Many Minnesota studios offer pottery-painting classes for kids. Some focus on painting finished pottery while others offer a full line of courses on all aspects of creating finished pottery. A recent CBSLocal article, Creative Outlets: Paint Your Own Pottery Studios, features five fabulous studios for youth lessons along with some helpful advice on choosing a studio. Here are seven more ceramics centers well worth further investigation.
Art As You Like It
109 Division St.
Waite Park, MN 56387
Kids as well as adults can walk into this creativity studio and pick a project from several craft areas. Some related classes are pottery painting, glass fusing, glass painting, canvas painting and clay making. The center advertises prices at a fraction of the large metro studios. The owner is a native Minnesotan with a 1991 BFA from St. Cloud State. The studio also offers a Pottery Painting Party for kids. Three to five year olds should enjoy the special “story time” pottery-painting project designed especially for that age group. Kids six and over have several options for working with figurines, collectibles, plates, bowls, mugs, boxes or banks. More daring parents can purchase a Pottery Party To Go. Party do-it-yourselfers select pottery pieces and take home a party box filled with fire-able paint colors, a selection of brushes and paint trays for each party guest.
Eden Prairie Art Studio
7918 Mitchell Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Woodbury Art Studio
1785 Radio Drive, Suite F
Woodbury, MN 55125
Clay creations are offered as a one-hour class weekly or as a four-day summer camp. In the weekly classes, kids at ages three to six work with their hands to construct various things such as bugs, mosaics, taco-shaped fish or self-portraits while learning the basics of working with clay. Kids use air-dry clay and paint. In the summer camp, kids learn a variety of tools and techniques to make bowls, animals and objects.
Lily Pad Ceramics
14050 St. Francis Blvd. N.W.
Ramsey, MN 55303
Lily Pad is open for paint-your-own ceramics seven days a week with no reservations required. However, the Kids Night Out option requires reservations. Here, kids paint pottery, eat pizza, drink beverages, get prizes and play games. Lily Pad Ceramics provides all of the pottery, paint, design utensils and coaching needed for each customer to design a beautiful ceramic piece. Studio staff applies the clear glazes and fires the painted pottery to be ready for pick up in a few days. The studio also hosts paint-your-own birthday parties and scout events.
Edina Art Center
4701 W. 64th St.
Edina, MN 55435
“The biggest little pottery department in Minnesota,” as it is called, is in Edina. This pottery studio may well be one of the best in the state given several studios with 27 electric wheels, plus one with wheelchair access. The clay studio is supported with 15 different gas, electric and alternative firing kilns. The studio also has slab rollers, a spray booth and unique glazes. The center offers classes for kids as young as four. Look for an expanded program this summer due to popular demand, with 70 percent as pottery camps. Six to eight-year-olds study clay hand building. Nine-year-olds begin clay on the wheel. Senegalese teaching artist, Adama Sow, now at Edina’s pottery department, is an “incredible instructor,” says Center Director Michael Frey.
Bloomington Theatre and Art Center
1800 W. Old Shakopee Road
Bloomington, MN 55431
BTAC offers Teen Clay classes as a part of the center’s core curriculum in ceramics. Another nice feature is the studio designed specifically for youth. BTAC selects practicing artists with expertise in their artistic disciplines that exhibit an enthusiasm for connecting with students of all ages. The studio staff operates the on-site gas and electric kilns for Cone 6 and Cone 10 firing. BTAC also features an outdoor raku kiln. Find the art center just west off the 98th Street exit from I-35W to Logan.
Northern Clay Center 2424 Franklin Ave. E.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Family-friendly Northern Clay Center attracts over 350 kids every summer to its half-day and full-day camps. Kids as young as six can take advantage in NCC’s small class sizes to really learn ceramic arts in a hands-on environment for beginning students. This state-of-the-art facility features many diverse and talented teaching artists.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.