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Ceramics

The Champaign Park District offers a full range of ceramics classes for anyone ages 6 and up. Classes are taught by experienced instructors who are gifted at bringing out the artist in you. Their wealth of experience, education, and knowledge will truly make this an enjoyable experience for you and/or your family. We also offer group workshops.


COVID Health Precautions

Class participants must wear a face covering while in the Springer Cultural Center and Ceramic Studio. A snug fitting mask is best. Participants will be provided with tools and towels to use during class. When possible, participants should maintain a distance of 6 feet from others. No waiting area will be provided, only registered participants are allowed in the building. Additional information will be provided before the class starts.


Workshops

FAMILY POTTERY WORKSHOP

Ages 6+ with parent/guardian
Ever get jealous of your kids when they get to take art classes? Join them! This three week workshop will let the family get creative together. Learn how to use coil, slab, and pinch to create unique works of art. No clay experience needed. Fee includes all clay, glazes, tools, and firing costs.

Date | Day | Time | Deadline:

  • September 7-21 | Tu | 6-8p | September 1
  • September 28-October 12 | Tu | 6-8p | September 21

Fee (R/NR): $64/$96 per family member
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376


Date Night!

Ages 18+

Looking for a unique date night activity that is sure to impress? Sign up with a friend and learn the secrets of throwing pottery on the wheel in a fun and relaxed environment. You will learn the basics of wheel throwing and make a piece or two to keep!. No experience needed! Pottery will be ready for pick up in about 2 weeks. Fee includes all clay, glazes, tools, and firing costs.

Date | Day | Time | Fee (R/NR) | Deadline:

  • September 10 | F | 6-8p | $30/$45 per person | September 17 
  • October 8 | F | 6-8p | $30/$45 per person | October 1
  • November 11 | F | 6-8p | $30/$45 per person | November 5

Location: Springer Cultural Center
Min/Max: 4/4
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376


JACK-O-LANTERNS! 

Ages 6+ 
Create a ceramic Jack-o-lantern that will last for years to come! Learn to use pinch and coil techniques to form clay into a festive fall pumpkin, then carve an imaginative face. Friendly or spooky? You decide! Put the finishing touches on your piece with brightly colored underglazes and glossy ceramic glazes. Your finished Jack-o-lantern will be able to hold a candle to light up the night. No prior clay experience needed. This workshop is ideal for both adults and children. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a registered participating adult. Fee includes all clay, glazes, tools, and firing costs. Pieces will be ready for pick-up in approximately 2 weeks.

Date | Day | Time | Fee (R/NR) | Deadline

  • September 24-October 1 | F | 6-8p | $43/$64.50 | September 17

Location: Springer Cultural Center
Min/Max: 3/5
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376
 


WINTER HOLIDAY WORKSHOP 

Ages 18+
Make your own ceramic holiday decorations! We’ll have a variety of projects to choose from including ornaments, trivets, candy dishes, and more. Our experienced staff will introduce basic hand-building techniques to get you started. No experience required–this is a beginner-friendly workshop. The first class will consist of demos and studio time. The second class will be dedicated to glazing. Pottery will be ready in about 2 weeks. Fee includes all clay, glazes, tools, and firing costs.

Date | Day | Time | Fee (R/NR) | Deadline

  • November 19-December 3* | F | 6-8p | $43/$64.50 | November 12

No Class: November 26
Location: Springer Cultural Center
Min/Max: 3/5
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376
 


Create Your Own Workshop

Bring your friends, family, co-workers, or school group to a unique Pots-Abilities Workshop! We will design a project based on your group’s interests. Contact Kristin at Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376 to schedule a workshop at least one month in advance. 


 

Youth Ceramics

POTTERY FOR KIDS I

Ages 6-10
Kids will be led through a different fun project each week. Basic forming and decorating techniques will be taught, as well as an introduction to the potter’s wheel. All ability and experience levels are welcome. Fee includes all clay, glazes, tools, and firing costs.

Dates:

  • September 7-October 12 | Deadline: August 31
  • September 9-October 14 | Deadline: September 2
  • October 26-December 7 | Deadline: October 19
  • October 28-December 16 | Deadline: October 21

Fee (R/NR): $79/$118.50
Min/Max: 4/5
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376


 


POTTERY FOR KIDS II

Ages 9-12
Kids will be given different projects each week. They will learn various handbuilding and pottery wheel techniques and be encouraged to both refine their skills and get creative. All ability and experience levels are welcome. Fee includes all clay, glazes, tools, and firing costs.

Date: 

  • September 8-October 13 | Deadline: September 1
  • October 27-December 8* | Deadline: October 20

*No class: November 24

Fee (R/NR): $79/$118.50
Min/Max: 4/5
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376


 


POTTERY FOR TEENS

Ages 13-17
Teens will be taught both handbuilding and pottery wheel techniques and given the space to express themselves. All ability and experience levels are welcome. Fee includes all clay, glazes, tools, and firing costs.

Date: 

  • September 11-October 16 | Deadline: September 4
  • October 30-December 11* | Deadline: December 23

*No class: November 27
Min/Max: 4/5
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376


 


Adult Ceramics

VIRTUAL POTTERY CLASS

Ages 15+
Learn to create beautiful hand-made pottery in the comfort and safety of your home. The instruction in this class is virtual, but the pottery and the fun are very real! We will loan you a Pottery Kit that includes basic tools, a canvas work surface, project templates, and 25 lbs of clay. Through weekly instructional videos, our staff will walk you through everything you need know to make easy, functional, and decorative pottery. We’ll process your creations in the Studio, and your finished pieces will be glazed and functional. Projects include mugs, bowls, trays, a keepsake box and even a whimsical rocket ship! This class is suitable for beginners and anyone who wants to play with clay. No prior experience is needed.

