I can’t lie. For as long as I can remember, the first thing I’ve always associated with pottery is that iconic scene from Ghost (1990), complete with Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers playing in the background. Besides that, I never really put much thought into it — especially since I’ve never seen myself as a creative or artistic person. The idea of pottery has always been quite abstract to me… Until now.
As I’ve recently become fixated on all things tita, ceramics are among the things I’ve grown to appreciate. After excitedly starting my own collection, I soon found myself looking for something more — thus began my search for a good pottery class in Manila.
By trying my hand at pottery, I’d be getting more than just a pretty mug, teacup, or pot; I’d get to take home something I’ve made with my own two hands! And really, is there anything more satisfying than that? If you’ve been on the lookout for a great pottery workshop in Manila or beyond, be sure to check out the following studios!
Where to take a pottery class in Manila
1. Tahanan Pottery Shop
I first learned of Tahanan Pottery Shop when I asked a friend where she got her gorgeous coffee mug. She directed me to their Instagram account — and I was amazed to find that not only did they sell beautiful ceramics, but that people were welcome to join pottery classes and make their own, too!
At the time of writing, this pottery shop offers a Basic Wheel Class and a Sculptural Handbuilding Workshop. The former is ideal for beginners, and allows you to learn basic wheel-throwing techniques; projects include making your own mugs, bowls, and plates. The latter, on the other hand, teaches you the skills you need to make more intricate stoneware items.
Address: Unit 4 24K Mansion, 45 Timog Ave. cor. Scout Tuason St., South Triangle, Quezon City
2. Hey Kessy
Thanks to Hey Kessy Pottery, you and your kids, younger siblings, nieces, and nephews can try their hand at pottery — and from home, too! Due to the ongoing pandemic, both their adults’ and kids’ workshops take place exclusively online.
So, how do their online pottery classes work? All you need to do is watch out for their latest schedules and sign up and pay for your slot. Clay kits will then be sent out to participants in time for you to be able to use them during the online session. After the class, participants must send their pieces back to Hey Kessy for firing and glazing (basically, to have them coloured and made food-safe)!
3. Joey De Castro Pottery
Want to learn with no less than a pro? To celebrated potter Joey De Castro, pottery isn’t just a trend — it’s a lifestyle. That being said, he’s all about teaching his craft to those who are in it for the long haul. The artist and owner of Sierra Madre Art Gallery holds small pottery classes only about six times a year; this being said, consider yourself lucky if you bag a slot!
The select few usually get wind of his latest workshops via word of mouth. And since classes with Joey De Castro Pottery are usually limited to five students, slots are usually filled up in no time. At the time of writing, pottery class at the studio in Manila is temporarily suspended due to the pandemic; but be sure to stay tuned to their social media pages for announcements!
Address: 586 Sierra Madre St. Brgy. Malamig, Mandaluyong City
4. UPCFA Ceramic Studio
Great news for hopeful potters: classes at the UP College of Fine Arts (UPCFA) Ceramic Studio are not just limited to students of the university! Those interested may choose between Basic Wheel Throwing and Handbuilding Ceramic workshops. By the time you finish your workshop of choice, you will not only get to take home your very own ceramics, but a certificate of completion, too!
At the time of writing, pottery classes at UPCFA are closed until further notice. Keep following their official Facebook page for any updates!
Address: UP College of Fine Arts, Emilio Jacinto St., Diliman, Quezon City
For more information, visit UPCFA Ceramic Studio’s official Facebook page.
Pottery studios outside Manila
6. Crescent Moon Cafe and Studio Pottery
One of the most iconic cafés in Antipolo, Crescent Moon actually doubles as a great place to unleash your inner Demi Moore or Patrick Swayze (I’m referencing Ghost again, in case you missed that!). If you’re looking for a quick “field trip”, then a pottery class at this café just outside Manila is a great pick. It’s actually home to the store of beloved potter Lanelle Abueva-Fernando’s handmade stoneware ceramics. We have this talented artist to credit for the beautiful tableware used at the restaurant!
Announcements about their upcoming events are made via their social media pages, so keep your eyes peeled and your notifications on! Registration for their workshops is usually opened weeks or even a month ahead of schedule, giving you plenty of time to sign up and mark your calendars.
Address: Sapang Buho Rd. Brgy. Dalig, Antipolo City
7. Ugu Bigyan’s Potter Garden
If you are from or visiting Tiaong in Quezon, then a trip to Ugu Bigyan’s Potter Garden is a must! Ugu Bigyan himself is one of the biggest names in Philippine pottery — so you definitely won’t want to miss out on such a great learning opportunity.
The entire place is part restaurant, gallery, and pottery studio. On top of that, they’ll soon be opening a bed and breakfast, too! What more could you ask for, really? Sounds like an experience to remember!
Address: 490 Alvarez Village Lusacan, Tiaong, Quezon
For more information, visit Ugu Bigyan’s Potter Garden’s official Facebook page.
8. Clay Ave Zambales
While Clay Ave first opened in Manila, owner and potter Mia Casal eventually decided to return to her roots in San Narciso, Zambales, and dedicate herself to pottery full-time. Through her workshops, she enjoys getting to know people and sharing her love for the art.
Clay Ave holds workshops on techniques such as Hand Building and Wheel Throwing; anyone willing to learn is more than welcome. Make sure to follow their social media pages to stay updated on their latest events — if you’re lucky, they might even be travelling to your area soon!
Address: San Narciso, Zambles
9. Cornerstone Pottery Farm
Those who are regulars at the annual ArteFino event may already be familiar with Cornerstone Pottery Farm’s lovely (and lovingly made!) ceramics. But did you know that they hold pottery workshops, too?
Their events are held at their pottery farm in Silang, Cavite — so keep an eye out for their next scheduled event and plan your visit accordingly. Those who’ve paid visits to the farm particularly love that owners, husband and wife duo EJ and Eva Espiritu, make guests feel right at home!
Address: Cornerstone Pottery Farm, Balubad 1, Silang, Cavite
Which pottery class in or around Manila do you have your heart set on? We can’t wait to see all the creations you come up with once you complete your workshops. Make sure to tag us at @tripzillaph on Instagram!