Could ceramics be your new favorite hobby? Several Portland studios are here to help out.

Certain TV shows inspire us to learn something new. Our current inspiration comes from the Great British Bake-Off-inspired reality TV competition show The Great Pottery Throwdown, which features potters from around Great Britain trying their hand at challenges from building a toilet bowl to sculpting a candelabra. Take a cue from the show: whether throwing a bowl, hand-making a small figurine, or piecing together a mug for your favorite winter drinks, there are endless projects to make out of clay that can serve a purpose for years to come. 

Luckily, Portland has an abundance of ceramic classes for beginners and experts alike from many different local studios, with each offering something a little different. Here are six ceramics studios where you can learn to throw down some clay.

Radius

2324 SE Belmont St, Portland

Radius Studios began in an apartment in 2002 with the goal of teaching the community how to make art. Since then, it's grown into two studios and a retail shop. In October 2021, Radius moved its clay studio into a new location on Belmont, while reserving its old location on Morrison for painting and drawing classes.

Ceramics classes are offered on Tuesday nights and weekends for $75 each. The class lasts an hour and a half, where you’ll learn the basics of wheel throwing, glazing, and firing your piece that you’ll get to keep. The studio also has private lessons and six-week-long courses, though these were sold out as of press time.

St. Johns Clay Collective

6635 N Baltimore Ave Suite 109, Portland

St. Johns Clay Collective opened in 2016 as a space for new and experienced artists alike. While offering a space for experienced artists to come and use their supplies, the studio also offers one-time or four-week courses for beginners and intermediate artists, and a course for the more experienced in making your own plaster molds. The 90-minute one-time beginner course is offered at $59. 

Morning Ceramics

239 SE 6th Ave, Portland

Morning Ceramics is ideal for those who would rather work closely with an instructor than in a big group. For $190, beginners can get a one-on-one lesson for two hours, all supplies included. You can make a couple of pieces and choose the one that makes you the proudest. If you want to bring a friend, you get two and a half hours with a teacher for $225. The studio also offers a variety of workshops to develop skills like making clay flowers or learning how to properly attach a handle to a mug. For those looking to get more in-depth, there are also multi-week courses for various experience levels. (Added bonus: there's also an adorable shop dog named Stu.)

Georgie’s

756 NE Lombard St, Portland

Opened in 1965, Georgie’s is likely the oldest ceramics shop on this list, if not in Portland. The studio has two storefronts, one in Portland and the other in Eugene. Georgie's sells any supplies that a ceramic artist would need, and even makes its own clay right here in Portland. Classes include beginning ($265-300 depending on session) and intermediate ($300) wheel courses, hand building ($265-300 depending on session), and learning how to use your kiln ($25). Pay close attention to Georgie's website and social media to hear when courses open up, because they fill up quickly. Adding charm to the Portland storefront is the shop cat that was found in the walls of their building a few years ago, named George after the store’s founder (check out his Instagram, @georgetheshopcat).

Greentree Art Studio

2766 Greentree Rd, Lake Oswego

Located in Lake Oswego, Greentree Art Studio offers wheel throwing and ceramic classes, as well as drawing and acrylic or oil painting lessons. The studio was started in 2014 by Karen Haugan Tomlinson, who teaches various classes and is also available for private or group lessons. Ceramic classes run $26 per hour, with all materials and firing included.

Elemental Studios

4634 NE Garfield Ave, Suite C, Portland

Elemental Studios works to teach students not only how to throw pottery, but how to be mindful. The six-week beginners' course offers lessons on ceramics practices and different mindfulness practices intended to carry over into the student’s everyday life. The classes range between two and a half and three hours each, costing $395 for the series. If you don’t know if you want to commit to six weeks, try their “clay date” where you and a friend can learn ceramic basics for $225, and take home your finished pieces for an additional $50.

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