Date | Fee (R/NR) | Deadline

  • September 7-December 23 | $100/$150 | September 1

Location: Virtual
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376
 


 


STUDIO CERAMICS

Ages 18+

Want to learn how to create with clay? Join us as we explore the world of ceramics through fun hands-on projects. Beginning students will be introduced to the fundamentals of working with clay; starting with hand-building techniques and concluding with an introduction to the potter’s wheel. Experienced students can refine their skills and explore advanced techniques through self-guided projects. All ability and experience levels are welcome. Fee includes all clay, glazes, tools, and firing costs.

Date | Day | Time | Fee (R/NR) | Deadline:

  • September 13-October 18 | 6-8:30p | $139/$189 | September 6 
  • October 25-December 6* | 6-8:30p | $139/$189 | October 18 

Day: Monday
No Class: 7/5*
Location: Springer Cultural Center
Min/Max: 3/5
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376


OPEN STUDIO TIME

Ages 18+ with experience (must have taken two sessions of Park District pottery classes)

Get more studio time outside of class! Five hours of open studio time are scheduled based on studio space and staff availability, to ensure safe social distancing. Open Studio does not include instruction; patrons are encouraged to bring their own tools and a towel. Patrons may add and pay for additional hours as needed. Contact Kristi (kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org) to register for and schedule Open Studio.

Date | Day | Time | Min/Max

  • September 7-December 17 | M-Sa | Dependent on class schedule | 1/15

Location: Springer Cultural Center
Fee (R/NR): $50/$75 for 5 hours
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376

 


ADVANCED HAND-BUILDING TECHNIQUES

Ages 18+
Take your hand-building skills to the next level! Learn how to transform slabs of clay into beautiful functional pottery. Our experienced staff will demonstrate how to create pitchers, lidded jars, jugs, and even teapots — all without the pottery wheel. Recommended pre-requisite: Studio Ceramics or Intermediate/Advanced Wheel Throwing. Fee includes all clay, glazes, tools, and firing costs.

Date Day Time Fee (R/NR) Deadline Class ID

  • October 26-December 7* | Tu | 6-8:30p | $139/$189 | October 19 

No Class: 11/23*
Location: Springer Cultural Center
Min/Max: 3/5
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376
 


Wheel Throwing

BEGINNING WHEEL THROWING

Ages 18+
Discover the secrets of making great pots on the potter’s wheel. Learn techniques for throwing bowls, cups, and vases. Surface treatments such as glazing, carving, and staining will also be covered. No pottery experience needed! Fee includes all clay, glazes and firing costs. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own tools based on a supply list of $10-$15 provided prior to class.

Date | Day | Time | Fee (R/NR) | Deadline:

  • September 8-October 13 | W | 6-8p | $127/$177 | September 1
  • September 11-October 13 | Sa | 12:30a-2:30p | $127/$177 | September 4
  • October 27-December 8* | W | 6-8p | $127/$177 | October 21

Location: Springer Cultural Center
Min/Max: 3/5
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376


 


INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED WHEEL THROWING

Ages 18+
This class is intended for students who are familiar with the basics of pottery, but want to refine their skills. Each class will feature a demonstration, but there’s room for personal development. Recommended prerequisite classes: Studio Ceramics or Beginning Wheel Throwing. Recommended skills: ability to center clay and throw a 5” cylinder. Fee includes all clay, glazes and firing costs. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own tools based on a supply list of $10-$15 provided prior to class.

Date | Day | Time | Fee (R/NR) | Deadline:

  • September 9-October 14 | Th | 6-8:30p | $139/$189 | September 2
  • October 28-December 16* | Th | 6-8:30p | $139/$189 | October 21

*No Class: November 11 & 25
Location: Springer Cultural Center
Min/Max: 3/5
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376


 


OPEN WHEEL THROWING

Ages 18+
This class is intended for experienced students who would like to work independently on the pottery wheel. One of our instructors will be available in the studio to answer questions and offer feedback. There will not be any formal instruction during the class. Fee includes all clay, glazes, and firing costs. Participants should provide their own tools. A supply list will be provided after registration. Supply cost: $15–$25. PRE-REQUISITE: Intermediate/Advanced Wheel Throwing, previously enrolled in Open Studio, or studio supervisor’s approval.

Date | Day | Time | Fee (R/NR) | Deadline:

  • October 30-December 11* | Sa | 12:30p-2:30p | $127/$177| October 23 

No Class: November 27*
Location: Springer Cultural Center
Min/Max: 3/5
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376


 


Ceramics Private Lessons

Ages: 6+ for hand-building, 12+ for wheel throwing

We offer private lessons on the pottery wheel (adults and teens age 15+) and for hand-building (adults and kids age 6+). Lessons can be scheduled weekly, or as single or limited sessions to create a specific project or help you overcome a particular pottery challenge. Lesson times are scheduled based on studio space and instructor availability. Contact Kristi at kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org for more information.

Location: Springer Cultural Center
Fee (R/NR): $25/$37.50 per hour
Min/Max: 1/1
Deadline: 1 week prior to the class
Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376


Downloads

For questions regarding our pottery program, please contact Kristin Emilsson.  Questions: kristin.emilsson@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376.

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