Learning a new skill is fun and exciting, but it can be tough to find courses in your area that interest you.
Taking online pottery classes is a great way to learn the pottery basics in the comfort of your own home at your ideal pace.
How to Make Pottery on the Wheel for Beginners by Steve McDonald
This class starts with background information on how the pottery wheel works to refine your ceramics process.
You’ll get an overview of what tools you need and then see how to throw a bowl using a pottery wheel. Later lessons show you how to make a pot, plate, and vase.
Along the way, instructor Steve McDonald teaches skills like creating sturdy walls on taller wheel thrown pottery items, trimming the edges, and keeping the bottom flat and even.
You’ll also get information about setting up a studio and keeping the wheel clean.
With so much dust flying around, you don’t want to miss his tips on positioning your wheel for best use.
Handbuilt Pottery Techniques and Projects by Mandar Marathe
This class is more intensive than the previous options, but it’s still ideal for beginners.
You’ll love learning how to craft sculptures with your hands.
Instructor Mandar Marathe starts with basic handbuilding techniques to make pots and basic forms but then teaches skills that help you make more unique ceramic sculptures.
One lecture is about animal sculptures, so you’ll make a tortoise ceramic sculpture and a hare. Marathe also enjoys claymation, so you can learn ways to make creative animations.
Introduction to Kintsugi: Repair Your Pottery with Gold by Clara Graziolino
By restoring your ceramics with the ancient Japanese art of kintsugi, you can learn to appreciate the beauty of flaws.
Kintsugi is a Japanese art form based on the wabi-sabi aesthetic, which values imperfection, impermanence, and simplicity.
Clara Graziolino, a ceramic artist and kintsugi expert, defines the Japanese restorative approach as “active meditation” that has helped her reconnect with her source of inspiration during difficult times.
Clara will walk you through the history and philosophy of kintsugi, a Japanese technique for repairing ceramics with gold dust and patience.
You will Learn how to use the gold relief and gold flush techniques to construct two repair projects.
Wheel-Thrown Pottery for Beginners by Trent Berning
This lifetime access class is a bestseller on Udemy can help you acquire a solid foundation for how it explains the technical processes of pottery and using a wheel.
There’s no prior experience necessary for this class on wheel thrown pottery, and you can learn a lot just by watching potter Trent Berning.
However, if you have access to clay and a pottery wheel, you’ll be able to do the exercises and create functional forms with the instructor.
In addition to watching videos of each approach, there are also ways to read background information about the skills, so you have extensive knowledge.
After you learn how to use a pottery wheel, you’ll also see the best way to set up a studio and how to develop your aesthetic.
Wheel-Thrown Pottery II, Intermediate Skill Builders by Trent Berning
Instructor Trent Berning is back in the second installment of his pottery wheel throwing courses.
If you loved his approach to education in the last class, you’d like to go above and beyond with the intermediate course.
Better yet, you can jump into this class without the beginner level because Berning explains things in such an accessible way.
As with the previous course, you’ll have access to videos, text, and skill-building exercises. You’ll learn how to make bottles, lids, pouring vessels, and flatware.
You’ll get tips on how to make double-walled items and wedge tips.
There’s also an entire lesson on handles so you can make coffee mugs, teacups, and beautiful pots.
Wheel-Thrown Pottery III, Advance Techniques by Trent Berning
The third course in Trent Berning’s series is another that could stand on its own, but you’ll get more out of it if you take his previous two.
This unlimited access course helps you understand all the techniques possible with a pottery wheel.
You’ll not only understand how the wheel functions but can explain it to others and speak knowledgeably about your wheel throwing and your new hobby.
You’ll make a teapot, bottle, tray, and more ceramic pieces in this class.
You’ll learn advanced throwing techniques and how to critique and improve your own work.
Make It With Clay! (Coil & Slab Construction) by Anne Goodrich Hunter
This class is perfect for beginners because you’ll start by making basic pinch pots before learning how to step up your skills.
You’ll know how to make cups, bowls, and other ceramics by the end of the course using coil and slab construction.
This course does not teach the pottery wheel You only need clay, a needle tool, and a few other hand tools.
Even people with intermediate pottery skills can benefit from online education with this course. The instructions are easy to follow and help you refine your process and try new approaches.
