Calling all creatives! These wonderful pottery studios in San Francisco are great for taking all-levels classes, perfecting your technique, or dropping into open studio hours. Check out a range of options including wheel-throwing, hand-building, project-based workshops, or group and team building. Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom for an interactive map to point you in the right direction.
These studios focus on clay techniques and creating your own projects. If you’re interested in pottery painting only, some good alternatives are Earthfire Arts in the Inner Sunset and Terra Mia in Noe Valley.
1. Seasonal classes with SF Rec & Parks
SF Rec & Parks offers a popular series of ceramics classes for all ages at various studios around the city (see locations below). Options include simple and fun hand-building classes for kids and families, after-school ceramics classes for teens, intro classes for adults, and ceramics for seniors. Students can workshop various techniques depending on the class such as basic wheel throwing, rolling coils, building with slabs, pinch pots, and glazing. Some of the project-based classes teach you how to make clay baskets and matcha tea bowls. Prices vary depending on the class, duration, and materials; but often range between $150-300.
- Randall Museum: 199 Museum Way, Corona Heights Park
- Sharon Art Studio: 300 Bowling Green Dr, Golden Gate Park
- Mission Arts Center: 745 Treat Ave, Mission District
- Golden Gate Park Senior Center: 6101 Fulton St, Golden Gate Park
2. Clay by the Bay
Try both hand-building and wheel-throwing classes at this fun studio in Polk Gulch. They have some excellent 6-week courses available for various levels and interests that always culminate in a final glaze session and potluck. If you don’t want to commit to a full course, consider signing up for the 1-time pottery classes on Friday and Saturday evenings with no experience necessary. Prices range from $175 for a one-time course up to $745 for a 12-week course.
Location: 1616 Pacific Ave, Polk Gulch
3. Mel Rice Ceramica
Professional production potter Melissa Rice operates this lovely neighborhood pottery studio. Lesson packages are available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced potters interested in either hand-building or wheel. The 4, 5, and 6 week courses run between $250-340 with all materials included. Rice maintains an ambitious DIY mindset in every aspect of the studio, from handmaking the slips and glazes to recycling all clay for future use. Mel Rice Ceramica is the only studio in SF run by a Latina production potter.
Location: 6138 Geary Blvd, Little Russia
4. Hickory Clay
Hickory Clay is a beautiful luminous studio in the Mission District designed with ergonomics and comfort in mind. Students can work with unlimited clay in these 8-week ceramics classes for $400. You can sign up for both hand building and wheel throwing courses or try a specialty course with projects like making your own board game and learning gold luster application.
Location: 2710 16th St, Mission District
Clayroom has two locations: the original 7,000 square-foot studio in Potrero with 53 wheels and 7 kilns, and the SoMa studio which also includes a woodworking area. Students can sign up for 1-day classes ($105) to dabble in wheel throwing or a 6-week course ($355 with open studio time included) to arrive at a finished project. If you want to get in and out with a finish project, the one-time woodworking classes are also worth looking into.
- 375 9th St, SoMa
- 1431 17th St, Potrero
6. Dusted and Blue
Enjoy intimate 7-person wheel throwing classes at this cozy studio in Chinatown. The $385 classes are 6 weeks long and sell out quickly, but keep an eye on their website because the small class size makes for excellent personalized instruction and a friendly environment. The beautiful and peaceful studio also features a small shop where you can purchase pieces made by owner Sam Lee.
Location: 1242 Mason St, Chinatown
Steven M. Allen founded this gallery and studio in 2012 and it’s since expanded to 3 total locations. Their $89 1-day option allows you to create up to 3 pieces which the instructor will later trim, glaze, and fire for you to pick up at a later date. You can also do a prepaid pack of 4, 6, or 8 1-day classes that come to 30% savings on the full-price 1-day fee. Of course, there’s also a 6-week option (open studio time included) which will run you $320.
- 1045 Sutter St, Lower Nob Hill
- 832 Sutter St #100, Lower Nob Hill
- 3135 24th St, Mission District
8. Wheelhouse Clay Studio
Here’s a beautiful and spacious studio where you’ll find a collective of artists that give fantastic wheel and hand-building classes. 6-week classes come to $495 with open studio time included, but you can also try a one-time “Clay Play” class for $120. All classes are suitable for adults and teens over 15.
Location: 327 Divisadero St, Haight-Ashbury
9. The Pottery Studio
This large, high-ceilinged studio is one of half a dozen others in California. Guests can check out various classes and workshops for both hand-building and wheel-throwing, coming out to $225 for 4 weeks. Classes include the basics of wheel throwing as well as instruction on how to use a slab roller and extruder.
Location: 2394 Folsom St, Mission District
10. Brick and Mortar Studios
This woman-owned, community-funded Central Richmond studio fosters a fun and friendly environment. Learn the basics of wheel throwing with a one-time class for $95 or a 6-week course for $400. Be sure to check out their weekend workshops ranging from $175-250, which teach special skills such as making your own underglaze, sculptural hand-building, and other special techniques.
Location: 5851 Geary Blvd, Inner Richmond