Skip Navigation

Pennsylvania’s Premier Craft School


Ceramics Workshops

2021 Workshop Season Update:

Touchstone is pleased to be able to offer a modified 2021 workshop season. Based on best practices related to Covid-19, workshops will run at a reduced capacity of 6 participants, all multi-occupancy lodging has been converted to single-occupancy, and mask and social distancing protocols will be strictly enforced. Our updated cancellation policy* can be found​​ HERE and our Covid-19 Policies and Procedures* can be found​​ HERE

*Subject to change.


NEW! Updated Artist Residency Program in 2021!

To learn more please CLICK HERE.

2021 Registration Is Now Open!

Register early, class size is limited, workshops will fill quickly.

APR 23-25 | 3-Day
MAY 28-30 | 3-Day
SEP 25-27 | 3-Day
OCT 22-24 | 3-Day

Community Wood Firings
Instructors: Meghan Burke & Daniel Tomcik

$230 Member | $260 Non-Member
$150 Stand-In Fee (required if not working your kiln shifts)
Includes Materials and Studio Fees

The Touchstone Center for Crafts wood kiln is a two-chamber noborigama, built by Kevin Crowe in 1991. The first chamber is wood only and the second chamber is wood/soda. Each chamber is roughly 35 cubic feet. Each participant is encouraged to bring 7 cubic feet per share. A variety of slips and glazes will be prepared, with the formulas available to participants upon request. Firing will begin after loading and continue for approximately 48 hours. We will work around the clock in shifts of 1-2 people. If you would like a share but are unable to work your shifts, an additional $150 ‘Stand-In Fee’ is required in order to have someone cover your shifts. All firings are led by Dan Tomcik, our studio and grounds manager, who is an accomplished ceramist and well versed in firing this kiln.
*For questions on how much work to bring, please contact Dan Tomcik directly (412) 773-2682 or

Meghan Burke is from Manasquan, a small beach town on the coast of New Jersey.  She graduated in 2015 from Saint Joseph's University with a Bachelors of Art and then traveled to several residencies across the U.S, including: Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, Byrdcliffe Arts Guild, and Elsewhere Studios. Meghan now resides and works in Pittsburgh. There she discovered Touchstone Center for Crafts and has worked there as an assistant in 2017 as well as the ceramics technician in 2018 and 19. She is an avid animal lover, nature enthusiast, and novice gardener. She started her ceramics career as a sculptor but has now found a love of functional pottery, using her passion of plants and flowers to inspire her hand pinched and coiled pottery.

Instagram: @meghanburkestudio 

Daniel Tomcik is a functional potter born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Daniel started working in clay at California University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his BFA with a concentration in ceramics under Richard Miecznikowski. While in college, Daniel worked at Standard Ceramic Supply Company as the lab tech intern from 2013-2015. He was a resident artist at Touchstone Center for Crafts in 2014 and also worked at Touchstone as a studio assistant in 2014 and 2015. Late 2015, Daniel moved to Baltimore, Maryland to study under Jim Dugan as the wood kiln assistant at Baltimore Clayworks, firing the Noborigama nearly every weekend. Summer 2016, Daniel was accepted to Watershed Ceramics as studio staff for the season. Upon returning to Pennsylvania, he moved to Touchstone to complete an intensive residency focusing on local clays and atmospheric, reduction firing and cooling. He currently lives in Pittsburgh and is also Touchstone’s Studio and Grounds Manager.

Instagram: @tomcikpots 

JUN 21-25 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Intuitive Handbuilding

Instructor: Melissa Weiss

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$100-$140 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

This Workshop Is Full


Come explore handbuilding techniques such as Kurinuki (carving pots from solid shapes of clay), coil, hump molds, and slabs. You will learn to transform your pots through the exploration of handles and feet. Surface decoration techniques such as carving, wax resist, washes, underglazes, and “drawing” with glaze will be covered. You will make a variety of functional forms such as lidded boxes, trays and platters with handles and feet, bowls, vases, and cups and leave with recipes and techniques for glazing and decorating your pots to make them exciting and truly yours. Work will be bisque fired at the end of the workshop.

