I’ve discovered air-conditioned bliss, and it only costs $15; (or $12 with student ID or a Gardiner membership). This summer, head to the Gardiner Museum on Wednesdays, Fridays or Saturdays for drop-in clay classes—no experience required.
Here’s why it’s awesome: your hands don’t have be strong, or coordinated, you don’t even have to be artistic in any way. Pottery is a great way to make something beautiful and 100 percent unique. Recover from a hectic Saturday night with a Sunday afternoon at the wheel. You will be shocked and amazed at how refreshed and renewed you will feel 10 blocks of clay later. There’s something about focusing all your energy into a spinning block of pliable possibilities, in a wonderfully air-conditioned room, that just sucks the sluggishness right out of your semi-functioning self.
All drop in classes begin with a short demo with the wheel. Daunting at first, but you get a hold of the tools and the tricks of hand pressure quickly. The best part: they let you jump right in after the 5 minute tutorial. The second best part: this is a mistake free zone. The staff encourages you to go through as much clay as you want. If you don’t like what you made, or if you simply eff up your creation to unrecognizably, throw it in the scrap pile and start again, no problem. Liberating. For those who are not quite wheel-ready, they also offer freestyle clay work.
Fire your creations in the oven for $5.00, and if you’re a regular, they welcome you to take several weeks to glaze, paint, and decorate. Tickets for drop-in go on sale 30 minutes before the beginning of each class.
Drop in times:
For more information on the Gardiner Museum drop-in programs, check out their website.
Follow Zakiya on Twitter @zakkassam.