Pottery is probably the most popular craft activity at Rockbrook! Like so many artists in this part of North Carolina, there is a long tradition of working with clay at camp— rolling, pinching, flattening, adding texture, and shaping it into amazing, colorful pottery. We have two pottery studios perfectly set up to learn the basics and advanced techniques.

Pottery Sculpture Kid
Make objects from your imagination into a three dimensional reality. Build representations of animals, made-up creatures, faces, nature, and more!
There are many ways to create a vessel. Try making a cup, dish, vase or bowl using coils, slabs, or the “pinch pot” method.
Hand-built pottery vessel
Learning to throw on the potters wheel
After practicing other pottery techniques, you’ll get to try your hand at “throwing” on the potter’s wheel. Don’t worry, our pottery staff will help you learn the detailed steps to make something like a mug or bowl.

A common project that campers work on is making a vessel like a cup, bowl, or vase. Girls may roll snake-like coils and stack them to form the beginnings of a bowl, or pinch and press a block of clay to make a cup. It is also fun to press leaves or twigs on smooth slab of clay to give it texture, and then use it to make a vase.

Girls also love to create sculptures – anything from a figure of a horse to a funny face or abstract form. An example of a helpful pottery technique for sculpting is called “slip”. Slip, a runny mixture of clay and water, is applied to join two pieces of wet clay together. The mixture acts like glue to help separate pieces of clay to stick together.

A very exciting part of a camper’s progression in pottery class is to throw pots on the wheel. Instructors help campers to center the clay on the wheel, open up the center of the clay, pull up the walls and shape the piece, and finally trim the base of the piece and clean the top. Each step requires time and patience to master, and many girls come away from Rockbrook with a collection of pieces and a greater sense of confidence in working with their hands to create something all their own.

Through the weeks at camp, everyone looks forward to the end of the session when all of the pottery pieces are put into the kiln for firing. When they come out, there is a rainbow of colors and delightful arrangement of different shapes and sizes of the pottery pieces.

Smiling pottery wheel child