Student InformationMinimum Age Requirements Only students ages 18 and up are eligible to register for NCC’s adult classes.
ToolsStandard tool kits for introductory classes are available in NCC’s Sales Gallery for $20. Other specialty tools are available as well.
Bisque toss procedureBeginning in Winter 2013, we will be removing old bisqueware from the carts according to the following procedure, using chalk to date and track the pieces. The chalk can be washed off for glazing. Please claim your bisqueware by these dates by glazing it or moving it to your tool/work storage area.
April 26: All work on the bisque carts will be marked with green chalk.
May 10: All "green chalked" work will be thrown away.
May 24: All work on the bisque carts will be marked with pink chalk.
June 7: All "pink chalked" work will be thrown away.
June 14: All remaining bisqueware will be thrown away.
Open StudioThe tuition for regular adult classes includes access to open studio time. On average, at least one classroom with potter’s wheels and a handbuilding table is available between 9 am and 9 pm Tuesday through Sunday, and from 9 pm to midnight on Thursday evenings. NCC reserves the right to close open studio for special classes or workshops. The Center has three large studios (two wheel-throwing and one handbuilding), as well as Studio D, a smaller classroom, used for special workshops, family classes, visiting artists, and occasional open studio time.
Current Open Studio Schedule
Kiln Updates from Twitter
Student Guide (PDF)
What's the difference between hand-building and wheel-throwing?
Wheel-throwing is what we call work made on the potter's wheel. You might have heard it called "spinning," "potting," or "throwing," and it involvs an electric wheel, kick wheel, or treadle wheel.
Handbuilding, also called "fingerbuilding," is work made - surprise - by hand (without the use of the wheel). This includes sculpture of all sizes, from abstract to figures and animals, as well as "handbuilt pottery" - vessel forms such as bowls, cups, vases that are made by coil-building, slab building, carving, or other construction techniques. Our handbuilding classes also include tile classes and mold-making.
What is the beginner tool kit and where can I buy it?
The beginner tool kit generally includes a sponge, wire tool, pin tool, potter's knife (stick tool), wooden rib, aluminum rib, and large and small trimming tools. We sell the tool kit at NCC and you can purchase it when you check in for your first night of class, Most art and ceramic supply stores sell identical or similar kits; it generally costs about $20.00. NCC also has a selection of individual tools - either to replace things from the basic kit, or to serve some specialized function. Ask at our front desk to see our selection.
We recommend that everyone in the Land of Round Pots, Continents of Clay, or Beginner level classes have these tools. Beyond that point, students have enough experience to know what they like to use and usually a fair collection of "favorites."
Can I come in to "play" with some clay?
We do not allow "walk-in" studio time, or work on projects far outside the scope of a class (e.g. working with plaster in a beginning pottery class). Regular adult classes do include open studio access. If you're looking for a short experience to try out ceramics, please enroll in a one-time workshop such as Crafternoon, Clay for Couples, or a sculpture workshop. We also offer family classes for parents and kids, and some free drop-in workshops (see below).
Do you host birthday parties or scout troops?
Yes! Find more details here. We also host special workshops for groups of adults or professionals - contact us with your needs and ideas and we can build a great experience with you.
Do you offer scholarships?
We have a scholarship fund for kids and youth, primarily for our summer camp program. Unfortunately we are unable to offer scholarships or discounts for adults, other than our membership program. We are, however, developing a payment plan for adults with fixed income, such as social security. In addition to our less expensive weekend workshops, we also offer periodic free hands-on events, at our Holiday Open House (November), Chili Cook-off (February), and summer art fairs (August).
I made some pottery at another studio or at my home, can I bring it in to fire?
Northern Clay Center does not offer kiln access or rental to members of the public.
Continental Clay will fire work based on the space it occupies in the kiln and the number of pieces. You can contact them for rates at 612-331-9332.