The David Fry  School of Ceramics

NEWS UPDATE  –  All Uncollected student’s work by the end of May will be Recycled.  

From the end of April 2018 the pottery classes will no longer be running at the studio in Black Swan Courtyard, Newcastle Arts Centre. Due to a move to a new Studio.

Classes may still be run when our new studio is built by late 2018. For the moment I am not selling Vouchers. If you wish to be on the mailing list for the new pottery classes when they start, email to :- requesting to be put on the list for pottery classes and open studio events.

The new studio address will only be given out to people genuinely interested by email.  The studio wont be open to the public as before but by appointment only.


Pottery Classes  in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Offering Pottery classes or ‘one off’ pottery sessions in my studio in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Come along to a taster pottery class.. get creative.. unleash your inner potter…

Try your hand on the Potters Wheel..

Or buy a Voucher valid for a year to give as a pottery class present or it can be used towards the purchase of a piece of my work.

 Try your hand at making a pot by hand building or throwing on the wheel, sculpting in clay, working with real pottery clay.  The classes can be: Pottery taster session, individual sessions, can be bought as presents – gift vouchers, or arranged as, group sessions, pottery making, clay therapy , specialist sessions, fun day out. Held in the atmosphere of a  professional working pottery studio.  All classes are suitable for people of all ages, and complete beginners . You will produce proper ceramic items that will be hard “Bisque” fired.  See note below on the Kiln Firing of work produced.

Days available for classes –  classes  can be held  from Tuesday to Saturday.  

The pots students make I Kiln Fire  to a standard hard Biscuit firing, I do not ‘Glaze’ or Gloss Fire student’s work, they are biscuit or Bisque fired only – see note below of the making process.

The pottery sessions are run as single session’s lasting 2 hours, the students will produce finished items of pottery in the session ready to be fired.

 * Individual ‘one to one’ or group sessions can be booked in any available time slots Tuesday to  Saturday.

Vouchers are valid for one year from the date of issue, or the date to be used by stated on the voucher itself.

  • FEES  – For one session
    £45 for one person on their own in a session.
    £60 for two people booked together in one session.
    £75 for three people booked together in one session.
    £90 for four people booked together in one session.
  • The Voucher can also be used towards the purchase of a piece of my work.
 BOOKING – So the way it works is this :- If you wish to purchase a voucher email to arrange this – I will provide payment details, you make the payment , and then I will email you back the Voucher as a pdf file to print out.
  •  Or you email me and suggest a time when you would wish to come and I will check if that time slot is already booked or I’m away from my studio. If it is free I will book you in and get you to confirm, or if not free I will suggest alternative dates/times to you and wait for your response and payment then book you in and email you back with the voucher to print out.
  • email  To enquire.
  • Payment: by Cheque(post) or Bank Transfer(on-line).
  • The most convenient and quickest way is to pay by Bank Transfer over the internet via your on-line banking , email me and I’ll reply back with my bank sort code and account number which is all you need to do a transfer.
  • Decide on the session you require, pay and I will email back to you a pdf file of the Voucher you can print out or you can forward on to the recipient, if it is a gift I can put the name of the recipient on the voucher or put it in your own name. The date/time can be agreed and put on the voucher if you wish, or left open valid for a year.
  •  Click this Link for contact details. 
  • Please email to arrange classes/payments so there is a record of transactions, all vouchers and info are supplied by email.

The pottery session  is a standard class one off class, and are suitable for beginners of all ages.
I start with instruction in basic pottery making by hand construction methods, this is clay preparation, then simple ‘thumb/pinch pots’ and adding/joining coils to get the feel of the clay, then a little more advanced ‘slab building’ – that is rolling out the clay into a thin slab then cutting into shapes to build and construct an object, coupled with mould and stamp decoration techniques, everyone will be able produce a small pot or tile by these methods. Then I will demonstrate throwing on the ‘potters wheel’ and everyone will have a go to try and ‘throw a pot’ on the wheel. Also other making or sculpting/modelling methods.  After the introduction to the workshop making techniques students will have a free hand to produce what they wish. The most popular items people make are bowls/dishes, pencil/brush holders, planters, mugs, candle holders, tiles, wall plaques, small sculpted figures and animals, and on the potter’s wheel small bowls. All work must have the student’s full name written on them and when dry I will kiln bisque fire their best 3 pieces of completed work for collection later – see kiln firing note below.

In a ‘one to one’ session one advantage is a person can if they wish spend the whole time concentrating on learning the “Potters Wheel”. 
I will explain the making processes, the firing methods, the materials and background/history as we go along. 

I do not have the space for student’s on-going projects, so I cannot store/wrap work to be finished later, all work must be finished in the single session ready for firing.

Please note that the making of a pot on the potter’s wheel (throwing) is very difficult even though it can appear to look easy when seeing it demonstrated or on TV, it takes lots of practice  and patience to produce decent pots by throwing on the potter’s wheel, however the learning process is great fun. On the other hand making simple hand-built pots (slab, coil, pinch, modelling) should be within everyones ability to make a reasonable pot in a single session .

All materials, tools, clay, aprons, and kiln firing are included in the session price. I will do the firing of the best  3 pieces each student makes once they are dry enough to process. All the materials I use in the sessions are non-toxic and safe to use. Used clay is all recycled so one can use as much clay as they wish to practice pot making.

The kiln  firing process of pottery produced .I only fire my Pottery Kiln when there is enough work to fill it and economically fire it, so on average I do a Pottery Firing of student’s work about 12 times a year, so depending on where in the firing cycle the pottery session takes place factors in when the work will be ready  for collection.

The firing of work proceeds as follows:- first the finished items you have made will have to be fully dry before going into the Kiln – this takes about 2 weeks, then the work is placed  into the Kiln and slowly Fired to 1000 degrees Centigrade., this takes a week for the firing and cooling – so a total of about 3 to 8 weeks(dependent on when there is enough work ready to fill the kiln) in all from a wet clay item to a finished proper ceramic item.  Pots which are just dried clay have no strength they will crumble easily, and if they come into contact with water will simply go back into slurry, Clay items need ‘Firing’ to turn them into Ceramic. 

Collection of finished work  I will inform people by email when their pots are fired and ready to collect, this will happen after each firing usually between 2 and 6 weeks after the class has taken place.  Please Note.. – I have very limited storage space.. Once I have informed people their work is ready for collection by email  – I will hold onto the work for 2 months after which  the uncollected work will be donated to the Ouseburn City Farm  and Scotswood Community Garden to put towards fund raising for their community projects.


 Pottery Classes as Presents

Gift Voucher Sessions are proving very popular, buy pottery class vouchers  as a presents to give. Also can be used towards the purchase of a piece of my work. Voucher valid for one year. A Voucher can be emailed to you for you to print/send to give.  Fees:- as above.


Master Classes – To take learning forward and improve your skills and also learn about Firing Glazing and Glaze formulation.


Also occasionally I run events like this   HEY CLAY sponsored by the Crafts Council and the BBC.

  • The Crafts Council and BBC Get Creative have joined forces to present Hey Clay! in April 2017. Hey Clay! is a national celebration of clay giving everyone the chance to unleash their inner potter.