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The Crafty Monkey Blog

Hand-Building Pottery Classes at Crafty Monkey near Cambridge

Has The Great Pottery Throwdown inspired you and you want to dive into the world of pottery and create unique, handcrafted pieces but don't know where to start. Or perhaps you've been searching Google for 'pottery classes near me' or 'adult beginner pottery classes' and you live near Cambridge or Bedford.


If so you're in luck and we're going to let you know what makes Crafty Monkey's hand-building ceramic workshops special and why they are perfect for anyone looking to get their hands on clay and explore their creative side.

Adult taking part in a slab pot ceramics class at Crafty Monkey Pottery Studio
Ceramics class in action

What is Hand-Building Pottery?


Hand-building is one of the oldest forms of pottery making. Unlike wheel throwing, it involves creating pottery pieces using only your hands and simple tools. This technique allows for a wide range of creative possibilities, including pinch pots, coil building, and slab construction.


Hand-Building Pottery Classes near Cambridge


If you live near Cambridge or Bedford then you're in luck as Crafty Monkey Pottery Studio is based in St. Neots and offers hand-building beginner pottery classes that cater to all skill levels and people with experience can also book onto our self-led sessions we offer. St. Neots also makes for a nice day out with it's various eateries, cafe's and riverside parks.


Why Choose Hand-Building Pottery Classes?


Creative Freedom: 

A Slap Pot with a lavender design.

Hand-building gives you the freedom to create virtually any shape or design you can imagine. From intricate sculptures to functional pottery, the possibilities are endless.


Relaxation and Mindfulness: 


The process of shaping clay with your hands is incredibly therapeutic and relaxing. It’s a great way to unwind and focus on the present moment.


Skill Development: 

Using pottery tools to smooth out a coil pot to make it into a mug

Hand-building helps develop fine motor skills and enhances your understanding of the properties of clay. It’s a great way to build a solid foundation in pottery.


Unique Pieces: 


Every hand-built piece is unique. You’ll create personalized items that reflect your individual style and creativity.


What to Expect from Pottery Classes at Crafty Monkey Pottery Studio


1. Introduction to Basic Pottery Techniques: 

Crafty Monkey team member giving instruction at a pottery class
Step by step instruction given

Our classes start with an introduction to the fundamental techniques of hand-building and depending on what is being made during the workshop you will learn at least one of the following methods:


  • Pinch pots

  • Coil building

  • Slab construction


If you want to learn all three then our Introduction to Handbuilding pottery workshop covers all three.


2. Step-by-Step Guidance: 


Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience, our instructors will provide step-by-step guidance to help you create your masterpiece.


3. Creative Projects: 

Highland coo made from clay at Crafty Monkey hand building pottery class

As well as running our Introduction to Hand building class, we also run pottery workshops that focus on different projects, allowing you to explore various forms and techniques.


You might create anything from functional items like trinket dishes, pots, planters to decorative sculptures like our a Highland Cow, Pumpkin or Christmas tree tea light holder.


4. Use of Tools and Materials: 


We provide all the necessary tools and materials and during your class you'll get to use basic pottery tools to shape, texture, and decorate your pieces.


We also have a big range of stamps and cutters to provide texture, images and words which can really transform your piece. They are great for those that aren't naturally artistic as you can create a stunning piece just from pressing in stamps and using cookie cutters.


5. Glazing and Firing: 

Looking into the kiln with the bottom shelf loaded with glazed eathernward pottery pieces

After your pieces are hand-built, you’ll have the opportunity to glaze them - In pottery this means painting them with coloured underglazes like paint. We’ll then fire your creations in our kiln, making them durable and ready for use or display.


A clay class at Crafty Monkey studio.

Why Choose Crafty Monkey for Hand-Building Pottery Classes?


Why wouldn't your? Although granted we are probably biased! Have a look at some of the highlights below for choosing Crafty Monkey Pottery Classes:


  • Reputable Business: Crafty Monkey Pottery Studio has been provided pottery based arts and crafts since 2010 and have a track record of providing good customer service (read our google reviews!).


  • Taught lesson: Our instructors provide step by step instruction and are on hand to help out where needed.

  • Small Class size: We keep our class size to 8 or less meaning we can give you personalised attention and support should you need.


  • All materials and use of our tools included in price: Our ceramic workshops include all you will need for the project at hand. We have a wide selection of different shaped cutters and stamps covering lots of themes including botanicals and fauna, bees, gnomes,


  • Friendly Environment: Crafty Monkey is known for its welcoming and supportive atmosphere. It’s a place where you can relax, have fun, and meet like-minded individuals.


  • Convenient Location: Located in the heart of St. Neots, Crafty Monkey is easily accessible for local residents and is not far from Cambridge or Bedford. There's lots of nice eateries and riverside parks too in St. Neots if wanting to make it into a day out.


  • Sustainable Business Practices: If supporting local independent sustainable businesses is important to you, Crafty Monkey Pottery Studio is committed to sustainability. We use eco-friendly materials and processes wherever possible and we recycle our clay, ensuring that your creative experience is not only fun but also kind to the planet. From non-toxic paints to recyclable packaging, we strive to minimize our environmental impact and promote sustainable practices in our studio.

St. Neots near Cambridge Riverside
St. Neots Riverside

Upcoming Pottery Classes:


Below are a few of our upcoming pottery classes we are running at the Crafty Monkey Pottery Studio or visit the link below to see whole offering:




Join Us for a Hand-Building Pottery Class!


Ready to explore the art of hand-building pottery? Join us at Crafty Monkey Pottery Studio for one of our pottery workshops! Our classes are perfect for individuals, families, and groups looking for a fun and creative activity. Visit our class schedule and book your spot today.



Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create beautiful, handmade pottery pieces while enjoying a relaxing and fun experience. We look forward to seeing you at Crafty Monkey Pottery Studio!



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