When are you open?
10:00AM to 10:00PM Monday through Friday, and 10:00AM to 9:00PM on Saturdays and 10:00AM to 7:00PM on Sundays. (We are closed New Year's Day, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We close at 4:00PM the day before Thanksgiving and on New Year's Eve.)
What is the difference between throwing on the wheel and handbuilding?
Wheel throwing uses gravity and centrifugal force to create a cylinder on the potter's wheel. For beginners, the resulting form is usually a small bowl - think ice cream or salsa. Handbuilding is more freeform - and there are three different techniques that we teach in our six-week courses (pinch, slab and coil). For our One-Time events we use the slab technique that also produces a cylinder (planter or a mug without a handle). For beginners, handbuilding has a better result in creating a functional piece.
I took a One-Time Class. When will my pieces be ready for pick up?
It can take between 3 to 5 weeks to complete the pieces you made in class. We send you an email notification once they are ready to be picked up. We appreciate your coming to pick up your pottery as soon as you can - no need to call or email that you are coming. We will send a second email if you don't come following the first email, but you are responsible for picking up pottery in a timely manner. (Please check your spam for Throw Clay LA notifications.) Unfortunately, any pieces remaining 15 days after we send your second email notification will be considered abandoned and will no longer available for pick up. We wish we had infinite storage, but we don't. And yes, you can pick up pottery for a friend that took the class with you. As long as you remember their name.
Did you forget to fill out your glaze form at the end of class? Here's a link to the form to fill out: ONE-TIME GLAZE FORM.
The piece I made in my one-time class not what I expected...
Heads up - your pot will be smaller than it was thrown or handbuilt. Did you know that firing shrinks pieces by 17%? Secondly, in all pottery making, there is always a chance a pot runs into problems during the bisque and glaze firings. (This is especially true for pots made by beginners.) The most common issues are cracking or a bottom too thin for the pot to have a solid base. First pots are a wonderful keepsake despite any flaws. We will still glaze and fire your pieces for you. On occasion, a pot will have a more serious issue found during the final steps. Should this happen, we will try our best to glaze and finish your piece.
How long is a class or course?
All classes and courses run two hours on the day they are taught.
First time taking a Weekly 6-Week Course. What can I expect?
At your first class you will meet your instructor, discuss our objectives, and get a tour of the studio. Then we start working with clay right away. First, we'll focus on creating simple forms. Each week, as you gain comfort with the new materials' limits, we will expand development of your skills.
Do I need to purchase any tools or materials before coming?
The studio has tools for you to use. Some members prefer to have their own tools as well. Clay and glazes are included in the cost of the course.
I’m slammed at work. If I miss a week, am I allowed to make it up?
If you need to miss the first week of a course, it may be best to reschedule you for an upcoming session so you don’t miss out on learning the basics about the studio - but we do ask 5 days' notice if you plan on any changes.
For our Introduction to Potter's Wheel and our Continuing Potter's Wheel, let us know one or two weeks of advance notice if you need to miss one of your classes. We allow one makeup class per student each session, depending on an available wheel in an equivalent course. If you need to miss a second week during the session, speak with your teacher about ways to cover what you have missed.
Our Handbuilding and Spotlight classes are taught only once per week. These classes do not offer the option for making up a week you need to miss. However, we invite you to speak with your teacher about ways and resources to help you cover what you have missed.
What clothes should I wear?
Wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting a bit of clay on. You are welcome to bring your own apron or towel. The light-colored clay we use in class washes out easily. You are welcome to bring your own apron or towel, which may be stored on your shelf if you are taking a course. Our large garage door window is open most of the time, so dress according to the weather. Certain glazes may stain a bit so it’s probably a good idea to leave your favorite shirt at home if you’re glazing. It's best to remove any jewelry from your hands and wrists. Long hair should be tied back. We have a box of new hair ties in case you forget yours. If your nails are long, trimming them will make your time on the potter’s wheel a lot easier. Closed toed shoes will keep your toes safe.
Laundry. Will getting clay or glazes out of my clothing be possible?
Most clays wash out in a normal wash cycle. Some darker clays and glazes may stain some clothes.
At the end of a six-week course, what can I expect to have accomplished?
Beginners can expect to create five to eight simple forms such as small bowls or mugs. Continuing/Intermediate potters work on more complicated forms and techniques. Talk to us regarding ideas you may have. As your skills develop, you’ll be able to move on to more complex forms.
By the end of your first six-week course, you’ll know the basics and be able to complete pieces from start to finish. The steps to throwing a cylinder are complicated, so following an introduction level course, you may re-enroll in another introduction course to continue to hone your skills until you become confident in the studio. Once you can throw a cylinder head on to Continuing Potter's Wheel where you will learn about additional clay bodies, glazing techniques and expand your skill set as you develop your creative style. Following your first Six-Week Course you are also eligible to join the studio by purchasing a monthly membership.