Melissa is a full-time studio artist and mom, originally from NY. She received her BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Melissa currently resides in Asheville, NC where she runs South Side Studios, a studio housing over 20 artists in an 8000 square foot warehouse. Melissa makes functional high fired pots from clay she digs on her land in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Melissa has spent the last 12 years learning how to fire wood and gas fueled kilns. She makes all her own clay, glazes and slips and fires them in gas and wood fired reduction kilns to cone 10.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @melissaweisspottery

JUN 28-JUL 2 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Coils, Cuts, & Clay

Instructor: Julie Wiggins

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$125-$165 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

This Workshop Is Full

Sign Up for Waitlist


Explore the ins and outs of working with porcelain using the coil/pinch method and Mishima decoration for making pots on and off the wheel.  A variety of forms will be demonstrated including baskets, vases, and serving pieces. Julie will guide you through making molds, surface decoration techniques perfect for porcelain, and drawing exercises to help develop your creative voice. Leave with bisque fired pots, molds made during the workshop, and a better understanding of working in porcelain.

Julie is a full time studio potter living and working in Charlotte, NC. She holds a BFA in Ceramics from ECU and received an honorary degree from the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in China, where she focused her studies on traditional Eastern techniques. Her work has been shown in galleries across the country, including AKAR Gallery, Charlie Cummings Gallery, In Tandem Gallery, and Lark & Key. Julie’s work has been featured at the American Craft Council and is part of the permanent collection at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, as well as several national conferences and exhibitions, including NCECA. She has been the recipient of many awards and grants including, “2016 Skutt Ceramic Artist” and ASC’s Regional Artist and CSA grants. Julie has over a twenty years of experience as an educator.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @juliewigginspottery

mixing bowls

JUL 12-16 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
Resist It!
Instructor: Adrienne Eliades

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$110-$140 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

This Workshop Is Full

Sign Up for Waitlist

This hands-on workshop provides an introduction to surface decoration techniques and how to embrace vibrant color on clay work. We will practice stencil resist techniques with a variety of materials, including paper, tyvek and vinyl, to push surface design experimentation on wet clay and bisqueware. We will give special consideration to the 6 principles of design [balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm, and unity/variety] and how these visual tools can enhance the overall composition to create impactful imagery. Applying personal inspiration and imagery to promote idea development, we will work small and focus primarily on technique. The goal is to expand your surface decoration repertoire through different design solutions with each piece. The workshop includes bisque and glaze firings. Participants will leave with finished work.


Adrienne Eliades is a studio potter and educator living in Vancouver, Washington. She earned a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2008 and an MFA from University of Florida in 2016. Adrienne has been artist-in-residence at Ash Street Project in Portland, Oregon, Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark and the Bright Angle in Asheville, North Carolina. Her works and writing are featured in numerous publications including UPPERCASE Magazine, Craft in America, Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated. Ceramics Monthly named her an Emerging Artist in 2018. In addition to maintaining a vibrant studio practice, Adrienne is the HOT CLAY Program Coordinator for Idyllwild Arts Summer Program in Idyllwild, California and has presented over 20 workshops nationwide.


Instructor website:
Instagram: @bugaboo_eyes


Illustrative Clay: Form, Function, and Gumption

Instructor: Benjamin Lambert

All Levels (Ages 14-17)
$615 Non-Member
$75 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

In this week-long course, we will explore a variety of ways to make and assemble forms with processes including wheel throwing and hand-building. Through imagination, curiosity, and playful experimentation, we will learn ways to transform simple forms and surfaces into illustrative, and expressive pots and sculptures. Bring some images that you would like to reference for sculpting or drawing from, or you might prefer to use your imagination. We will talk about some strategies to come up with imagery and surface information.  Underglaze, and colored textured glazes will be used to jazz up your surface.

