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 fall 2017 and spring 2018 workshops is currently open.





Fall 8-Week Concentration

September 24 - November 17, 2017

Kip O’Krongly, Methane Cow Plate, earthenware, slips,

underglaze, terra sigillata, 7-1/2 x 7-1/2 x 1-1/2 inches


Scott Minugh, Cloaked Women, porcelain, 10-14 inches tall


Megan Mitchell, Wall Pillow, press-molded porcelain, stencil print,

block print, lithographic transfer, 7-12 x 9 x 2 inches

Kip O’Krongly
Diving Deep: Functional Earthenware

This workshop will be a deep dive into the world of functional earthenware through demos, discussions, and structured practice. We’ll cover construction techniques from coil and slab to bisque molds and templates plus a little wheel work. We’ll take a look at surface treatments using underglaze, latex, sgraffito, and stencils (which you’ll create using an electronic cutting tool). Guest instructor Scott Minugh will lead a week of low-fire study, and Megan Mitchell will share her screenprinting talents, giving you a flexible and varied body of techniques to draw on in your own studio. We’ll also touch on single firing, packing and shipping, inventory management, photographing work, and studio set-up. This will be a fun, fast-paced, and exciting eight weeks. All levels. Studio fee: $120. Code F00CA

Kip: Studio artist; teaching: Carleton College (MN), Arrowmont (TN); McKnight fellowship; residencies: Northern Clay Center (MN), Watershed (ME), Archie Bray Foundation (MT). Scott: Studio artist, materials consultant for potters and educators; ceramic work represented by galleries in the Seattle area. Megan: Studio artist; teaching: Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Marlboro College (VT); residencies: Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis), Red Lodge Clay Center (MT); exhibitions: Plinth Gallery (Denver), Plains Art Museum (ND).


Scholarships are still available for this workshop!

Apply for a scholarship





















Fall 1-Week Session 1

October 8 - 14, 2017

Marty Fielding, Tryptich, cone 3 red clay, 14 x 30 x 12 inches


Marty Fielding
Handbuilding: Source, Construction & Color

This workshop will explore slab building techniques for constructing functional pots. We’ll look at visual and conceptual sources—ceramic and nonceramic—as starting points for making personal work. Forming techniques will include paper templates, drop molds, and a variety of approaches to handles, lids, and spouts. Surface considerations will emphasize building depth for electric firing and harnessing the aesthetic and expressive potential of color. We’ll have daily demonstrations and group and one-on-one conversations with an emphasis on creative problem solving. Bisque fire only. All levels. Studio fee: $40. Code F01CB

Studio artist; teaching: State University of New York-New Paltz, University of Georgia Cortona Italy Program, Florida Atlantic University; exhibitions: Plinth Gallery (CO), Northern Clay Center (MN), Zanesville Prize Exhibition (OH), Charlie Cummings Gallery (NC); publications: Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated.






Fall 1-Week Session 3

November 5 - 11, 2017

Martha Grover, Pitchers, thrown and altered porcelain,

9 x 8 x 6 inches each

Martha Grover
Elegantly Altered

Discover the idiosyncrasies of working with porcelain on and off the wheel in this hands-on workshop. We’ll cover throwing and altering techniques that exploit this elegant and sensuous material’s best qualities. We’ll work with a variety of bottomless wheel-thrown forms and slabs in the soft and leather-hard stages, as well as various altering techniques and additions of slabs, handles, and spouts to create an assortment of functional forms. We’ll address crack repair and mending techniques as well as the use of a spray gun for glaze application. Basic wheelthrowing skills required. Studio fee: $40. Code F03CB

Studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Peters Valley (NJ), Snow Farm (MA), Appalachian Craft Center (TN); residencies: Archie Bray Foundation (MT), Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis), Red Lodge Clay Center (MT), Pottery Workshop Jingdezhen (China).






Spring 8-Week Concentration

March 11 - May 4, 2018

Israel Davis, Ol’ School BMX Dream Flight, earthenware,

screenprint transfer with underglazes, nichrome wire,

5-1/2 x 3 x 3-1/2 inches


Israel Davis
Objects & Images

This workshop will explore the potential of screen printing to produce images that can be applied to clay objects. We’ll cover both direct printing and newsprint transfer methods with slips and underglazes, and we’ll explore laser toner decals. We’ll produce sculptural and utilitarian works through handbuilding, wheelthrowing, and moldmaking. Students will learn the steps for creating imagery, exposing screens, and printing, and we’ll discuss the narrative possibilities in combining image and object. We’ll work with earthenware and white stoneware and fire electric, soda, and wood kilns. All levels. Studio fee: $245. Code S00CA

Studio artist; creative director at Fundamental Formative Arts (MI); teaching: Ox-Bow (MI), Arrowmont (TN), University of Missouri, University of Alabama; residencies: European Ceramic Work Center (Netherlands), Ceramica Artistica Prospettiva (Italy).








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).