Pottery Studio

gnome dale



The Y opened the Corning Inc. Foundation Pottery Studio on January 17, 2011. Located inside the Y Center on North Main Street in Blacksburg, the studio provides community pottery classes and opportunities for studio memberships. Come get your hands dirty with us!


Our fall classes are full! Check back in December for winter course listings. To get notice of open class spots, follow us on Facebook.

Studio event with Melissa Weiss

Pottery Studio Memberships

The YMCA offers memberships to adults who have taken pottery classes with us who demonstrate proficiency. Monthly dues of $55 (submitted by autopay system only) entitle members to a 2' x 2' shelf to store tools and supplies, as well as access to electric pottery wheels, handbuilding space, shared tools, glazes, and member activities. Members must buy their clay from the studio, and we offer a range of options for different types of ceramics. Member work is bisque and glaze fired in two large electric kilns (mid-fire, cone 6). Contact us at pottery@vtymca.org for more details.

Studio hours and location

The studio at the YMCA at Virginia Tech, 1000 North Main St., Blacksburg, VA, is open to members from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday; and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. Holiday hours may change. Please check the whiteboard immediately inside the studio door for weekly information or send us an email at pottery@vtymca.org.

Meet the staff



Jack Gulley, wheel instructor

Jack's journey in ceramics began in 2015 when he was introduced to the art by East Tennessee potter Brad Cantrell. Since then, he has continued to practice the craft off and on in both high school and college. His favorite thing about the craft is learning about and being a part of the rich cultural heritage of pottery in the Appalachian region. In addition, he find the process of creating and using his own work deeply fulfilling as a creative outlet.

Heather edited photo



Heather Johnson, studio instructor

Heather first started wheel throwing 25 years ago and today loves to make pots for her plants. She has a rich background in community arts, and looks forward to helping aspiring potters reach their artistic goals.

Jenny Lawrence



Jennifer Lawrence, lead teacher and studio coordinator

Jenny has a long history with the studio, going back to the 1990s, when she took classes with legendary area potter Jim Gorman. She not only is a skilled wheel thrower, but focuses on artistic decoration and glazing techniques that are the envy of many members. She generously shares her skills with others, and member Tonia Moxley calls her “Queen of the Underglazes.”



Tonia Moxley, studio technician and coordinator

Tonia also took YMCA pottery classes from Jim Gorman in the 1990’s and has returned to ceramics after a 20-plus-year hiatus. As our new studio technician, Tonia will run the kilns, create and maintain glazes, and coordinate tool maintenance and acquisition. You’ll often find her in the studio practicing her cylinders or sieving glazes.