Benjamin is currently an assistant professor of Art at Baldwin Wallace University, in Berea, OH where he teaches ceramics and sculpture. Benjamin is from Greene, Maine. He received a B.F.A. with a concentration in ceramics from the University of Southern Maine in 2008.  In 2010, he worked as a summer staff member at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, in Newcastle, Maine, and he completed an MFA in Ceramics and Sculpture in 2015 at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA. Ben has presented workshops at institutions including Oxbow School of Art in Saugatuck, MI, the 2018 Michigan Mud Ceramics Conference, and Westminster College, S.L.C. UT.   He also exhibits his ceramic work nationally at invitational and juried shows.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @blam_ceramics



Murals in Clay: Remix

Instructor: Chuck Purviance

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$90-$120 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

Learn the ins and outs of creating murals in clay with large and small groups either in classrooms or your surrounding community. Over 5 days you will create your own individual mural as well as work together with the rest of the group learning to install a mural on Touchstone’s campus that was created the week prior by Teen Week students. Time permitting, Chuck will also guide you through a raku firing to make a low fire abstract mural as a group. Finished work will be glaze fired.

Chuck is an MFA candidate at Wichita State University, KS. Originally from Pittsburgh, Chuck connected with area school districts in Brockway, Pennsylvania working with k-12 students in ceramics with pottery, sculpture, and ceramic mural works. His community murals can be seen throughout central PA, Uniontown PA, and Wichita, KS.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @chuckpurviance


From The Source:
Working with Native Materials

Instructor: Nate Willever

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$90-$130 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

This Workshop Is Full
Sign Up for Waitlist

Take your work to the next level by using materials that could be right in your back yard! Utilizing local rocks, shales, clays and ashes, we will create surfaces that are rich from simple glaze and clay recipes. Spend time working on the wheel to make better pitchers, mugs, jars and bowls, and expose the charter of wild clays by cutting, faceting, and slipping your pots. Environmental educators from Powdermill Nature Reserve will be on hand to deepen your knowledge of the natural materials on Touchstone’s campus. At the end of the workshop, work will be glazed and fired in a cone 8 reduction firing.

Nathan’s functional pottery is made from local materials and has been featured in numerous national exhibitions and publications such as Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated and Clay Times. In 2019 he was selected to be a Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist. He holds a BFA in Ceramics from Maine College of Art, has taught workshops at institutions such as Ox-Bow School of Art and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and was selected by Haystack to be a guest artist at The Shigaraki Ceramic Culture Park in Shigaraki, Japan. Nathan was awarded The 2018 Sybille Zeldin Fellowship at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and in 2019 he was a Windgate Scholar at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts. Nathan is currently a long-term Resident at The Clay Studio.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @natewillever

AUG 9-13 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Human Figure: Heads & Hands

Instructor: Richard James

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$105-$145 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

Instead of tackling the figure holistically, join Richard in focusing on two of the most expressive aspects of the figure: the head and hand. By working on parts individually, you will attain a more intimate understating of each aspect of the body. The ability to rotate, inspect, and work on body parts, free from a standing sculpture, can lead to a greater understanding of each of these challenging aspects of the figure. Through demonstrations and discussions, you will gain anatomical understanding as well as aesthetic considerations. By the end of the workshop, you will leave with knowledge of all the correct proportions and elements of these human extremities, ready to be assembled into their own sculpture or to keep as a reference for future ceramic sculptures. Work created will be bisque fired.

Richard is currently an assistant professor of sculpture and ceramics at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. Prior to this, he held artist in resident positions at The Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT (2017-2019), Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (2016-2017) in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Zhenrutang (summer 2015) in Jingdezhen, China. Richard received his BFA from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 2001 and his MFA in ceramics from the University of Kansas in 2016, where a portion of his thesis work received the 2016 Sculpture Magazine Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award. He was the recipient of the James Renwick Alliance Chrysalis Award (2019) for emerging artist in contemporary craft as well as the Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist Award (2018). He has also written for Ceramics: Art and Perception, Ceramics: Technical and Ceramics Monthly. His work is featured in numerous private collections and has exhibited across the country, as well as China and Italy.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @richard_w_james

AUG 16-20 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Mold-Making & Slip-Casting
for the Studio Artist

Instructor: Sigrid Zahner

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$85-$115 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

Learn the rudiments of creating a plaster mold around a model, slip casting, and firing the slip cast piece. Making your own casting slip and ways of combining pieces into sculptural forms will be covered and attempted based on your skill level. This workshop does not include a firing. There will be an option to leave work to be fired at a later date for an extra fee.

