Play in Clay

Make Your Own Pottery works in progress
Play in Clay Works in Progress

Island Stoneware’s “Play in Clay” is a 2-hour, hands-on pottery making experience. You will make and decorate your own pottery from what is called slab. To build from slab you will roll the clay out flat and then shape it around forms of your choosing. Building from slab is fun because it is easy to learn the basics in just a few minutes. Play in Clay does not use a potter’s wheel. Finished pieces will be ready approximately two weeks after your session.

Play in Clay sessions are led by Jamie Niessen, co-owner of Island Stoneware, or an Island Stoneware craftsperson. You will be working in the heart of our busy pottery studio with our team of talented, local craftspeople working all around you. There is a very basic, almost primal joy that comes from working clay by hand and transforming it into a finished product. It is the joy of making. Dirty hands and smiling faces await you as you discover the wonders of working with stiff, sticky fine-grained earth. This unique, hands-on experience will give you a sense of how we live our lives every day making beautiful objects on this remarkable island.

What to expect from the experience?

You can expect to have all five senses stimulated and our Play in Clay experience. Your sight will be filled with beautiful, inspiring finished pottery handmade in our studio and by our craftspeople hard at work alongside you. You will smell the earthy aroma of wet clay being worked and experience the joy of playing in the mud. The sound of our team working away is always in the background along with an ever changing set of tunes spun by our potters to inspire them as they work. Every session also concludes with a sweet delight from a local bakery.

What you will learn

Each Play in Clay session features a tour of the Island Stoneware studio. You will learn about the various stages of pottery production and what it takes to make pottery for a living by creating your very own work. Building pottery from slab is easy to learn and ideal for everyone from first-timers to pros. You will be surrounded by Island Stoneware product in all stages of production. We draw our inspiration for our unique, handmade creations from the landscape and culture of Prince Edward Island. What inspiration will you bring to your creation? 

Just a few simple steps to make beautiful work

When will my pottery be ready?

Your finished pieces will be ready about two weeks after your Play in Clay session. Why so long? Because the beauty of pottery is that is slow and has many steps. Some things just can’t be rushed! At Play in Clay, you will take the first few steps: preparing the clay, shaping it to your form, and decorating it. Then the Island Stoneware team will let your work dry until it is ready to be taken out of your forms and have the edges made smooth. Then it will sit until it is bone dry. Then it will be ready for the first of two “firings” in our kilns. Each firing takes 15-18 hours to complete and another 18-24 hours for the kilns to be cool enough to open. Your work with then be prepared for glazing and then dipped in one of our house-made glazes. Then it is back in kiln for another firing cycle. This process usually takes about two weeks.

Your pieces will be ready for pick-up at the studio or worldwide shipping about two weeks after your session. Shipping costs are an additional fee.

Our commitment to you

Sometimes pottery breaks. Well, the pot breaks and so does your heart. If your Play in Clay work breaks after you’ve completed it, our team will remake the piece as close in design as possible to your original creation at no additional cost to you.

Interested in booking a private event?

We are happy to create private events for groups from 6 – 12. If you are interested in booking a private event reach out to us using the form below.