All completed course work must be picked up from Throw Clay LA no later than 4 weeks after a student’s final class. Throw Clay LA is not responsible for any work left after 4 weeks. In order to make room on our shelves, we will need to discard any work remaining in studio 4 weeks after the last class in your course.
Once you’ve been introduced to throwing centered cylinders and bowls, you’re ready for Continuing Potter's Wheel. We find many people choose to take two Six-Week Introduction to Potter's Wheel courses before moving on to Continuing Potter's Wheel. You may also explore hand building skills by taking one of our two introductory handbuilding courses. Intermediate Potter's Wheel is for members and potter's who are confident in their abilities to throw and can easily center and pull a cylinder.
Why repeat courses?
First, mastering the basics takes practice. Working closely with an instructor will ensure you’re learning something new each week. Second is the value of the class dynamic and the strength of community. Sharing the learning process with others creates a collaborative environment that will help you improve your technique more quickly than you would working on your own.
Consider becoming a member:
If you really feel ready to work on your own and want access to the studio during all business hours, sign up for a membership. Throw Clay is a fun neighborhood community of creative friends - learn and grow with your fellow potters. You can find information about memberships here.
In a One-Time Wheel or Handbuilding Class what can I expect to take home with me?
Each person has the opportunity to make two pottery pieces during your two-hour session. At the end of class, you'll choose your glaze colors. We will fire and glaze each piece, then email you three to four weeks later once they are ready for pickup. Make sure you enter the correct email address at the end of class and keep an eye on your spam folder. For wheel classes, you will create bowls or small planters. The Creative Pottery classes rotate projects depending on the week of the month, so you might make mugs, jars with lids, appetizer trays or planters.
If you have not picked up your pieces within three weeks after your first email, we will send a second email notification. If we don’t hear from you within 10 days of the second email, we may discard your pieces to free up shelf space. It is the student’s responsibility to pick up their work at any time during our open hours or arrange to have it shipped. If you have not heard from the studio by 30 days after the class, please contact us. Typically it's an issue with entering your email address incorrectly or our emails are in your spam folder. You do not need to call ahead before coming in to pick up your pottery.
Are the pieces I made dishwasher/microwave/food safe?
Yes. All of the above.
What is the studio cancellation policy?
For our One-Time Classes, any cancellations or changes need to be made at least 3 days before the class you registered for. Within 3 days, there are no refunds, but if we are able to rebook your spot in class, we are happy to reschedule you for a later date. The more notice we are given, the more likely we are to rebook your spot.
For our Six-Week Courses, you may cancel at any point up to 5 days prior to the start of your session for a full refund (less a nonrefundable transaction fee). If you need to cancel within 5 days of the start of your Six-Week Course, there are no refunds, but we can reschedule you for the following session if we are able to rebook your spot before the first class starts. No refunds or rescheduling after the start of a session.
For Private Events our cancellation policy is as follows:
10 days’ notice required ahead of event for refund or reschedule.
5-9 days ahead of event - 50% refund, no option to reschedule.
No refunds or rescheduling with less than 5 days’ notice.
What’s the best way to get there? We are located in Downtown Los Angeles, at the corner of Olive & Olympic. We encourage you to use public transportation. The Silver Streak Line and DASH by LADOT (Route D) have stops within one block of Throw Clay LA. Scooters are readily available for rent. Riding a bike? Bike racks for locking your bike are right out front. If you would prefer to drive, metered parking is available on the surrounding streets and is more reasonably priced than the local parking lots. There is a lot directly behind the studio you may park in as well - it's a set fee for the whole day.
Am I allowed to buy clay outside of THROW CLAY LA?
Because there are many clay types - each requiring different firing temperatures and glaze formulas, all clay used in the studio is provided by Throw Clay LA. Our studio clays and glazes are designed to work with our kilns. Bags of clay cost anywhere from $23-$35 depending on type and weight. We offer a variety of clay types.
How much do you charge for firing my pieces?
For One-time Classes and Six-week Courses, firing and glaze fees are included your booking (as well as your clay). Firing fees for members are $1 per pound, weighed when the piece is "kiln ready" for the glaze firing. We are currently not accepting outside firing.
My best friend just popped into town. Can I bring them along?
Due to safety and class curriculum structure, we can't make allowances for guests to attend unless they are also taking a class. You are always welcome to sign up for a One-time Pottery class together.
Do you offer Kids' Classes?
We do not offer children’s classes at this time. Teens ages13-17 may join a One-Time class if they are accompanied by an adult who has booked and is participating in the same class. Our six-week courses are for adults 18 and older.
Can I bring my four-footed friend?
Because studio work is fragile, and is moved about the studio often, it’s impractical to have an 'Open to All Animals' policy in the studio. (Exceptions may be made for trained service animals. Contact us if you wish to discuss.)