Besides a pottery wheel, the easiest way to manipulate clay is to threaten to rebury it in the dark, sandy hole where you found it. Make sure clay turns to putty in your hands with today's Groupon: for $15, you get to take an one-hour Intro to the Wheel pottery class at Kiln Pottery in Brecksville (a $35 value).
The skilled staffers residing in this welcoming studio help locals festoon their tables and cupboards with handcrafted ceramics through wheel-throwing and painting sessions for every skill level. After ushering each student to a personal potter’s wheel, clay gurus guide slick hands through basic throwing techniques such as slip application, opening a piece at its center, and fending off clay snakes with a porcelain mongoose. Over the course of 60 minutes, beginners buckle up and take hold of the wheel to manufacture up to two pieces, which they can paint on a later date. Unsuspecting bowls are then lured into a heated kiln with promises of sugared cereal, and fired pieces are ready for pick up in a week or less. Supplies, paint, and firing are included in this deal; kiln-safe sticks and marshmallows are not.
The Kiln-Pottery Studio
During the days of antiquity, artisans often recorded major cultural and historical events on the sides of their intricate pots. Although books and computers took over most of the archiving duties, the practice of painting ceramics as a means of commemoration continues today. At The Kiln-Pottery Studio, shelves of uncolored pieces await the inspiration of local artists and artists-to-be. After grabbing the necessary supplies, guests add their touch to one of the hundreds of available pieces, including platters, mugs, and bowls. Those interested in building their own creations can opt for a class in hand building clay or pottery wheel throwing. A series of workshops focuses on specific individual projects. Sessions are open to kids and adults, and can be reserved for groups or parties.