DJ Ceramix made a name for himself by placing a slab of wet clay atop his turntable and spinning it into a beautiful vase by the end of his set. Impress the audience members of your life with today's Groupon to Clay on First in Long Beach. Choose between two options:
- $15 for a two-hour Introduction to Wheel-Thrown Ceramics class (a $30 value)
- $145 for a one-week kids' summer camp (a $295 value)
Clay on First's ceramics studio teaches pottery-wheeling basics with the help of experienced instructors. During a two-hour class, a maximum of eight first-time earth spinners will be introduced to the art of producing finely whirled pots, beautifully rotated bowls, and breathtakingly turned functional clarinets (classes are instructional only; customers who want a finished product must pay an additional fee).
For little minds cluttered with creativity, the one-week kids' summer camp sets a blank canvas for children to stretch their imagination while socializing, pinching pots, and hand-building towering castles of clay on a real potter's wheel. Each day is broken into three sections with a 15-minute snack and a 30-minute lunch break. All materials, instructions, and snacks are included. Just like school, campers need only arrive with eager attitudes, a packed lunch, and an 800-pound scanning electron microscope. Camp sessions start every Monday from July 4 to September 5.
"The thing I like most about pottery is that it's a learned skill," says Clay Wood, the owner of the pottery studio that bears his name. "It's something you can just sit down, and practice, and just learn it. You don't have to be innately artsy or creative, it's just something that's learnable and fun for everyone."
It's true that Clay has had a bit of a head start in the art form: he began developing his classically harmonious ceramic forms starting at age 12. But he also knows what it's like to be just another weekend hobbyist. Before starting the shop, he had established a career managing high-rise condos while dreamily spinning his desk chair like a pottery wheel. Now that he's dug his hands back into the clay, he and his fellow instructors design adult and children's classes to meet the needs of aspiring ceramicists and more casual crafters alike.
All the throwing, glazing, and hand-building goes down in a colorful creativity zone bursting with incandescent designs. The studio is equipped with eight electric pottery wheels, two large hand-building tables, an entrancing in-wall kiln, and a wellspring of stunning glazes for both handmade projects and prepared forms awaiting only a painter's brush.