Sigrid Zahner is Associate Professor of Design, Art and Performance at Purdue University where she is head of the Ceramics and Sculpture Programs and is the Coordinator for the Craft and Material Studies Program in Integrated Studio Arts. Her work has been shown internationally including in Japan, the UK and Denmark, and is in several permanent collections, including the Grimmerhaus Museum in Denmark, the International Ceramics Research Center in Guldagergaard, Denmark, the NAU Museum in Arizona and the Copia Museum in Napa. Sigrid has won multiple awards for her work and is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome where she had a residency in 2016. Sigrid has both had work in shows at NCECA and curated three shows for NCECA.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @siggyzahner

AUG 28-30 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)

Seductive Elegance: Carving

Instructor: Yoshi Fujii

Intermediate – Advanced  
$410 Member | $440 Non-Member
$40-$70 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

Gain a solid introduction to carving techniques and other surface embellishments using slip and wax. Yoshi will demonstrate using the potter’s wheel to create functional objects (simple cup & bowl forms), which will serve as a collection point for visual inspiration. Explore the elegant quality of porcelain and seductive beauty possible through hand-carved lines, patterns, motifs, and slip trailing to create visual and physical depth for tactile communication. Previous clay experience is required. Open to handbuilders or potters. You may choose to bring leather-hard pots or tiles and design references; grog-free clay is recommended. This workshop does not include firing. There will be an option to leave work to be fired at a later date for an extra fee.

Yoshi, from Fukuoka, Japan, earned a B.F.A. from University of Southern Mississippi and a M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He was a resident artist and instructor at Baltimore Clayworks in Maryland for 8 successful years until he accepted his teaching residency in U.A.E. in 2016. While Yoshi leads workshops and demonstrations at colleges and arts organizations including National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, his delicately carved functional and sculptural art pieces have been published, exhibited, and collected internationally.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @yoshifujiiceramics

SEP 4-5 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN)

The Bottomless Oval as
Functional Form & Canvas

Instructor: Kyle Houser

$300 Member | $330 Non-Member
$40-$70 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

Explore the oval form as a two-part, wheel-thrown shape in this workshop with artist Kyle Houser. In his work, Kyle uses the larger, somewhat flattened space of the oval form as a canvas for decoration. Learn how this specific form lends itself to a variety of functionalities including mugs, flower vases, and pitchers. A variety of surface decoration techniques including water abrasion, slip use, brushing glazes, and post glazing techniques will be covered. This workshop does not include a firing. There will be an option to leave work to be fired at a later date for an extra fee.

Kyle works full time as the Creative Director for the Pittsburgh Center for Arts & Media. His work is exhibited in galleries, museums, and festivals throughout the U.S and is included in private and public collections nationally. Kyle has been involved in arts and education for over 20 years, including teaching in public schools, private schools and internationally. Along with teaching, his experience includes arts management, gallery direction and curatorial work as well as curriculum and program development for higher education, public non-profits and residency programs like the School of Art within the Chautauqua Institution in western New York.

Instagram: @KHouser922

SEP 11-13 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)

Press Molds & Terra Sigillata

Instructor: Mark Arnold

All Levels
$410 Member | $440 Non-Member
$50-$80 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

Create press molds made of plaster to be used in combination with wheel thrown and handbuilt forms made from clay. Explore a variety of utilitarian forms from cups to vases, and discuss how to use carving, inlay, and terra sigillata as surface decoration to make each piece unique to you. This workshop does not include a firing. There will be an option to leave work to be fired at a later date for an extra fee.

