The Potters School hosts a variety of workshops throughout the year. Workshops are presented by visiting artists as well as our staff, studio members and potters enrolled in our Internship and Residency Programs.

Recent Visiting Artist Workshops have included:

  • Exploring Naked Raku with Wally Asselberghs and Sue Morse
  • Light and Energy: Porcelain Secrets with Monika Armbruster
  • Throwing and Handbuilding with Leo van de Heyden and Domi Gruszecka

Raku Workshops 

The studio holds monthly studio member only Raku firings throughout the year. Raku workshops can also be scheduled for your group, studio, guild, school, co-op, etc.  Our Raku facilities include 6 propane fired kilns of various sizes in a spacious firing area complete with all equipment, materials, and supplies. We can host up to 15 participants.

Raku Workshops are led by our experienced staff and consist of a supervised glazing and firing session. Glazing instruction includes an explanation and description of the available glazes, application, and various expected results. Firing instruction includes information on basic kiln theory, loading, firing in oxidation versus reduction atmospheres, and basic post-firing techniques. Due to the limited amount of time available and the often wide-ranging experience of participants, we will not cover advanced techniques or complicated individual approaches.

Each workshop consists of 1 hour of glazing and approximately 5 hours of firing. Two kilns will be fired simultaneously for approximately 6 total kiln loads. We will try to fire as many pots as possible, but there is no guarantee that everything will be fired.

All participants should come prepared for a safe experience: No sandals, no shorts, long hair must be tied back. We provide all glazing and firing materials and supplies, gloves, tongs, and all safety gear.  

Fees: $450 minimum covers all of the above. Firing session can be extended beyond the 5 hours. Each additional hour of firing time beyond 5 hours is $70.
Scheduling: Weekdays only and workshops must be completed by 5 PM, call for availability.

Advanced and more personalized Raku workshops can be scheduled with our founder and Raku Master Steven Branfman. Please inquire.


Kids Workshops - Pottery Parties

If you live in the Needham, MA area, we can come to you for a fun pottery birthday party! Parties can be arranged for all ages, including mixed ages. We will provide a teacher, tools, and materials for an hour of handbuilding. The project will be based on the ages of the participants. After the party, we will carefully dry, bisque, glaze, and glaze fire your work. Pieces are generally available for pick-up about a month after the party.

To host a party, you just need an appropriate workspace where we can get a little messy. We will need a sturdy washable table and seating and water nearby for handwashing and cleanup. The floor should be washable as well (no carpets, please). Some spaces that work well are kitchens, porches, decks, garages, or outside at a picnic table in nice weather.

Our fees are $200 for up to 10 participants. Additional participants are $15 each. If you would like a longer party for adults or older children to work on a more involved project the fee is $75 for each additional hour or portion of an hour.  


 Upcoming Members-Only Workshops

Our monthly members-only workshops are presented exclusively for Potters School Studio Members and are free of charge. Please see our Membership page for more information on studio membership. There is a category for you!

**Workshops my be canceled due to lack of enrollment. Please call first before coming down to confirm the workshop is still on!

Member Workshops
Design Techniques
With Gretchen Nash
During this workshop Gretchen will demonstrate how to make colored slips and oxides.  She will explain when and how to apply.  Bring your questions and pots to test on.

Next Level of Detail
With Aisling Colleary
Monday, October 16th @ 6pm

Often feet, handles, rims, edges and the like dont get the final polish they deserve. Just this little extra effort goes along way. During this workshop, Aisling will go over some tips and tricks to elevating your work to the next level.

I'm a little teapot!
With Abby Heingartner
Monday, Oct 23rd @7pm

Teapots are tricky! They have all these pieces that are supposed to fit together, and they never pour quite right...I'll show you what I think about when assembling a teapot, and we'll talk about what makes a teapot "work." If there's interest, I can also demonstrate how to make spouts and lids.

Call the studio for more information about studio membership and these workshops.

  Past Members-Only workshops have included:

  • Woodfiring at Noble and Greenough School
  • Kiln Info and Care with Steve Branfman
  • Making Handbuilt Aka(red) Raku Chawan with John Baymore
  • Oxides with Sarah Fuhro
  • Screen Printing on Clay with Karen Mahoney
  • Feet of Pots with Sarah Whitlock
  • Raku with Debbie Winnick
  • Slip Trailing with Jayne Raphael
  • Low-fire Techniques with Karen Mahoney
  • Big Birds: Thrown and Altered Sculpture with Sarah Whitlock
  • Bottle Workshop with Steve Branfman
  • Group Critique with Jaye Richards
  • The Air in There: Closed Forms with Sarah Whitlock

31 Thorpe Rd. Needham, MA 02494 USA     Phone: 781-449-7687       Fax: 781-449-9098    Email:     Hours: M-Th: 11-5 F: 10-4