Pottery workshops nearby

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Nicole Novena, founder of Clay + Craft, loves sharing her job: “[Clay] is earth, and the fact that you can take dirt and make something functional and pretty out of it is awesome. In addition to the one-week and multi-week wheel classes, you can also shop the beautiful range of modern ceramics available for sale. The collection includes glasses, carafes, cups, bowls and more. Novena, which opened the studio just months before the pandemic, says appreciation for handmade products fuels the mission behind Clay + Craft. Stop to pamper yourself, whether you’re spending time alone on the wheel or joining a group lesson.

Location: Encinitas, California

Pottery workshops nearby

Credit: Throw Clay LA/Zolay

Whether you’re making tableware or planters, you’re sure to enjoy the process at Throw Clay LA. Founded by potter John Prescott, the studio offers one-time and six-week pottery classes for hand-building or wheel-throwing options. “It’s more than teaching technique; I want to make sure you have a great time,” Prescott says. “Whether or not you have two pieces that seem centered after your first class, or one of them didn’t work out, that’s fine.” Beginners are welcome ! Throw Clay instructors will guide you through the process, so you’ll come away with a piece you’ll be proud of.

Location: Los Angeles, California

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“Pot is the nation’s first community pottery studio designed for and by people of color,” says Mandy Kolahi, Founder of Pot. “We first opened in response to the lack of diversity in pottery, and over the past few years we’ve seen the pottery industry change a lot.” Since 2017, Pot has been empowering traditionally marginalized people through pottery classes and workshops. “We’re a beginner-oriented studio because a lot of us don’t grow up with the arts,” says Kolahi. Pot recently launched the Potluck Initiative, a nonprofit organization offering scholarships, free workshops, artist residencies, and professional development to black and brown people.

Location: Los Angeles, California

Pottery workshops nearby

Credit: ARTime Barro

Owned and operated by a mother-daughter duo, ARTime Barro fosters a sense of warmth and community for creatives. If you are a beginner, you will start by learning the basics of centering the clay on the wheel. Co-founder Nicole Moreno says, “We wanted to bring art, especially pottery, to our community because it’s a bit more universal for all ages and all kinds of people. As an artistic haven, ARTime Barro offers a place for both beginners and advanced artists to unleash their creativity and relax on the potter’s wheel. Come for a unique lesson or join a four week building and throwing course.

Locations: Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach, California

Credit: Old Town Craftsmen Studios

In its 16,000 square foot space, Old Town Artisan Studios offers classes in clay, sculpting, painting and more for adults and children. The non-profit organization also goes further: it also brings the arts to local schools. “We believe that art has a huge healing element,” says general manager Thomas Burns. “You see the kids light up and smile as our instructors walk through the door.” Through its community outreach program called Mobile Mission, Old Town Artisan Studios brings clay crafts to children where they are. Last year, the program hosted over 26,000 artistic experiences in the Coachella Valley!

Location: La Quinta, California

Pottery workshops nearby

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