Pottery Wheel Throwing & Kiln Firing for Complete Beginners by Skreppa Studio
This class starts from the basic techniques, so you can go in with no pottery knowledge and develop a strong foundation.
If you have access to a pottery wheel, you’ll be able to follow along with the exercises, but it’s not a requirement.
You’ll still learn a lot about the tools, techniques, and glazes that can help you practice.
While you’ll see videos and get exercises to create your own pots, cups, and bowls, a clay mug and more.
You’ll also get information that helps you once your wheel throwing skills advance.
The instructor goes over different types of pottery supplies, glazes, firing, and completing projects.
Pottery, Clay & Leaves: Make a Beautiful Unique Leaf Platter by Sonya Wilkins
If you want to take a pottery class that teaches you to make one specific work of art, this is for you.
In this course, Sonya Wilkins merges clay and leaves so you make a beautiful piece inspired by nature.
She walks you through choosing a certain type of clay for a tray depending on how it reacts with the glazes and oxides.
You’ll learn how to build a sturdy tray by hand and then make impressions with a real leaf to bring out natural beauty.
While you don’t need a pottery wheel for this project, you should have access to a kiln to get the glaze right.
Pottery on the Wheel for Beginners – Throwing Clay, Beginning Ceramics by Steve McDonald
This class helps beginners understand how to set up their wheel in a studio space to make them ready to work and start their pottery journey.
You’ll learn how to get your clay ready to throw on the wheel to make it easier to manipulate.
Throughout the course, you’ll learn how select your pottery supplies, how to make a pot, pull up the walls, cut it off the wheel, and trim it so it’s smooth.
There are also video lessons and lectures about making spouts, scalloped edges, and handles. The final project is to make a pottery clay mug so you have something to show when the course ends.
The Art of Ceramics: Creating a Modern Mug by Helen Levi
In this class, you learn everything you need to know to create a mug.
It’s nice to go in with your supplies and know you’re going to get a finished product after just 30 minutes of lessons.
You start by preparing your clay for the wheel, a skill that will serve you with other projects as well.
After you throw it on the wheel, you’ll create your mug and trim it.
The handle is a separate process, so you’ll learn how to attach it so you can drink from the mug once it’s done.
Finally, you’ll learn how to glaze and finish the mug to make it a beautiful work of art.
How to Make Handles for Pottery by Harald Bergstrom
Learning to make a mug gives you information on the entire project, but handles are a lot to manage on their own.
If you’re struggling to make a mug that you can actually drink from, taking a course on handles can help you refine your skills.
Once you learn how to roll a coil, remove the edge, and curve the handle for comfort, you’ll have a better understanding of the entire process.
You can use this course to add handles to pitchers and trays as well. It’s a nice foundation class to help you understand how to make strong pottery.
Introduction to Ceramics & Hand Building Techniques by Pau Stephen
This class is only 38 minutes long, but the information will carry you far in your pottery experience.
You’ll learn how to sketch out designs and use those guidelines to hand build vessels and sculptures without fancy tools.
Instead of learning how to make a specific object, you have the freedom to create your own masterpiece.
You’ll brainstorm ideas, sketch a design, and figure out a plan to make it, all with help from the instructor.
It’s like a guided personalized workshop, ideal for potters who understand the basics and want to try to make their own creations but need a little reassurance.
This course is a bridge between pottery and sculpture, for more advanced sculpting courses, checkout our online sculpting classes article here.
Ceramics at Home: Building Dishes by Hand by Emily Reinhardt
Making bowls, mugs, and pots is fun, but it’s also exciting to make your own dishes.
This course helps you understand the basic steps to ensure your clay is sturdy enough to handle food and everyday use.
You’ll learn techniques like the slump mold, slab build, and pinch and coil.
All are hand-built methods, so there’s no need to use a pottery wheel.
In addition to glazing the dishes, you’ll learn decorating approaches to customize your designs and make a unique set of dishes for your home or gifts.
Make Easy Handmade Ceramic Pottery Dishes Without Fancy Tools ! by Cindy Guajardo
When so many courses ask that you have access to a pottery wheel to participate in the exercises, it can be a relief to find something that only requires your hands.
You’ll get foundational knowledge about the tools and clay you’ll use for these projects, then jump into creating something new.
