Open Studio Schedule
See the drop-down at the bottom of this page for Open Studio Schedule PDFs posted each week.
Minimum Age Requirements
Only students ages 18 and up are eligible to register for NCC’s adult classes.
Standard tool kits for introductory classes are available in NCC’s Sales Gallery for $25 plus tax. Other specialty tools are available as well.
Bisque Cycle Dates – WINTER
Each quarter, we will remove old bisqueware from the carts according to the following procedure, using chalk to date and track the pieces. The chalk can be washed off for glazing. Please glaze your bisqueware by the dates listed below, or keep it in your tool/work storage area.
- February 3: All work on the bisque carts will be marked with green chalk on the bottom
- February 17: All “green chalked” work will be thrown away
- February 17: All work on the bisque carts will be marked with pink chalk on the bottom
- March 2: All “pink chalked” work will be thrown away
- March 16: All remaining bisqueware will be thrown away
For information about the delayed return of winter work, please see the Class Kiln Firings tab below.
Winter Work Pick-up
All of us at Northern Clay Center would like to thank you for your incredible patience while we created and implemented a strategic plan to safely facilitate the pick-up of your winter work. NCC staff have continued to work hard to ensure the best possible function of our organization while prioritizing the health and safety of all in our community. Part way through the month of May, we were able to bring a limited number of staff back to NCC and since then, they have worked safely and diligently to finish firing and organizing winter work for pick up. We are happy to let you know that work you made during the winter term has been fired, sorted carefully, and will be ready for pick-up soon. Out of safety concerns, we are not yet allowing the public into our facilities, so the pick-up of your work will be done curbside at NCC in 15 minute intervals in order to stagger arrivals and allow for zero-contact pick-up.
If you have not received an email with information about winter work pick-up and signing up for a time slot, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The tuition for regular adult classes includes access to open studio time. On average, at least one classroom with potter’s wheels and a handbuilding table is available between 9 am and 9 pm Tuesday through Sunday, and from 9 pm to midnight on Thursday evenings. NCC reserves the right to close open studio for special classes or workshops. The Center has three large studios (two wheel-throwing and one handbuilding), as well as Studio D, a smaller classroom, used for special workshops, family classes, visiting artists, and occasional open studio time.
Please refer to class listings for tuition and fees. Unless otherwise noted, fees for adult classes include instruction, open studio time, 25 lbs. of clay, basic glaze materials, and a firing allowance. Tuition may not be pro-rated. Some students may incur additional expenses if they choose unusual glaze materials or if their work occupies a large volume of kiln space. Tool kits and additional clay may be purchased at NCC.
Register with cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover Card. NCC accepts registrations online at www.northernclaycenter.org, in the sales gallery, or by telephone at 612.339.8007 x300. Download a paper registration form online, or call the gallery for more information. Member discounts are now available online.
Due to the high demand for classes, we require full payment with your registration to reserve your spot in class.
NCC will send confirmation of registration. If there is insufficient enrollment, we will cancel class, notify registered students, and refund all payments without penalty. Decisions are made approximately one week before classes begin. Please register early or you might find that your favorite class is full, or canceled because of low enrollment.
Tools: Standard tool kits for introductory classes are available in NCC’s Sales Gallery for $20 + tax. Other specialty tools are available as well.
Open Studio: The tuition for regular adult classes includes access to open studio time. On average, at least one classroom with potter’s wheels and a handbuilding table is available between 9 am and 9 pm Tuesday through Sunday, and from 9 am to midnight on Thursday evenings. NCC reserves the right to close studios for special classes or workshops.
Minimum Age Restrictions: Only students ages 18 and up are eligible to register for NCC’s adult classes and workshops.
Continuing Education Credits: If you are a teacher in need of CEUs, contact the education department to learn how NCC’s classes and workshops can be taken for continuing education credit.
Weather: As a general rule, NCC will remain open during inclement weather. We take our cues from local colleges and universities for canceling or rescheduling classes during particularly hazardous conditions. When in doubt, feel free to call us at 612.339.8007, and please be safe!
Tuition, Fees, & Refunds: Please refer to class listings for tuition and fees. Unless otherwise noted, fees for adult classes include instruction, open studio time, 25 lbs. of clay, basic glaze materials, and a firing allowance. Tuition may not be pro-rated. Some students may incur additional expenses if they choose unusual glaze materials or if their work occupies a large volume of kiln space.
- Classes: 100% of tuition (less a $15 processing fee) will be refunded if a student elects to drop or transfer a class no later than one week (7 days) before the day of the first class meeting. 50% of tuition (less a $15 processing fee) will be refunded if a student drops or transfers a class within two business days after the first class meeting. After this period, if a student elects to drop a class or transfer, tuition and fees will NOT be refunded for any reason except documented medical emergencies. There are no other exceptions to this policy.