Mark is a studio potter living and working in Elizabeth City, NC. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, received his B.F.A in ceramics from Edinboro University, and his M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville. Mark’s work is represented by multiple galleries around the country and was recently named one of Ceramics Monthly’s 2018 Emerging Artists.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @markarnold_ceramics

SEP 18-19 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN)

Making Functional Pottery

Instructor: Tim Sherman

$300 Member | $330 Non-Member
$40-$70 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

In this intensive two-day course, work to strengthen your functional pottery making techniques and take a deep look at how form and function work together to make successful pottery. Demonstrations will focus on: effective centering techniques, proper hand and body position, slip and surface decoration, trimming, and many other useful studio practices. Variations on cups, mugs, pitchers, bowls, plates, bottles, and other functional vessels will be the emphasis. This workshop does not include a firing. There will be an option to leave work to be fired at a later date for an extra fee.

Tim is a studio potter from Frederick, Md. He holds a B.S. in art and design from Towson University and currently exhibits his work in galleries across the United States. His work references both historical and modern wood firing techniques. The unique palate of colors and textures created during a long firing heavily influence Sherman’s forms and surfaces. Evidence of flame pattering and firing schedule play a huge part in the aesthetic of his work, while smooth glazes and ergonomic features add in functionality. Sherman single fires his work in a large anagama style kiln located next to his studio on his property.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @shermanceramics

SEP 25-27 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)

Face Facts: The Human Portrait Bust

Instructor: Kevin Rohde

All Levels
$410 Member | $440 Non-Member
$70-$100 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

Create a life-size human portrait bust using the solid building technique with expert guidance. With an emphasis on the expressive qualities of the face, you will learn about the anatomical structure of the head and develop techniques to accurately portray facial features. All stages of the building process will be covered. This workshop does not include a firing. There will be an option to leave work to be fired at a later date for an extra fee.

Kevin is a Sculptor and ceramist living in Baltimore, MD. He received his BA from Keystone College and his MFA from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Kevin has completed numerous residencies at art centers such as Northern Clay Center (MN), Baltimore Clayworks (MD), Tainan National University of the Arts (Taiwan), Red Lodge Clay Center (MT), and most recently Watershed center for the Ceramic Arts (ME). He maintains a rigorous studio practice, exhibiting internationally, and teaching workshops around the country. Kevin is currently the Artist and Education Associate at Baltimore Clayworks, and Adjunct Professor of Ceramics at Towson University in Towson, MD.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @kevinjrohde

Workshops are filled on a first-come-first-served basis. Many fill quickly. Please register at least 15 days ahead of the start of any workshop so that we can count you in! Touchstone makes the determination of whether a workshop will run 14 days in advance of all workshops’ scheduled start date, primarily based on the number of participants registered at that time. 

A processing fee of $15 will be added to 1-5 day workshops.

Nonrefundable COVID-19 Fee: A $10 (1- & 2-day workshops), $15 (3-day workshops), and $20 (5-day workshops) COVID-19 fee will be charged per participant, per workshop during the 2021 season to help offset the extraordinary additional and increased expenses to Touchstone for cleaning, sanitizing, PPE, disposables, and other costs directly related to ensuring health, safety, and social distancing requirements as outlined by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This fee is nonrefundable.

To view a full listing of the Terms and Conditions as part of your enrollment, download the 2021 Student Guide.

Touchstone Center for Crafts prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or association preference. Touchstone Center for Crafts also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to its facilities and programming.

Mission Statement: Touchstone Center for Crafts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance excellence in the arts and crafts by educating and encouraging individuals to develop technical skills, good design, and innovative expression.

Touchstone Center for Crafts stands in solidarity with the Black community and condemns all acts of racism, discrimination, and senseless violence. We firmly believe that everyone has a right to dignity, respect, and equality without fear. As an organization, we commit to listen and learn and to grow. We will continue to work to empower people to use art as a means of expression, a way to build community, and a powerful voice for change.

Touchstone Center for Crafts · 1049 Wharton Furnace Rd. · Farmington · PA 15437

Copyright © 2021 · Powered by ThriveHive