Come play with clay

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Lincoln Square Pottery Studio Learning Center?

The studio is on Lincoln Avenue, about two blocks north of Irving Park Road (just south of Berteau Avenue). The mailing address is: Lincoln Square Pottery Studio Learning Center 4150 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL 60618


What is the Lincoln Square Pottery Studio Learning Center?

Lincoln Square Pottery Studio Learning Center is a 2,000-square-foot studio that offers ceramics instruction. Twelve wheel-throwing workstations, with two rows of six stations facing each other, form the hub of the studio. Two high-fire electric kilns will allow students to transform their clay creations into finished pieces such as mugs, vases, bowls, and plates. Lincoln Square Pottery Studio Learning Center offers ceramic art supplies to our students, including brushes, kits and glazes. The studio supplies space for students to display and sell their art work for a minimal fee. 

Who runs Lincoln Square Pottery Studio Learning Center?

LSPS-LC is staffed by the volunteers who are overlooked by the non-profit’s board members.

What is the cost of the classes?

The cost of the Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Wheelthrowing, and Handbuilding are $300 each (which includes up to 100 lbs. of clay). The Independent Study session (that does not include clay supplies) costs $165, and clay will need to be bought from the studio starting at $2/lb, which covers the cost of glazes and firing.

How is clay distributed?

The Beginning, Handbuilding, Intermediate, and Advanced students are allocated up to 100 lbs of clay per 8-week class session. The clay comes in 25lb bags, and as more clay is needed students may simply ask for more during class time. The amounts of clay will be kept track of in the attendance book. The Independent Study students need to buy clay from the studio at $2 per pound. This price is to cover the cost of the clay, glazes, and firings, so that there are no extra loading or firing charges. If any of the handbuilding and wheelthrowing students need more than 100 lbs during a session they would pay the same price per pound.

Does the studio recycle its own clay?

Since there is a charge on extra clay students will be taught to recycle their own clay.  

How long are the class sessions?

8 weeks.

Can I sign up for a class in the middle of a session?

If there is room in the class then yes, you can sign up for the rest of the session, but price, instruction, etc. must be worked out on a case-by-case basis.  Open registration for future classes opens up two weeks before the start of the new session.

When’s the next session starting?

For upcoming sessions, please refer to our Class Schedule.

How do I sign up for a class?

Sign up through our website, and open registration for the class starts two weeks before the beginning of a new session.

How long is each class?

The Beginning Wheelthrowing, Handbuilding, as well as the Intermediate and Advanced Wheelthrowing classes, meet from 7—9:30pm. Each class meets on a different night, check the class listings for more info on which classes meet what night. However, the Independent Study class has no structured class time. For students in that class the studio is available for them to work in Monday through Friday 12:30pm—6pm as well as during the regular open studio hours during the weekend.

What’s the open studio time during the weekend all about?

The open studio is time outside of class where students may come in and work on their projects. There is a volunteer studio workshop leader who is there to answer any questions you may have, but the open studio time is not a structured class time. Open studio runs from 1—6pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

Who are the volunteers?

They are Meg Biddle, Sara Brennan, Ann Cibulskis, Mindy Stillman, Sheila Schaefer, Anneliese Moy, Alice Hollowed, Rita Yamin, Rich Zimmerman, Christopher Whittington, and Paul Schultz. All are experienced and talented ceramic artists with extensive knowledge of clay. Meg teaches all the classes M-F and oversees the day to day management of the studio. On our Saturday Open Studio hours there is Mindy, who switches from hand building to thrown work, and Sheila, who is a power thrower, running the show. On Sunday Open Studio there are Paul and Ann, who are both mainly hand builders, overseeing the open studio. Anneliese, Rita, Rich, and Christopher are our Weekend Workshop leaders, whose knowledge in Handbuilding and Wheelthrowing make for fun lessons . Finally Alice and Sara, who are fluent in all sorts of methods for shaping clay, are the studio’s all around volunteers who help load kilns, mix glazes, recycle clay, and more.

Can I become a volunteer?

At present we are not accepting any new volunteers.

Do you have pottery tools available for sale?

Yes, basic tool kits are available for sale at $14 each, and other tools will be available for individual sale. The basic kit contains a needle tool, sponge, wire clay cutter, a large loop tool, a small loop tool, and a wood modeling tool, a metal rib and a wooden rib. Students who already have their own tools are welcome to use them in the studio.

What are studio parties?

These are different events during the year that give staff, students, and visiting artists a chance to show off their work. As well as beautiful pottery these parties offer music, ceramic demonstrations and competitions, and everyone’s favorite: free snacks and drinks. There are usually 2 studio parties per year. The Anniversary Party and Student Sale and Show is in May, and the Holiday Sale and Show is, big surprise, during the holidays.

Are there any other things I should bring to pottery classes?

You’ll want to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Clay can be messy so be sure to wear something easily washable. You can also bring an old towel or apron to protect your clothes from getting wet while throwing, though we do have those available at the studio.

Is there any room for storage at the studio?

Yes, each student gets their own shelf to keep clay, tools, and your work on. There are also overflow shelves available as temporary space to keep any pieces you are working on that don’t fit on your own shelf.

What sort of clay is being used?

It’s a grey stoneware body with a medium grog—very good for throwing. It’s fired to cone 5, which makes it a stoneware body, a sturdier material than earthenware or terra cotta. Laguna clay mixes and de-airs the clay for us, while Minnesota Clay provides most of our studio glazes.

What kind of glazes will be available?

There are many different glazes for student use. All are suitable for food ware and are dishwasher and microwave safe.

If I want to can I bring my own clay and glazes for use at the studio?

No. To ensure the safety of everyone, outside material will not be used in the studio.

What about Underglazes?

Underglazes are available at the studio.

I’m worried about lead, is it in any of the materials at the studio?

Absolutely not: all of our materials are certified non-toxic and confirm to ASTM D-4236, which make them ideal for classroom or studio settings.

Is there finished pottery available for sale?

Yes there is. The main windows contain display cases with pottery by students, volunteers, and other artists for sale. These shelves are switched out for every studio party (there are about 2 a year) so keep your eye out for new displays.

What sort of kilns do you have?

They are Cone Art brand electric kilns, which are rated to go up to cone 8, although our bisque fire goes to cone 05 and our glaze fires to cone 5.

What the heck are all these “cones” that you keep talking about?

It’s a means of measuring temperature inside the kilns and is used in the ceramics industry.

Is it really like in the movie “Ghost”?

Um… no, not really; Patrick Swayze will not be rubbing his naked chest on your back to the sounds of the Righteous Brothers. However, if you want to bring a pair of earbuds and pretend he’s there, well… that’s your business.

How can someone get more information?

Call (773) 248-4430 or e-mail us.