Ceramics -


Blackbird Arts' ceramics studio offers classes for the absolute beginner to the advanced student. Begin with wheelthrowing and handbuilding and explore ways to make teapots, platters, bowls, mugs and more! Join a community of potters in our generous open studio hours and professional equipment, including an on-site kiln, slab roller, extruder and a raku kiln.


Fall Ceramics Classes

Coffee and Clay (intermediate wheel) - Tuesday morning  

Intermediate to Advanced Wheel - Wednesday day and eve options

Beginning and Beyond Wheelthrowing - Monday day, Monday and Thursday eves

Handbuilding with Clay - Wed eve

Monthly Open Studio Memberships

Family Wheel (adult w/ youth 8+) - info coming soon!

Friday Art Nights - select Fridays September - December




Beginner and Beyond Wheelthrowing 


Learn or refresh the basics of wheel throwing and how to center, open, pull, shape and trim shapes such as cups, bowls and other vessels. High-fire clay and glazing will be covered. Open studio sessions are included FREE in the price, so students can experiment and practice what they learn. We provide lots of one-on-one instruction, so students may work in independent directions. We offer shorter 4-week sessions for beginners, or take both sessions and receive a discount. 



Time Dates Register 

Session I: 4 Mondays, Sept 18-Oct 9

Session II: 4 Mondays, Oct 16-Nov 6

online registration

Session I: 4 Mondays , Sept 18-Oct 9

Session II: 4 Mondays, Oct 16- Nov 6

online registration


Cost: $115;  includes unlimited open studio time to practice what you learn, 12 pounds of clay, glazes, kiln firings and shelf rental. 


Instructor: Lauren Panian


Intermediate to Advanced Wheelthrowing


Already familiar with the pottery wheel and comfortable centering and throwing a variety of vessels? This class helps move students to a new level in design and execution. We'll explore more complicated forms and ways to combine hand-built and thrown pieces to find your unique style. Instructor demonstrates new techniques each week and students may choose the direction to go with their pottery.



Times Dates Register


(Coffee and Clay)

8 Tuesdays, Sept 19-Nov 7 online registration
12:00-2:00pm 8 Wednesdays, Sept 20-Nov 8  online registration
6:00-8:00pm 8 Wednesdays, Sept 20-Nov 8 online registration


Cost:  $245 includes all materials, 25# bag of clay, glazes, firings, and shelf rental. Unlimited open studio time included during the duration of the course.


Instructor: Phil Wilson



Handbuilding with Clay

Explore slab built and extruded forms to create platters, nesting bowls, wind chimes and more! There are so many possibilities with hand built forms--both contemporary and traditional. Learn techniques such as texturizing, sgraffito, carving and slip trailing to create simple and unusual ceramics. Students will have additional open studio time to come in and experiment with what they're learning. We offer both a day and evening option. 


6-8pm 4 Wednesdays, Oct 4-Oct 25
online registration


Cost: $135, includes all materials and kiln firings.

Instructors: Phil Wilson and Lauren Panian



Screenprinting on Clay

Learn this exciting technique that combines processes of both silkscreen printing and clay handbuilding! Begin with a black and white image and learn to "burn" a silkscreen using a photo emulsion method.  Students learn a variety of clay slab handbuilding techniques and create individual boxes or panels. They'll "burn" screens in the printmaking studio, then choose underglaze colors and learn to pull a print on clay. Projects will go through two kiln firings and be ready in approximately 2-3 weeks.


12-3pm 2 Tuesdays, Oct 17 & 24 online registration
6:00-8:00pm 3 Wednesdays, Nov 1, 8, & 15 online registration


Cost: $75 includes all materials and kiln firings.

Instructor: Clay Maas


Open Studio Passes (no instruction)


Our open studio passes are for experienced potters comfortable working on their own and without instruction. They allow maximum flexibility while keeping up with skills on the wheel or handbuilding. For potters new to the ceramics program at Blackbird Arts, we require an orientation session to familiarize new students with our procedures. Please email melissa@blackbirdartstc.org to arrange.


Open Studio Membership One Month

Unlimited open studio time for the pottery wheel or handbuilding. Begin any day between September 18 and November 15 and continue for 30 calendar days.

Cost: $150 includes #25 bag of clay, glazes, kiln firings and shelf rental. 


Online registration for open studio (please list desired start date in comments section)

Blackbird Arts   |   1485 Barlow Street Traverse City, MI   |   (231)421-8085    |    Drop us a note at info@blackbirdartstc.com.