Good Dirt Clay Studio

Located in Athens, Georgia, Good Dirt is a community clay studio with year-round pottery classes for adults and children and a gallery with a fine selection of work by professional artists.  If you have ever been interested in how pottery and ceramics are made, we hope you'll drop in and see us.  Our focus on community = something for everyone!

Summer Camps

Registration is now open for 2016 Summer Camps.  Camps begin the week of May 23rd and run for 12 consecutive weeks.  Good Dirt serves three age groups each week:  4-6 year olds, 7-10 year olds, and 11+.  Kids will create a variety of clay projects throughout the week of camp and their pieces will be fired in Good Dirt's kilns to create lasting keepsakes of their experience.  Please be sure to book well in advance since camps often fill up.  Please read the following policy statements -- these policies help us ensure that we can continue to bring you consistent, high-quality ceramic arts instruction.  Thank you!

PLEASE NOTE: CAMP DESCRIPTIONS AND REGISTRATION IS BELOW THE FOLLOWING POLICY INFORMATION; SCROLL DOWN TO ENROLL.

Payment 

When registering on-line please make sure the payment is complete.  If payment is not finalized, the registration does not go through and your child will not be on our class list.  After registration and payment is complete you will receive 2 emails- one from PayPal and one for the booking.  If you are ever unsure if payment was finalized, please email us and we can verify it for you.

Wait List  

If a camp is full and you would like to be on the wait list please email us.  Occasionally there are cancellations. 

Camp Cancellation Policy

Cancellations will be allowed up to two weeks prior to the start date of the camp.  Fees may be refunded, minus a $35 cancellation fee, or campers may receive credit for a camp later that summer (subject to availability).  Within two weeks of the camp start date, no refunds or credits will be issued.

Summer Camp / Youth Participation and Safety Policy
Good Dirt is an active and fully functional ceramics studio with hot kilns, pottery wheels, and electrical equipment in constant operation.  Because of the inherent hazards of working in the studio environment, I also understand that if my child cannot remain in the designated teaching areas and follow the verbal instructions of camp staff, he/she will not be invited to return for the remainder of camp, and no refund will be given.  NOTE: I am aware that my child’s registration is not assured until payment is received, and that spaces are allocated by date of receipt of payment.  
(Offline Registration Form If Paying By Check/Cash)

Pre-School   Camps:    Ages 4 – 6
9 am- 1 pm

All Preschool Camps -- $140 Tuition + $15 Material Fee (unless otherwise noted)

 

May 23 – May 27  Life Cycles   Kids will make sculptures inspired by the miraculous transformations of butterflies, frogs, jellyfish, and other creatures that undergo metamorphosis.    

May 31 – June 3    Little Monsters   Kids never cease to be fascinated by fantasy creatures, and the topic inspires much imaginative play and creativity.  Projects this week will tap that well as kids create monster sculptures, monster “habitats” and even monsters’ favorite foods. (4 DAY CAMP - Tuition:  $112 + Materials:  $15 = $127)

June 6 - 10   Platypuses, Armadillos, and Pangolins: Strange, but real, animals  There are some creatures in nature that seem too weird to be real, but we will learn about them this week and make them out of clay.

June 13 - 17    Dinosaurs   Set your time machine for the Cretaceous and get ready for some dino-themed clay fun.  We’ll sculpt our favorite prehistoric pals, make dinosaur trackways, and even make hatching dinosaur eggs.

June 20 – June 24    Out of this World   Outer space, both real and fictional, will be the theme for this week’s projects.  Campers will create clay spaceships, planets and meteors, aliens and even the man (or rabbit) in the moon.

June 27- July 1  Little Chefs   Kids often create clay sculptures of food the moment they are handed a piece of clay.  We will run with that creative impulse this week and make not only sculptures of favorite foods, but also create special dishes to contain them.

July 5 - 8   Garden Art   Kids will make art for the garden this week that not only beautifies, but also enhances the environment for critters.  Projects include toad houses, butterfly watering holes, and funky planters. (4 DAY CAMP - Tuition:  $112 + Materials:  $15 = $127)

July 11 - 15   Creative Coils   Young sculptors love to roll out long snakes (or worms, or sausages…) of clay.  Projects this week will allow kids to create a wide range of sculptural and functional objects built entirely from clay coils. 

July 18 – 22   Reptiles   Campers this week will tap into their natural fascination with all things scaly and slithery to create clay projects all about reptiles.  From box-turtle coin banks to chameleons and alligators, kids will learn a variety of clay forming techniques and a little bit about nature, too.

July 25 – 29   Sculpture with Function:  Artful Additions to Everyday Objects   Kids will take functional pottery forms like mugs and embellish them with sculptural additions like alligator-shaped handles.  This week will be a nice blend of pottery making and more free-form sculpture.