- Workshops: 100% of tuition (less a $15 processing fee) will be refunded if a student elects to drop or transfer a workshop for any reason at least one week (7 days) prior to the workshop. No refunds will be given with less than one week’s notice.
- Clay Camps: 100% of tuition, minus a $15 cancellation fee, will be refunded if a student cancels for any reason up to one week (7 days) before the camp begins. A $15 transfer fee will be charged if a student transfers from one class to another at any time. No refunds or transfers will be issued with less than a one-week (7 days) notice before the beginning of the camp. Tuition is not pro-rated. There are no make-up sessions.
What's the difference between handbuilding and wheel throwing?
Wheel throwing is what we call work made on the potter's wheel. You might have heard it called "spinning," "potting," or "throwing," and it involves an electric wheel, kick wheel, or treadle wheel.
Handbuilding, also called "fingerbuilding," is work made — surprise — by hand (without the use of the wheel). This includes sculpture of all sizes, from abstract to figures and animals, as well as "handbuilt pottery"— vessel forms such as bowls, cups, and vases that are made by coil building, slab building, carving, or other construction techniques. Our handbuilding classes also include tile classes and mold making.
What is the beginner tool kit and where can I buy it?
The beginner tool kit generally includes a sponge, wire tool, pin tool, wood knife, wooden rib, aluminum rib, and large and small trimming tools. We sell the tool kit at NCC and you can purchase it when you check in for your first night of class. Most art and ceramic supply stores sell an identical or similar kit; it generally costs about $20.00. NCC also has a selection of individual tools — either to replace things from the basic kit, or to serve some specialized function. Ask the front desk to see our selection.
We recommend that everyone in the Land of Round Pots, Three Graces of Handbuilding, or Beginner level classes have these tools. Beyond that point, students have enough experience to know what they like to use and usually develop a collection of "favorites."
Can I come in to "play" with some clay?
We do not allow "walk-in" studio time, or work on projects far outside the scope of a class (e.g. working with plaster in a beginning pottery class). Regular adult classes do include open studio access. If you're looking for a short experience to try out ceramics, please enroll in a one-time workshop such as Crafternoon, Clay for Couples, or a sculpture workshop. We also offer family classes for parents and kids, and some free drop-in workshops (see below).
Do you host birthday parties or scout troops?
Yes! Find more details here. We also host special workshops for groups of adults or professionals. Contact us with your needs and ideas and we can build a great experience with you.
Do you offer scholarships?
We have a limited number of scholarships available for kids, primarily for our summer camp program. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer scholarships or discounts for adults, other than our membership program. We are, however, developing a payment plan for adults with fixed income, such as social security. In addition to our less expensive weekend workshops, we also offer periodically free hands-on events, at our Holiday Open House (November), Chili Cook-off (February), and summer art fair (August).
I made some pottery at another studio or at my home, can I bring it in to fire?
Northern Clay Center does not offer kiln access or rental to members of the public.
Continental Clay will fire work based on the space it occupies in the kiln and the number of pieces. You can contact them for rates at 612.331.9332. Should you be interested in becoming a studio artist and having paid access to facilities and kilns, click here for more information.
Picking Up Your Winter Work (Updated 4.13.20)
NCC worked to create and implement a cohesive and thoughtful plan to move forward with the health and well-being of our community as our top priority. We are mindfully and fervently implementing strategies in a proactive and socially-responsible manner to adhere to Minnesota’s state-wide Stay-at-Home Executive Order and to curb the transmission and overall impact of COVID-19 within our ceramics community and our greater local communities. Considering these strategies and the needs for social distancing and safety, we are delaying any pick up of glazed work from the winter term until the Stay-at-Home Order has been lifted. At that time, we will communicate safe-pick up strategies to you and as such, we are suspending our usual pickup protocols and deadlines.
Here's what you need to know:
We are suspending our usual pickup protocols and deadlines.
We will store everything (remaining bisqueware, glazeware, and tools) until we are able to confidently and safely arrange for these items to be picked up.
While current recommendations suggest the practice of social distancing through May 11, 2020, we are continually watching for newly released information from governing health officials.
We will let you know when we reopen so you may collect your work.
As soon as we have established safe strategies and dates to facilitate this process, we will let all of you know via email, our twitter feed (@NCCKilnUpdates), and our website under the Class Kiln Firings section of our Student Information page.
Please continue to watch for additional information and know that you will be provided ample time and opportunity to pick up your work.
Thank you for your continued patience, flexibility, and support of NCC. We are wishing you good health, good spirits, and the best of outcomes for you and those around you.