Pottery is probably the most popular arts and crafts activity at Rockbrook! Like so many arts practiced 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 and ceramic projects. Rockbrook has two pottery studios perfectly set up to learn the basics of pottery at camp and later more advanced techniques.

summer camp ceramics fun

Pottery for Girls

Clay can be shaped into almost anything! Make objects from your imagination into three dimensional figures. Build representations of animals, made-up creatures, faces, nature, and more!

Join different shapes together to make more complex sculptures, and then use tools to add textures to each shape.

After your work dries, you’ll paint it with different glazes that will bring out amazing colors after being fired in the kiln.

Colorful face mugs

girl making summer camp face mug

Learning Pottery at Camp

There are so many ways the create pottery, you can learn all of the many ceramics techniques at camp.

Try making a dish, vase or bowl using coils stacked together. Roll out an even slab, and use “slip” to close it into a vessel. Or begin with a ball of clay and use the “pinch pot” method to make a cup. Don’t forget to add texture too by pressing on a leaf or scratching your piece with a wire tool.

At camp, you’ll learn how a simple lump of clay can turn into a beautiful work of art!

glazed pottery projects learned at summer camp

child learning the potters wheel

Try Throwing on the Wheel !

After practicing other pottery techniques, you’ll get to try “wheel thrown ceramics” and learn to throw on the potter’s wheel.

It’s a little tricky at first— centering your clay, holding steady, and learning to move your fingers correctly — but don’t worry, our pottery staff will help you learn what it takes to do it all.

It’s also delightfully messy, and it definitely takes practice, but it’s so exciting and satisfying to throw your first pot on the wheel!

girl camp teen's hands throwing on the pottery wheel

Summer Camp Pottery

wheel thrown ceramics bowl

The goal of our camp pottery program is to introduce campers to the basic techniques of working with clay, to inspire and encourage their creativity generally, and to create a fun supportive environment where they can develop an appreciation for ceramics as an art form.

Pottery is a hands-on experience at Rockbrook Camp. Girls begin manipulating clay from the very first minute. They feel its texture and temperature, learning how easily it can be shaped, molded, and extruded. They literally “get their hands dirty” in this craft activity! With some patience and persistence, they gradually grow more comfortable with the pottery techniques they learn and soon find themselves making amazing vessels like cups and bowls. It’s very exciting for them to see a “lump of mud” turn into something useful (and beautiful) just by working it with their hands.

Campers also learn the benefits of slowing down and paying attention to the process of making pottery rather than the final product they’re aiming to make. They learn to embrace the quirks and unique creative features of their pottery pieces rather than holding too tightly to some notion of perfection. Clay is an excellent medium for kids to expand their creativity.

Like so many of the craft activities at Rockbrook, Pottery offers a great chance to socialize and get to know the other campers. The two pottery studios at camp are always buzzing with conversation as well as pottery action. Staff members and campers alike are always helping and encouraging each other, having fun marveling at each other’s work. With this kind of relaxed camaraderie, it’s no wonder that girls are so proud of what they make in pottery!

A highlight of each session is the day when the kilns are finished firing everyone’s pieces. There’s great anticipation to see how the glazes applied to the dried pottery have become vibrant, shiny colorful art. Campers love the surprise of seeing their finished pottery, and look forward to showing off to their family back home!