Most young children have dabbled with ‘pottery’ as they are making things out of playdough, plasticine, paper or polymer clay. However, progressing to a real pottery class with wheel-throwing techniques can be daunting. Or is it…?
Finding the right teacher is important for your child’s first experience. Clay Loo is one of the few pottery teachers who can work well with younger children, as he is also a dad. My son first did a class with Clay when he was six. Clay has restarted pottery classes for adults and kids at his simple home studio, Taoyi Studio, located in Taman Sri Sentosa near Old Klang Road.
We recently signed up for a two hour class with some friends. Clay will do a class for just one participant, but recommends classes for four to six people as with a group, you can feed off each other’s creative energy and ideas. The maximum amount of participants in 10.
Let’s play with Clay
Each class starts with a briefing on how clay and pottery are produced. Clay then invites participants to try kneading clay, which is quite difficult! After that, Clay gives a live demo on the wheel of how various basic shapes can be formed. Participants then take their turns at the wheels available to create decorative elements.
Wheel-throwing is not easy, but Clay is an experienced teacher and able to guide each child or adult accordingly. Even so, if you have a child who is easily upset when the outcome is not as anticipated, you may need to manage their expectations beforehand. Remind them that perfection is not the goal of a pottery class; creation is.
Though I have seen a few 5-year olds do fairly well in the classes, children who are 6 years or older would fare better as their fine motor skills are more developed. Also, do expect some level of messiness so come dressed in suitable clothes that you don’t mind getting clay on.
Soothing for the senses
If you are open-minded and love new experiences, a pottery class can provide kids with multiple benefits. Clay material has many soothing qualities to captivate a child’s interest as they ponder about the shape and design to create a single masterpiece. Children quickly learn that mistakes can be rolled back into a ball, and they can start over. Children also learn to problem solve e.g. How can I make my mug handle stronger? How can I make this piece stick better?
A child’s fine motor skills improve as they manipulate the clay. It requires good hand-eye coordination. A gentle and calming pottery class engages all senses but does not overstimulate them.
The best thing about a pottery class? You will create an item you can actually use or display in your home! The boost to a child’s self-esteem as they smile and hold up a unique object that they created is priceless. The mug may be lopsided and have a crooked handle, but the child is proud of it.
To show your child what pottery is about, you can read a book called A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park with them. It’s historical fiction for children about an orphan in medieval Korea who wants to learn pottery.
For RM190 (children under 10 can do it with a parent, producing one item), you can create a basic piece of pottery like a cup, bowl, plate, vase or bottle, using the wheel with guidance from Clay. If you have a design in mind, bring a photograph as Clay can show you how to recreate it. The fee includes all materials, firing and delivery. The work can be collected about six weeks later as it needs to be well-dried and fired.
To book a class, contact Clay at 016 358 6966 or email him here.