Here at Belvedere Arts Studio, we artists have the pleasure of testing out projects to offer as classes or private lessons. We often start with a sketch book, working up a design and mapping out the necessary processes, but sometimes we find projects that have been done before and we reinvent them, putting our own spin on them. Once we have a plan, one or two of us go to town making the project in the studio, taking notes and photos as we go so that we can review afterward what skill level the project is and how we can streamline any parts of the process for our students.

Below are seven projects that you could try your hand at in our studio, which we have rated as beginner, intermediate, and advanced:

  1. Teapot (Advanced)
    This teapot is so whimsical and fun to look at! It is made using a pinch pot technique, but joining the forms is a little bit challenging for those new to clay work. With basic skills under your belt, we can teach you how to get a consistent thickness, control the shape of the form and add the surface details that will make your creation really special.

  2. Architecture (Intermediate/Advanced)
    One of our regular patrons had been making small houses from oven-fire clay and was interested in learning to make them more elaborate and sturdy using stoneware clay designed for hand-building. She had a specific interest in historical European type houses, so we developed a class to explore this subject. It was so interesting to see how different everyone’s buildings turned out! Using a simple two-dimensional drawing, you can create a tar-paper pattern and cut the components of your building out from a leather-hard slab of clay. The fun part comes after all the joining of pieces is completed when you add details and embellishments and finally paint on underglazes, oxides, and glazes to your finished work.

    Handbuilt Mug

  3. Coffee Mug (Beginner/Intermediate)
    We don’t know about you, but we feel that you can never have too many mugs! You can make one for yourself, or give it as a gift (add your own hot cocoa accessories). You will learn how to roll a stamped texture onto slab, cut a pattern, and then join the seams and apply a handle. We will help you find the best glaze to accentuate your chosen texture.

  4. Hump Mold Bowls (Beginner/Intermediate)
    We have wonderful new molds in the studio that make it easy to turn out a consistent, clean product. You will learn to apply a slab to the mold and attach level feet. The beauty of these bowls is that the quiet form lets you go wild with carving designs or painting on graphics with underglaze, or keep it simple with a beautiful glaze.

  5. Pendants (Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced)
    Did you know that you can make gorgeous jewelry from clay? We have a large assortment of beautiful stamps, or get really creative and carefully sculpt your own design to create a one-of-a-kind art piece from our smooth porcelainous clay body.

  6. Fish Chime (Intermediate/Advanced)
    This is a fun project that will yield a lovely addition to your garden. This multi-section “chime” is made with pre-cut tar-paper patterns. You put together the clay pieces that have been embellished using incised roller stamps, the pieces are glazed, fired, and then assembled onto a wire with beads to hang so the sections can move freely and chime in the breeze.

  7. Garden Markers (Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced)
    If you love your garden and you’d like to make some really special markers that will last and last, this project will suit you. It’s simple and fun and great for friends to do together.

    While we aren’t offering formal classes for these projects at this time due to COVID-19, we will be creating classes for them when we can safely gather in the studio again. Please note that these projects require multiple visits to our studio to complete and drying times for items will vary based on size and clay thickness. If you’re interested in doing a project, just email or call us (970) 731-1619 and we can give you specifics as far as how much time each project might take and the costs for each.