There are many pottery workshops available for all skill levels. When no classes were available to me locally, I started attending a few workshops a year in order to keep acquiring skills. Now I find them to to be opportunities for inspiration.
This is the final post in a series where I have conveyed my impressions and evaluations of some of the venues where I have attended workshops.
Arrowmont, Gatlinburg TN – Arrowmontis an Arts and Crafts School located in Gatlinburg. I have taken two one-weekworkshops at Arrowmont. Because it is an Arts and Crafts School, it hosts workshops in several media. The pottery studio is quite large with lots of windows, several wheels, plenty of tables, multiple electric kilns, salt kiln, and wood kiln. It hosts accomplished contemporary potters that draw attendees from all over the US. There are several
galleries on the campus and a well-stocked supply store. On-campus lodging is available and a cafeteria offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I stayed in a dorm on campus and had meals in the campus cafeteria. The lodging was basic but comfortable and the food was very good. Most of the attendees stayed on campus and ate in the cafeteria, which gave us a lot of opportunity to meet them. I really appreciated that I didn’t need to change clothes for meals and that I didn’t need to figure out where to eat each evening because it allowed me more time to focus on the things I was learning. The studio is open until 1 am, so you can work as long as you can stay awake. Although Arrowmont is in heart of Gatlinburg, I didn’t see any of the town – I was too busy on campus to leave. This is a great place to take an extended workshop and I am looking forward to returning.
- Accommodations – Very Good
- Meals – Very Good
- Studio Space – Well Equipped
- Value – Very Good
- Likelihood of returning – Very High
Emerge, Greenville NC– Emerge is an art center and host to the Pitt County Arts Council. It offers classes and workshops in several media. It is also is my local art center. I have taken several classes in pottery and drawing. Emerge has recently begun to offer workshops from local and NC potters; two of which I attended. The studio is well equipped with tools, bats, and wheels. Meals and lodging are the responsibilities of the attendees but there are several restaurants within walking distance from the art center. The studio closes at a designated time so it is unavailable for use after hours. There is a sales gallery that hosts art from regional artists. Parking can be a challenge but there are places available.
- Accommodations – Not Available
- Meals – Easily Accessible
- Studio Space – Adequately Equipped
- Value – Fair
- Likelihood of returning – Good
This is not an extensive review of venues where pottery workshops are offered. There are several others (such as Penland, Haystack, Anderson Ranch, John C. Campbell Folk School, etc.) that offer workshops on a regular basis. Don’t be intimidated. Look for a workshop in an area that is accessible for you and hosted with a potter whose work you admire. Making the investment in yourself as a potter will definitely pay off.