Where to Take Pottery and Candle-Making Classes in Philadelphia

Because nothing says self-care quite like shaping clay or pouring wax.

These pottery and candle-making spots in Philly are sure to provide an unexpected twist on self-care. / Photography by Ananda Connolly Photography courtesy of Black Hound Clay Studio (left) and John Michael courtesy of Wax + Wine (right).

If you’re looking for a new hobby or just want a fun way to pass the time, you should consider a pottery or candle-making class. They both allow you to find a meditative rhythm, focus on the task at hand (literally), and broaden your definition of self-care.

Luckily, Philly has a number of DIY ceramics and candle spots for a few hours of “me time,” a night out with friends, or even an out-of-the-box date. Below, find a list of venues in the city offering pottery and candle-making classes. Bonus: Most of them encourage BYOB so you can responsibly imbibe during the creative process.

Pottery Classes in Philadelphia

Black Hound Clay Studio

715 South 50th Street, West Philly

This West Philly ceramics spot offers multi-week classes with everything from beginner wheel throwing to special topics in hand building. (Registration for their 2022 winter classes just opened last week!) They also run one-day workshops in skills like making your own mug, funky planter, and luminary, offer kiln rentals, and can even host events that include all materials, tools, and personalized instructions from a professional teaching artist who will fire all of your projects.

The Clay Studio

137-139 North 2nd Street, Old City

The Clay Studio offers year-round hand building and wheel throwing classes, plus workshops for varying skill levels and ages. The nonprofit also hosts exhibitions of work from both national and international artists, and runs Claymobile, their mobile arts education program that brings pop-up ceramics studios into schools, community centers, and later-life facilities. (Note: Though they are almost ready to move into their new spot in Kensington, 2022 winter classes will be held at their Old City location.)

 

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The Expressive Hand

622 South 9th Street, Bella Vista

If you’re not ready to create pottery from scratch, not to worry. The Expressive Hand in Bella Vista allows you to paint pre-made pottery, fused glass, and mosaics — all supplies, stamps, and stencils included — so all you have to do is sit, relax, and let your creativity come to life. For a two-hour painting session, you’ll pay a $10 table fee, plus the cost of the item you’re painting (prices range from $10 to $65 per piece). Oh, and BYOB is allowed for outdoor seating!

Fleisher Art Memorial

719 Catharine Street, Bella Vista

Also in Bella Vista is Fleisher Art Memorial, whose mission is to make art accessible no matter your financial means or skill level. In addition to their numerous pottery sessions, they also offer a wide variety of other modalities, including painting, photography, and drawing for comic books. Fleisher also runs a handful of community programs like a free art lounge for teens and Art for the Ages, their initiative for lifelong arts engagement.

 

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Neighborhood Potters

2034 Fairmount Avenue, Fairmount

Owners Sandi Pierantozzi and Neil Patterson have been manipulating clay into beautiful pieces for years, and opened Neighborhood Potters in 2010 to share the love of the art with the Fairmount and surrounding communities. promote creativity, diversity, and sustainability when crafting pottery — every clay scrap is recycled. They run adult and youth pottery classes that include all materials, firings, instruction, and tools, plus a retail store open every Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

Outlaw Arts

20 East Mt. Airy Avenue, Mt. Airy

Founded by second-generation potter Cornelia Kietzman, Outlaw Arts in a shared clay studio in Mt. Airy. That means in order to take classes or workshops, you’ll need to complete a six-week training course that covers studio etiquette, clay basics, glazing, and surface decoration. They also run clay classes for children ages four through 14.

 

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Philly Art Center

Multiple locations

With locations in Queen Village, Fairmount, Mt. Airy, and Cherry Hill, Philly Art Center has been running art and music classes for adults and children since 2004. When it comes to ceramics, you can expect to learn the basics of hand building and wheel throwing in a multi-week course. Their fall sessions — which run into December — are currently full, but keep an eye on their Instagram for updates about registration for upcoming classes.

University City Arts League

4226 Spruce Street, University City

In the heart of UCity is University City Arts League, a nonprofit offering adult classes, after-school programs, and art day camps for students. Their 2022 winter listing is now live, and features hand and wheel sessions in the evenings, wheel-only on Sundays, and family and teen pottery on Saturdays.

 

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Yay Clay!

3237 Amber Street, Port Richmond

Opened in 2014, Yay Clay! hosts adult and youth clay classes, BYOB-friendly private events (with access to their free arcade room!), open studio, and kiln rentals. Here, you can also book, what they call, a Clay Date: A two-hour instructional wheel throwing class that includes all materials, firing costs, and choice of glaze color for $75 per person (two-person minimum).

Candle-Making Classes in Philadelphia

Loomen Labs

620 South 5th Street, Queen Village

Opened nearly two months ago, Loomen Labs is a create-your-own candle and seltzer bar with a zero-waste, eco-friendly mission — not only do they use natural, locally sourced wax and never use plastic, but they plant a tree for every reservation made. While you’re mixing scents and dying wax in a glass or concrete jar, you’ll be served drinks in beakers and measure with graduated cylinders and pipettes (hence the ‘lab’ part of their name!). According to co-owner Jordan Cook, Loomen’s most popular fragrances are Queen Village, Fishtown, and Bella Vista — all named for Philly neighborhoods, natch — and pair super well together.

 

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Lumière Candle Studio

830 South Street, Bella Vista

This Bella Vista candle-making spot allows you to select from over 100 in-house fragrances to create a custom scent and then hand-pour your candle for $20 to $30 depending on the size of the jar you pick. Lumière also offers BYO jar refills and DIY candle-making supplies so you can create your own at home whenever the flame calls your name.

Paddywax Candle Bar

1733 Chestnut Street, Center City

Paddywax Candle Bar is the perfect “pop-in” candle-pouring hub, as you don’t need a reservation to make your own. (Though, if you don’t want to worry about a potential wait, reservations are available!) $30 covers the pouring process, which typically takes 45 minutes to an hour. Plus, they have a coffee and espresso bar to give you that extra boost in energy before or after your session.

Wax + Wine

1034 Pine Street, Washington Square West

Wax + Wine was established by father-son duo Alan and Jordan Beletz to create a space for people to connect and be creative. Over the course of 75 minutes, you’ll have the opportunity to make two eight-ounce candles, hang with friends, and chat over your BYO wine and light bites. For the holidays, the Wax + Wine team recommends scent combos like cypress bayberry and balsam, and Christmas hearth and blood orange.

 

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Waxery

3400 J Street, Unit G04, Kensington

The Waxery in Kensington gives you the creative freedom to craft two eight-ounce candles with your choice of fragrances during a 90-minute session. They also encourage BYO wine and snacks, host private parties, and even hand-make their own candle containers.