A series of pottery workshops are being held at the Misty Rivers Art Gallery until the end of March, which are being taught by Nila Andrews, owner of Nila’s Clayworks in New Hazelton.
Andrews is self-taught but has a background in chemistry which has allowed her to hone her pottery skills to the point where she now offers a wide variety of oven-friendly wares.
She has been attempting to host workshops for some time and is thankful for the opportunity to share her knowledge at Misty Rivers.
“I’m showing whoever shows up the basics of throwing a form on a wheel,” Andrews said. “There are seven stages to take a ball of clay and make it into something and I’m focusing on those steps in these beginner classes.”
Andrews began learning about clay and pottery in the 1990s, starting with creating tiles and moving on to using a pottery wheel by the turn of the millennium.
With only three classes done there have been as many as five students, who pay a drop-in fee of $5 to join in the class, but people are encouraged to drop-in whenever Boat’s Soup and Juice Bar are open, owner Bruce Chandler said.
“If people want to just come and check it out, we’re cool with that,” Chandler said. “It’s fun to just get in there and get your hands on the stuff. So, come on down if you’re interested at all.”
Chandler hasn’t touched a pottery wheel since his high school days and is glad to have Andrews lending some expertise once a week.
“This is just the start,” Chandler said. “Hopefully more than a few people come out and realize this is something they’d like to do.”
There are currently two pottery wheels where people can take turns forming a cup from a ball of clay the size of a fist. One of the wheels is motorized and one is manual.
“People can get a bit of a workout on this one,” Andrews, pointing to the wheel that needs the operator to turn with their right foot, said.
Instructional classes happen Wednesdays at 1 p.m. on the upper floor of Boat’s.