Pottery-Classes

The David Fry  School of Ceramics

Pottery Classes and Workshops 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 one year to give as a pottery class present for the open group class or for a private class.

All pottery sessions last 2 hours. .

 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 office parties, hen parties, group sessions, team workshops, pottery making, clay therapy , specialist sessions, fun day out, pottery away day, parents and children, something completely different. Held in the atmosphere of a  professional working pottery studio.  All classes are suitable for people of all ages, including children, and those that have never done pottery before, complete beginners . You will produce proper ceramic items that will be hard “Biscuit” fired.  See note below on the Kiln Firing of work produced.

Days available for classes – Private sessions/classes  can be held  from Tuesday to Saturday, (and on Wednesday evenings in British Summer Time  i.e. April to October), The open group session are held on Saturdays starting at 2.00.  Sundays and Mondays are normally my days off – but if a group of 8 or more wish to book a date for a Sunday or Monday – I can accommodate if the day is available.

The pots students make I Kiln Fire  to a standard hard Biscuit firing, I do not ‘Glaze’ student’s work, they are biscuit fired only – see note below of the making process, and the pictures of the type of work you can expect of the finished pots that is possible to produce in a single session.

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

If students wish they can do more subsequent workshop usage sessions without tuition to practice and further their skills, they can get on with what they wish, with the same limit on work produced as the other sessions. These subsequent workshop sessions are charged at the £15 rate per 2 hour session per person, they can be at any time of the week but you must check first if there is a convenient time slot for when you can come along.

 * Open Group Sessions. Held on most Saturday afternoons  at £15 per person, the number of people in the session can vary from 1 to 20,  from 2.00pm to 4.00pm Saturday,  for anyone who wants to come along and join in the group sessions, no need to book a place – BUT first check the session is on for the particular Saturday  you wish to come along by email, text or phone a few days beforehand.

* Individual ‘one to one’  or private group sessions can be booked in any available time slots Tuesday to Friday,(or on a Wednesday evening only from April to October) . Also for the Saturday afternoons if a large group(8 or more) wish to book with advance notice and pay for a private session this is fine, otherwise  Saturday afternoons are reserved for the ‘open group’ session . Also it is possible to book a Monday or Sunday session occasionally for a large group of 8 or more.

  • FEES
  • For a private session –
  • £45 for one person on their own in a session
  • £50 for two people booked together in one session.
  • £55 for three people booked together in one session.
  • £60 for four people booked together in one session, Then –
  • £15 per person  for a private group of more than four in the session.
  • For the Open Group Saturday session
  • £15 per person for the Open Group Saturday session irrespective of how many turn up.
  • Children 8 years old and under accompanied by an adult go free i.e. one child free place per one paying adult.
  • The Saturday open class –  check first before attending for the Saturday you wish to come.
  • Studio is closed Sunday and Monday. Please check first for other days before coming in, thanks.
  • Wednesday evening sessions can be held in British Summer Time only – i.e.. April to October.
 
  • BOOKING – So the way it works is this :-
  • If you wish to purchase a voucher for a  session(s) and wish to leave the dates open to be arranged later –  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. Voucher valid for one year.
  • email To enquire, book and buy a voucher.
  • Payment: by Cheque(post) or Bank Transfer(on-line), or in my studio by Cheque or Cash. 
  • 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 what type of 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, or be left open to be arranged later by the recipient for up to a year from issue.
  • For a private booking a deposit will be required to secure the time slot, paying the balance on arrival(per head for all that come along as numbers in a group booking can vary and dose not have to be fixed) 
  •  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 taster class, all classes are run on the same basis, and are suitable for beginners of all ages including children. Children must have an adult with them joining in the class as well.
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’ private session one advantage is a person can if they wish spend the whole time concentrating on learning the “Potters Wheel”.  In the ‘open group session’ on a Saturday or in a large private group session people have to take turns on the ‘pottery wheel’ as I have 3 potters wheels in use.

I will explain the making processes, the firing methods, the materials and background/history as we go along. Also I have examples of historical pottery from 4000 years ago to the present day that the students can handle and feel the ancient craft, some with finger marks from antiquity.

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, so please don’t come along and expect to master throwing in a single session, 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 – see examples below.

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.

 There are three Potters Wheels,  all different types and one is suitable for use with a wheelchair if required.

The kiln  firing process of pottery produced . I undertake to kiln fire all students work as part of the session paid for. Firstly 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 6 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 2-3 weeks, then the work is placed  into the Kiln and slowly Fired to 1160 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, Pots need ‘Firing’ to turn them into Ceramic. I do not apply a ‘glaze’ to student’s work, they are hard ‘Biscuit or Bisque fired’ only and will be suitable to take away and use as they are, or the student can if they wish ‘pottery paint’ them elsewhere, I do not do ‘glazing’ of students work.

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 3 and 8 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 in my studio 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.

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One off group pottery experience workshops/office groups/hen/wedding parties, etc.

The ‘Team Development Experience’ These are very popular with groups from offices/professional people, and  Hen/Stag Parties, who wish or are required to do something completely different as part of a Team Building Experience, or a fun day out for a group of friends.

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Pottery Classes as Presents

Gift Voucher Sessions are proving very popular, buy pottery class vouchers for either the private class or the open class, as a presents to give for a birthday, Christmas, wedding, etc. A Voucher can be emailed to you for you to print/send to give, or collect from my studio.  Fees: the options for this – as above.

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Master Classes – to take learning forward and improve your skills and learn about firing glazing and glaze formulation, please enquire.

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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.  

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The pottery studio is in the centre of Newcastle – 3 mins. walk from the Railway/Metro Central Station.

Click this link for the MAP of studio/workshop location.     or Link to   Goggle Map.

Pottery Studio, Blackswan Courtyard, 69 Westgate Road, Blackswan Courtyard, NE1 1SG.

CAR PARKING – the best long stay is further up Westgate Road outside the Science/Discovery Museum in Blandford Square , and there are other multi car parks in the area, outside my studio on Westgate Road there are short stay 1 hour meters but not many of them. There is parking at the Central Station but it is expensive.

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The examples below are of ‘complete beginners’ work showing what can be achieved in a single session.

Students work made in a single session – this is how the work looks like when biscuit fired.

Slab built and decorated pots – left to right:- wet clay, biscuit fired, dry clay.

small animals biscuit fired

Pottery Studio, Blackswan Courtyard, 69 Westgate Road, Blackswan Courtyard, NE1 1SG.