August 1- 5   Under the Sea   Campers’ art projects this week will be inspired by all of the fascinating and colorful creatures of the ocean.  Starfish bowls, seahorse mugs, and coral reef plates are just some of the fun projects in store.

August 8 - 12   Masks  Inspired by play and theater, projects this week will help transform your child into creatures of their imagination, as they don masks to emulate animals, figments of fantasy and perhaps even creations born from their own invention.

Youth Camps:  Ages 7 – 10
9 am- 1 pm

All Youth Camps -- $140 Tuition + Materials Fee (unless otherwise noted)

 

May 23 – May 27    From Turning to Burning (Fire and the Potter’s Wheel)  This week will allow students to explore both the potter’s wheel and handbuilding techniques.  The week will culminate in a dynamic outdoor Raku firing, where students will see their pots emerge red-hot from the kiln, be set ablaze in front of their eyes, and, after being doused with water, see vibrant colors and metallic surfaces appear before them .  

May 31 – June 3    On the wheel: Pottery for Your Pets!  This 4-day camp will focus on your 4-legged friends!  Some of the projects you’ll be making are food and water bowls, treat canisters and personalized nametags for your furry companions. (4 DAY CAMP - Tuition:  $112 + Materials:  $25 = $137)

June 6 - 10   Slithering Reptiles and Deadly Dinosaurs   Inspired by “Jurassic Park” and “The Good Dinosaur”, this week will be dedicated to all things reptilian and dino.  From sculptures of their favorite characters to mugs with spiked dinosaur handles, this camp is for the Jurassic-obsessed!

June 13 - 17    Things That Give You Goosebumps  Campers will have the chance to use the potter’s wheel and handbuilding techniques to create creepy crawly creatures and things that go bump in the night.  This week will provide a nice balance of learning new skills on the wheel and playful, creative assembly of parts into a sculptural whole. 

June 20 – June 24    Star Wars: Robots & Spaceships   Star Wars! Star Wars! Star Wars! Need we say more?

June 27- July 1  Comical Cartoons from the Movies   Using project ideas inspired by the hit movies of the year, such as “Despicable Me” and “Inside Out”,  campers will craft Minions to do their bidding and Bing Bong to keep their imaginations company, along with a host of other characters that have made us laugh throughout the year.  Functional work, such as mugs, toothbrush holders and luminaries, as well as sculptural pieces dedicated to their favorite characters, will be explored.

July 5 - 8   Inside/Outside   Inspired by the Pixar movie “Inside Out”, this week we will play with the notions of what is seen and what remains internal. We   will create a variety of lidded vessels and boxes this week using both coil and slab methods.  We will personalize our creations by decorating both the outside face that the world sees at first glance, and also the hidden interior.  A great week for exploring artistic themes of personal identity, public and private, inner thoughts and outer appearances, etc.  (4 DAY CAMP - Tuition:  $112 + Materials:  $25 = $137)

July 11 - 15   Garden Art   Campers will make art for the garden this week that not only beautifies, but also enhances the environment for critters.  Projects include toad houses, butterfly watering holes, garden gnomes to watch over your flowers, and funky planters.

July 18 - 22  Pottery on the Wheel: An Introduction   This week is dedicated to getting comfortable with the basics of throwing on the potter’s wheel.   Students will have the opportunity to master beginning skills such as centering, opening, pulling and shaping their work.  We will create functional pieces for them to use year-round such as mugs, bowls, vases and plates.  This is the perfect class for the budding potter!

 July 25 – 29  The Art of Nature Bringing the outside inside and appreciating the beauty of the world around us is the theme for this week of camp. Flower pockets for the wall, bird feeders and homes, flower bricks and more await the nature-loving camper.

August 1- 5   Triple-Decker Wheel Throwing  This class is all about going bigger, bigger, bigger!  By stacking wheel-thrown forms together, students are able to achieve work of dizzying heights.  This camp is perfect for the student who has mastered the basics of the wheel and wants to push themselves to creating larger scale work as well as being equally suited to those who are curious about throwing on the wheel and want to boast an impressive outcome.

August 8 - 12   Raku Week  American Raku is a firing process that creates exciting crackled and iridescent glaze surfaces by actively manipulating the cooling rate and atmosphere to which the pots are exposed.  In practical terms, that means that we get to pull red hot pots out of the kiln and place them in contact with leaves, sawdust, and other combustibles and then quench them rapidly in water.  We will make pieces both on and off the wheel that are designed to take advantage of the exciting surface qualities Raku firing can impart.

