Wheel Throwing with Clay

Martha Grattan

Tuesday, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

11/7/2017- 12/19/2017

1/9/2018- 2/20/2018

2/27/2018- 4/10/2018

4/17/2018- 5/29/2018

7 weeks: $110 members/$138 non-members

This class teaches basic wheel techniques. Lessons are conducted through brief discussions, demonstrations and hands on coaching. Students have the opportunity to create various projects from start to finish. Students should plan to finish approximately three to four projects during the session. Previous experience is not required, all skill levels are welcome.

This course in designed to teach students how to first make the bowl and cylinder forms and Then move on to more complex forms. I will demonstrate methods to make mugs, cups, bowls and teapots using various clay bodies. I am also willing to offer an advanced class featuring the design of oven safe cookware using specialized flame ware clay bodies and glazes.

Each class will feature a demonstration of a throwing technique. As sessions progress, I will design special lessons per the requests of students. Other topics will include designing with glaze, slip trailing, pulling handles, and designing compelling surfaces. I encourage students to keep a log of designs and glaze formulas as well as project planning for high quality outcomes. It is my intention to train students to maximize their creative potential by planning projects from start to finish. Each class will include hands on practice time with instructor support.
Class is appropriate for students age 16 and up.

Week 1: Demo on wedging and centering clay, and making initial pulls. Supported work time.
Week 2: Project planning. Review on centering clay,initial pulls, making a bowl. Supported work time.
Week 3: Demo on trimming an object. Supported work time.
Week 4: Demo on dipping glazes, use of cold wax and prepping for firing.
Week 4: Demo on making a bowl and designing handles. Supported work time.
Week 5: Demo on making a mug and pulling handles. Supported work time.
Week 6: Demo on throwing a lidded object, part one. Supported work time.
Week 7: Demo on throwing a lidded object, part two. Supported work time.

Bonus project: Making stamps from planned sketches.

Note: Intermediate/advanced students who want to work independently with limited support are welcome to register for this class as long as they are comfortable with ongoing demonstrations.

Student Supply List: Apron, towels, gallon bucket, and beginner clay tool kit. The kit is available online at Amazon or at local craft stores. Participants should wear casual clothing and be prepared to get muddy.

Students will also have to purchase their own clay from the office. The cost is $26.50. There is also an annual studio fee of $25.00, due at registration.


I have studied art in many forms over the years. As I child I spent hours painting, drawing and building animals out of clay. As a young adult I studied fine art at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit. Later I transferred to Arizona State University to study communications and Graphic Design. I dropped out of college after landing my first design job. Early on, I worked at various ad agencies and publishing houses in the Detroit area. Later in my career I worked as a designer in Corporate Communications at Consumers Energy in Jackson Michigan.

A few years after relocating from Michigan to Cape Coral, Florida, I took a pottery class on a whim. Right from the start, I was hooked. I continued to study ceramics at FGCU and at Cape Coral Art Studio. A few years ago I started instructing the kids’ classes. Recently I added a few adult classes at the Studio and at Island Conclave Gallery on Pine Island.

Working in clay allows me to do all the things I love about art and design. I find that my years of work as a visual communicator helps me to create thoughtful art that integrates into daily life. I feel very strongly that art should be beautiful, accessible, fun and useful. This is the true historical tradition of art in relation to humanity. I strive to maintain this tradition with the educational plans I create.

My work is currently on display at Island Conclave, The Alliance for the Arts, Cape Coral Art Studio, Big Arts and Sanibel Shell Museum. I am a member of the Alliance for the Arts.