Why I Love Teaching Pottery

Clare Gage with one of her patchwork cup pottery creations
Product photography by Jess Petrie

Hi I’m Clare and you’ll find me teaching the pottery classes at Straightcurves. I love being part of the Straightcurves team. It’s fantastic to be in such a creative environment and I always enjoy seeing all the other classes working away on the many varied crafts that happen here.


Pottery is my personal favourite (of course!) and here are 4 reasons why I love teaching pottery…

1. Spreading the love for working with clay

I have been making things from clay since I was a little girl and I really do love it. The experience of working with soft clay and then taking it through the steps to transform it into a finished ceramic piece is always exciting.

There are lots of ways to create things from clay and so there are lots of techniques to learn. This means working with clay is a really creative endeavour. You can use it to express your artistic side, or if you’re more practically minded then you will enjoy the technical experience of constructing a usable piece of craft.

There are just so many things that you can make from clay; from beautiful, fine sculptures to practical everyday tableware. Or from gorgeous children’s gnome models to cups and vases (some of the things you can make on Straightcurves pottery classes!)

2. Watching those without confidence realise they CAN!

I often hear on my pottery classes that people ‘aren’t very artistic’ but they always find out that they are! I really enjoy encouraging each person in the room to get to know the techniques needed to control the clay and create their own unique piece. So many of us have lost confidence with creativity because we didn’t feel confident in art classes in school. I love to encourage everyone to find their creative side and it’s fantastic to see people gaining in confidence during the classes.

3. Introducing some easy steps for designing

I was lucky to study on a fantastic degree course which brought together lots of traditional craft skills and also put a lot of importance on developing design skills. I try to bring a touch of this into each of my pottery workshops. This means some extra thought goes in at the start of each project and then everyone comes out with a piece which is truly unique to them. I’ve got lots of tricks and techniques to encourage even those who’ve never designed before to come up with great ideas.

Pinch Pot Cup4. Enjoy a cup of tea and then make a cup for your tea!

I love a cuppa and every class starts with one. All the way through we get to chat with the other people who’ve come along and it’s a lovely way to get to know each other. The social side of a craft class should never be overlooked! And at the end of one of my classes you may very well take home a cup that you can use for your next cuppa at home!