Children’s Ceramics Classes

Read more about Children's Ceramics
Roll up your sleeves and get ready to get messy! Students in our children’s ceramics classes will have a blast getting their hands dirty while rolling out clay, making coil pots and throwing on the wheel. In the children’s ceramics classes, students will have the opportunity to build with their hands what they envision in their minds, combining imagination and structure.

Our ceramics instructors are professional artists who are passionate about teaching within a classroom setting and are also excited about guiding and encouraging your child to express themselves. Both Art Adventures and Creative Construction classes are great preparation and prerequisite for these ceramics classes and will give your child the skills necessary to excel.

In today’s technological world, children tend to gravitate more toward stationary activities such as watching tv and playing video games. Children need to be active to develop physically and developmentally. Working with clay has a multitude of benefits. Manipulating clay helps children develop their hand and eye coordination as they pound, pat, and push the clay into shapes and objects. Clay also helps develop the small muscles in their fingers and hands, known as fine motor skills, as they pinch, squeeze and prod the clay. Through manipulating clay, children can express their thoughts and ideas as they mould the clay to take on the form of their imagination. Skills that kids develop when playing with clay include imagination, perseverance, problem solving, teamwork, social interaction, and self-regulation.

Students will make cups, bowls, funny monsters, and other sculptural pieces which will be displayed in an end-of-semester exhibition focused on each student’s progress, where your child’s work will shine!

Class schedules and fees vary each semester. Please review the most current class catalog for specific detail and always feel free to call the McKinney Center to discuss what class is best suited for your child.

The registration fee includes the instructor pay, use of approximately 25 pounds of clay, use of glazes, use of tools, and two kiln firings. Clay has to be dry and be “fired” twice in a kiln before being ready for use. Due to the thickness of clay (and children’s projects tend to be rather thick) it can take several days or weeks for a piece to dry completely. It is important that pieces dry before being placed in the kiln. If moisture is still in the walls of the clay or if the clay has significant bubbles they can explode. After drying, the pieces are placed in the kiln for their first firing which is called a “bisque” firing. This is a two-day process due to the kiln needing to time to heat up, reach its full temperature for a certain period of time, and then it cools down. After the cool down process, the pieces are unloaded and then glazed. After the glazing is complete the clay pieces are loaded again in the kiln and fired to over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This process can take as long as three days due to the temperature max of the kiln. After the kiln cools and is unloaded you will be called to come and pick up your child’s work!

Kids N Clay

Pottery is one of the most creative activities you can let your child experience. Children are born naturally creative and inquisitive and they are full of energy and have a desire to express themselves. You can encourage that self-expression through healthy avenues such as art and clay classes.

Young Potters

This beginner class for children grades 4th -6th offers a basic introduction in clay construction, including hand-building, extruded work, slab building, pottery wheel, and a basic introduction to the process of working with clay that generations of potters have used in this region. Students will create several unique pieces using the various techniques taught in this course. There will also be discussions about their finished projects as well as studies on historical pieces, allowing students to talk about their own process of bringing their ideas into being. Students will have 4-6 exciting projects to take home for use or as gifts.

Clay Play for Toddlers

Squish, poke, roll, pull, and create! Help foster your child’s creativity early in life. Clay offers a great sensory play experience, helps develop hand and wrist muscles, and fine motor skills. Our little artists will be using non-toxic clay to make one-of-a-kind masterpieces that can only be created by their tiny hands. Participants will be involved in working with the wet clay only. The McKinney Center staff will be responsible for glazing (your choice of color) and firing of the projects. The completed work will be available to pick up after the class ends, typically within two weeks. An adult or caregiver is required to be with the child at all times.

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The McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School is a multi-use facility providing arts education through Jonesborough's Mary B. Martin Program.


Phone: 423.753.0562

103 Franklin Ave.
Jonesborough, TN 37659