Hand Building Basics – Exploring the Vessel

Hand Building Basics – Exploring the Vessel









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In Handbuilding Basics, students will have access to our ceramics studio and a knowledgeable instructor to guide them through learning the language of clay. This class is a great fit for beginners with no prior experience, and intermediate students pursuing independent projects. This class will explore vessel making through multiple handbuilding techniques such as pinch pot, coil, and slab building methods to create functional and sculptural forms. Students will also learn about surface decoration through a variety of glaze applications and techniques. Class projects will investigate function, design, scale, and concept based on ancient objects and contemporary artists working in the field of ceramics. Students will leave this class with a greater understanding of the material, ceramic process, and confidence to hand build any form in clay. No previous ceramics experience necessary—this class is open to all levels. Materials and tools will be provided. Enrollment in this course includes additional access to one monitored Open Studio session per week.

Unfinished student work should be picked up within two weeks of the last class.


The Steel Yard is located at 27 Sims Avenue, Providence RI 02909


For all courses, students must wear a pair of close-toed shoes like sneakers or boots (no sandals, no flip-flops, no peep-toe pumps). Also, you should dress expecting to get a little dirty. Art is messy. In addition, students in metalworking courses must wear clothes made from either cotton or wool—synthetic fabrics like fleece and polyester are not safe near an open flame. Pants are required and long sleeves are recommended. Any clothing that has been frayed is not permitted. The studio is well stocked with heavy-duty welding jackets, but if you have your own, feel free to bring it.


All enrollments are subject to our REGISTRATION & ENROLLMENT POLICIES. Notable changes to accommodate the uncertainty during the current pandemic include the following adjustments to our policies:

Students may withdraw from a course without penalty within 5 days prior to the start of the course. Exceptions will be made for students impacted by COVID-19; in which case, last-minute withdrawals will be accommodated with documentation of a COVID-19 test (confirmation of appointment) for the student or their household member. For any cancellation of a paid course, students can expect to receive a full refund, less a $5 processing fee, to their original method of payment. Please allow for 10 business days before the refund is reflected on your account.


SCHOLARSHIPS applications are available for students who may not otherwise be able to enroll in a course.  Additionally, standing sliding scale scholarships exist for QT/BIPOC students.