Pottery Studio


THE Y POTTERY STUDIO

CREATIVITY FOR ALL

The Y opened the Corning Inc. Foundation Pottery Studio and Jean Cairns’ Arts and Crafts Studio on January 17, 2011.  The two rooms, located within the Y Center, provide community members an opportunity to express ideas, to communicate beyond the limits of language and to discover creative talents.

Pottery Studio Membership

Membership to the pottery studio requires taking a five-week pottery class first, regardless of prior clay experience. Beginning February 1 2022, monthly memberships will be $55/month, and due on the first of each month. Only 35 memberships are available at any one time, and usually there is a wait-list. We fire CONE 6 and require that your clay be purchased from the studio (no outside clay allowed) as each purchased bag of clay includes the cost of studio materials, glazes, and firing fees. Clay can be purchased new in a 25lb. bag. With membership, you will get your own 2' x 2' shelf, and gain access to wheels, hand building tables, shared tools, glazes, and member activities. Studio memberships offer an affordable alternative to the set up and maintenance costs of individual studio space and provide a community of artists for learning, inspiration, and companionship. Please contact our Studio Manager, Lissa Bloomer, at pottery@vtymca.org for more details and/or to be added to the waiting list.

Pottery Studio Clay

Pottery Studio Membership

Beginning Student Clay Fee

Summer Beginners Wheel with Jennifer: Wednesdays

Beginning Student Clay Fee
Clay fee of $20, to be purchased before first class with your teacher.

In this six week course, you will learn the basics of wheel throwing: Reclaiming and wedging clay, centering on the wheel, pulling walls, and shaping your pieces. You will learn to throw a basic cylinder which is the foundational shape for almost all pottery forms. You will learn how to trim leather-hard pieces, bisque-fire, glaze, and glaze-fire your pots. Using the studio's tools, you will finish with five-six pieces. $260 for six classes; each class is three hours. Clay fee of $20, to be purchased on first class with your teacher.

Wednesdays 6-9pm starting June 1. Class must have six students to be a

Summer Beginners Wheel with Sarah: Mondays

Summer Beginners/ Intermediate Wheel with Lissa: Sundays

In this six week course, you will learn the basics of wheel throwing: Reclaiming and wedging clay, centering on the wheel, pulling walls, and shaping your pieces. You will learn to throw a basic cylinder which is the foundational shape for almost all pottery forms. You will learn how to trim leather-hard pieces, bisque-fire, glaze, and glaze-fire your pots. Using the studio's tools, you will finish with five-six pieces. $260 for six classes; each class is three hours. Clay fee of $20, to be purchased on first class with your teacher.

Mondays 6-9pm starting June 6 (no class on July 4th). Class must have six students to be a "go"!

Class will be suitable for Beginners or Intermediate pottery students.

If you have taken our Beginner's Wheel course and know how to wedge clay, center your piece, and begin pulling a cylinder, you are ready for this next course! We will continue our progress from last class, learning to make bowls, footed pots, lids, and handles. Using reclaimed clay (plus purchasing at least one 25lb bag of clay from our studio) you will finish with a maximum of 10 pieces. $260 for six classes, plus $40 for the clay of your choice, to be purchased after our first class, when we discuss the kinds of clay you might wish to try.

Sundays 4-7pm starting June 5. Class must have six students to be a "go"!

Studio Hours and Location

Studio Hours and Location

The studio is open from 10am to 6pm (same hours as the Thrift Shop) Monday-Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 5pm, except for times when there is a class in session.  Please check the whiteboard immediately inside the studio door for weekly information about open studio hours, or send us an email at pottery@vtymca.org.  Please use the front doors of the building to enter and exit the studio and leave the studio before the building is locked and the alarm set.

Pottery classes will be held at the Y Center (1000 N Main St, Blacksburg VA)

Meet the Pottery Studio Manager & Instructors

 

 

Lissa Bloomer, Studio Manager & Instructor

Raised by an artist mother, Lissa has enjoyed working at the wheel since the age of 12. Later, in college, she studied pottery with Dave Crane and Silvie Granatelli, while earning her degrees in English Literature. Currently, she makes functional pottery with elegant lines and minimalistic decoration; and as you are reading this, she is happily geeking-out with her goal of making 12 place-settings and 10 serving dishes for her family's 2022 Thanksgiving dinner. Lissa teaches writing classes at VT, is a beekeeper, a kayaker, a kombucha brewer, an avid gardener of herbs and vegetables and flowers, and adores taking care of the studio. Lissa teaches all levels of wheel throwing, and can’t wait to show you the studio and get you going on your art. When you email pottery@vtymca.org, you are writing to Lissa!

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Duston, Instructor

Stephanie has a BS in Environmental Science and is a current graduate student at Virginia Tech studying soil chemistry. She first started taking ceramic classes in 2012 and has been pursuing ceramics as her major hobby since 2015. Stephanie is part of the Blue Ridge Potters Guild and does most of her work as a member of the MCA studio. She uses wheel throwing and hand building methods to make functional pottery with textural clay and glaze designs. Her work is available online and can be found at local and regional craft shows. Stephanie will be teaching short courses in surface design, hand-building, and glazing techniques.

 

 

Jennifer Lawrence, Instructor

Jenny has been an on-again off-again member of YMCA pottery since 1994.  Her favorite thing to make is coffee mugs! A huge fan of functionware, almost all of the dishes her family has ever used, from casseroles to cereal bowls, are ones she has created. Jenny lives in a Victorian farmhouse in Radford with her lovely husband, cute Boston Terrier, six old-lady chickens, and loves reading The New Yorker while listening to her father’s extensive vinyl record collection. She is really excited to help others enjoy playing (and creating) with clay!

Sarah Gouger, Instructor

Sarah Gouger fell in love with pottery during college here at Virginia Tech, and has been an avid potter for the last 10 years. She comes to us from the Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen, Virginia. Her main interest these days is in functional pottery with decorative carved surfaces. Sarah enjoys hiking near the river, gardening, and growing indoor plants. Her favorite plant is an orchid named Myrtle who is about to bloom for the second time, and all of us are excited to see pictures! Sarah believes that studio time is cheaper than therapy, and there’s nothing better than drinking coffee out of a mug you made yourself!

Juniper Baxter, Instructor

In High School, Juniper Baxter lived in the pottery studio so much that everyone thought she was the teacher’s daughter. He used to even bring her burritos because he thought she must be homeless. We’re relieved to know she was ok, and just simply addicted to clay. Juniper currently enjoys making finely detailed sculptural functional pieces. One of her latest works is a mug with a man’s face on the front; She named the man Joe, so that she could have a cup of Joe! Juniper is studying Civil Engineering at VT and hopes to go into Sustainable Infrastructure, which means making green buildings with net zero emissions with conscious designs. She also loves reading sci-fi and fantasy (currently reading Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon) drawing, and cooking. Her specialties include guacamole and ribs, and we patiently wait for her to share!