Pottery Courses and Training Programs

Read about the course structure and content of pottery classes offered as personal enrichment courses at colleges. Explore studio arts degrees in ceramics and the advanced training they can offer. Schools offering Ceramics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Pottery courses are offered in the art studios of many colleges and universities. These are typically offered as non-credit classes and are open to both students of the school and the general public. Pottery courses are offered at many different levels, so you can find a course to fit your level of experience in the craft.

Once you've gained some expertise, you can take classes that focus on specific techniques or artistic styles. Most schools offer pottery courses throughout the year with new sessions beginning every few months. Each course generally meets once per week and lasts around six weeks.

Courses Classes teach how to design pottery, finish and glaze pieces, trim and decorate pieces; drawing, painting, history classes
Programs Programs offered as associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees
Training Ceramics, access to a studio, sculpture

Are Materials Included in Course Fees?

The amount that you will have to pay to attend each pottery course depends on the course length and school fees. Most course fees cover the expenses of glazing, firing, instruction and time spent in the studio. You will likely have to purchase additional materials, like clay and tools, from the instructor, campus or an art supply store.

What Will I Learn?

Pottery courses are often taught by professional potters or ceramics professors, who provide instruction and demonstrations to help you master the techniques essential to creating clay pieces. You will generally have access to the studio each day of the week. Beginning courses provide an introduction to working with clay in some of the following areas:

  • Studio techniques
  • Clay preparation
  • Throw mugs
  • Plates
  • Placement of clay on the potter's wheel

What Else Can I Learn?

Intermediate courses help you improve your pottery techniques. More advanced courses teach you to create large objects and unconventional shapes. Many schools additionally offer courses in specialized areas of pottery, such as tea sets or figure sculptures. These course topics might also be explored:

  • Color glazes
  • Decorating strategies
  • Elaborate finishing techniques
  • Creation of sculptures
  • Lids
  • Handles
  • Surface textures
  • Hand-built ceramics

How Can I Earn a Degree in Pottery?

If you love the art of pottery and would like to gain more expertise, you might consider a formal degree program in ceramics. Programs are offered at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Studio time will be coupled with classroom instruction. You'll need to take courses in other art subjects, like drawing and painting, as well as art history classes. Since this is a hands-on discipline, fully online programs are not available. However, some classes required for a degree might be available online.

An associate's degree program might provide you with the extra training you need to produce beautiful and complicated pottery pieces. In a bachelor's-level program, you'll learn to incorporate artistic concepts and techniques with your personal vision to create unique and compelling artwork. You'll create a portfolio of your best work, which can help you find a job in the art field.

What About Some Other Options?

You might also endeavor to earn a Master Potter Certificate if you want to operate your own business. A master's degree program will further challenge you to expand your visual art perspective and craft truly novel ceramic items. This degree may also prepare you for postsecondary teaching. For example, you may want to consider a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics for your degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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