With hand building techniques you will make slabs and structured shapes before playing with freeform dishes.
You’ll also learn methods of printing, designing, and texturing your clay.
How to Color Clay and Make Marbled Pottery by Mia Moss
Once you know the foundations of making pottery, it’s fun to play around with colors, glazes, and overall styles.
In this class, you learn how to color the clay itself instead of relying on oxide and glaze to transform the finished piece.
You can use stains to tint your clay and learn how to throw it in a way that marbles the clay to make interesting patterns and designs.
After you trim the excess, you’ll see how the final color differs from what you initially mixed. These lessons help you understand how colors change throughout the pottery process, so you can create a vast range of colors and styles.
4 Time Tested Ways To Make Pottery Without Potter’s Wheel by Mandar Marathe
It can be frustrating to feel like you need a potter’s wheel to advance your pottery experience.
Beginners learn pinch pots and hand building, but it seems like you naturally progress to using a wheel after that.
Not everyone has access to a wheel or can afford their own. In that case, you don’t want to miss this course.
You’ll learn techniques that prevent you from feeling stagnant in your pottery process. You’ll learn skills like:
- pinch pots
- coil construction
- slab construction
- scooping technique
You can apply these methods to a variety of different items to constantly explore your talent and push yourself to learn more.
ClayShare Ceramic Courses (Various Instructors)
ClayShare is a membership site and online learning platform that grants you complete access to all their online ceramics courses.
You can learn how to glaze a mug, then take a course about making a tray with built-in handles.
You’ll learn how to make candle sticks and repair cracked ceramics.
A membership to this site gives you access to all the information you’ll need, regardless of your skill level.
Beginners will love the plethora of classes, and advanced potters will like exploring new techniques. You can watch lessons on your computer, mobile device, Apple TV, FireTV, Roku, and more.
Ceramics Arts Network (Community Lessons)
Ceramic Arts Network is a community for potters of all skill levels to learn together. There are free downloadable guides to help you push your talent to the next level.
You can get information about sculptures, decorating tools, mold making, tiles, murals, and more.
You can find recipes for specific types of clay and glaze and get tips on how to ensure your final project looks great.
There are also practical lessons to help you in the studio, like a way to prevent splatters or how to build a study table.
Video workshops will help you learn new skills so you can keep trying new things with your pottery hobby.
Pottery-on-the-Wheel (Free Tutorials)
Pottery-on-the-Wheel is a site with free tutorials for pottery enthusiasts of all skill levels.
You can start with beginner learning information, including the definition of pottery, basic supplies, and lessons about what you need to keep going and develop your talent.
You can also access online learning information based on your interests. If you want to make mugs, platters, or vases, you can search for those specific lessons.
There are ceramic projects based on your skill level. As you advance, you can find recommendations for pottery wheels, kilns, and other supplies.
The Ceramic School (Online Workshops)
The Ceramic School is an online artistic community that hosts classes and events. You’ll learn specific ceramics skills from experienced potters.
Courses include making an oil bottle, creating covered trays, and designing hand-built sculptures.
You’ll also have access to classes teaching specific techniques. You’ll learn how to segment and pleat clay for decorative purposes.
There are classes on embossing and debossing to add texture to the clay. You can also find out how to use different glazes, such as crackles and other surface effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
You know some of the best online courses for learning pottery. Because you stick your hands in the clay, read on to find the answers to these frequently asked pottery questions.
- Pottery Products on Etsy
- A brief history of ceramics and glass – The American Ceramics Society
- Prehistoric Pottery Series in Ancient Technologies – IOWA office of state Archeologist
- Types of Pottery – Thepotteries.org
- Rice, P.M., 2015. Pottery analysis: a sourcebook. University of Chicago press.
- Doric-Henry, L., 1997. Pottery as art therapy with elderly nursing home residents. Art Therapy, 14(3), pp.163-171.
- Bowser, B.J. and Patton, J.Q., 2008. Learning and the transmission of pottery style. Cultural transmission and material culture. Breaking down boundaries, pp.105-129.
- Ramsay, J., 2021. American potters and pottery. Read Books Ltd.
These online pottery classes will help you understand the basics, make some gorgeous goods, and start to build your skill set.
If you’ve taken an online pottery course, leave a comment about how it was! Feel free to share information about any class we might have missed.