 

 

Teen Camps: Ages 11 – 18
9 am- 1 pm

All Teen Camps -- $140 Tuition + $25 Material Fee (unless otherwise noted)

 

May 23 – May 27    From Turning to Burning (Fire and the Potter’s Wheel)  This week will allow students to explore both the potter’s wheel and handbuilding techniques.  The week will culminate in a dynamic outdoor Raku firing, where students will see their pots emerge red-hot from the kiln, be set ablaze in front of their eyes, and, after being doused with water, see the vibrant colors and metallic surfaces that have painted their work appear before them.  

May 31 – June 3    Instrument-Making   Many musical instruments around the world are crafted out of clay.  This week, we will embark on an international journey of musical discovery as we make ocarinas, udu drums, rhythm shakers and whistles.  (4 DAY CAMP - Tuition:  $112 + Materials:  $25 = $137)

June 6 - 10   Raku   American Raku is a firing process that creates exciting crackled and iridescent glaze surfaces by actively manipulating the cooling rate and atmosphere to which the pots are exposed.  In practical terms, that means that we get to pull red hot pots out of the kiln and place them in contact with leaves, sawdust, and other combustibles and then quench them rapidly in water.  We will make pieces both on and off the wheel that are designed to take advantage of the exciting surface qualities Raku firing can impart.

June 13 - 17    Old Time String Band Music Camp  This week is designed for budding musicians of all ability levels to learn about traditional old time music.  We will learn a new tune each day by ear, explore both rhythm and melody playing, and learn how each instrument adds its own unique flavor to the mix.  Guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass, mandolin, ukulele and others welcome.  Campers need to provide their own instrument, and please let us know your instrument and ability level when registering.  An optional jam with outside members of the community will be held on Friday evening so that campers can meet new musical friends and apply what they’ve learned to a real live jam session. 

June 20 – June 24    The Potter’s Wheel: The Art of Sgraffito    The focus this week is on an ancient, and beautiful, surface decoration technique – sgraffito.  Sgraffito is Italian for “to scratch” and we will be scratching, or drawing, on clay, learning how to apply layers of color that we then draw through to reveal colored slips and the clay beneath. Campers this week will get on the potter’s wheel as well as build vessels with their hands as they create beautiful projects with this time-honored technique.

June 27- July 1  The Potter’s Wheel: Face Jugs & Folk Pots   Nothing is more iconic in the Southern Folk Tradition than the Face Jug.  This week is dedicated to learning about, and keeping alive, this historic tradition.  From the foothills of the Southern Appalachians to the mountains of North Carolina, the craft of pottery has been a cherished art, and one that has been lovingly passed down and entrusted to the next generation.  We hope to honor these artists by creating some of their most recognized forms and helping a new generation fall in love with the folk process.

July 5 - 8   Inside/Out(side)   Inspired by the Pixar movie “Inside Out”, this week we will play with the notions of what is seen and what remains internal. We will create a variety of lidded vessels and boxes this week using both coil and slab methods.  We will personalize our creations by decorating both the outside face that the world sees at first glance, and also the hidden interior.  A great week for exploring artistic themes of personal identity, public and private, inner thoughts and outer appearances, etc.  (4 DAY CAMP - Tuition:  $112 + Materials:  $25 = $137)

July 11 - 15   The Potter’s Wheel: Out of Round  Traditionally, when we think of pots thrown on the wheel, we think of cylinders and round pieces like mugs and vases and bowls.  This week is all about stretching what is possible.  We will take rounded objects and pull and distort and fold and cut them until we have geometric forms like star-shaped bowls, angular forms such as triangle vases, squared off forms, heart-shaped dishes and more.   

July 18 - 22  Supernatural Sculpture   Zombies, vampires, ghosts and witches will haunt our theme this week as we create life-like sculptures and otherworldly projects from beyond the veil.

July 25 – 29  Surreal Pottery: Inspired by Dali    By slowing down the wheels, throwing more loosely, and stacking/assembling pieces, we will create hybrid sculptural vessel forms with the sensibilities of a Salvador Dali painting, inspired by dreamscapes, distortion and seemingly unrelated visual elements.  Our pieces will be experimental and creative, and the emphasis of the class will be on freeing ourselves from expectations of symmetry and “perfection”. 

August 1- 5   African Pottery   The amazing diversity of handbuilt ceramic traditions from the African continent will inspire our creations this week.   We will pinch, coil, paddle, stamp, and apply colored slips to create our designs.  We are fortunate enough to be able to show a documentary filmed by UGA Archeology PhD candidate Joe Lanning detailing this dying art in Malawi and implement some of the techniques employed by traditional potters. We will even try our hands at traditional pit-firing methods on our last day to produce blackware and pieces with ‘fire clouds’ on their surfaces.   

August 8 - 12   Raku Pottery    American Raku is a firing process that creates exciting crackled and iridescent glaze surfaces by actively manipulating the cooling rate and atmosphere to which the pots are exposed.  In practical terms, that means that we get to pull red hot pots out of the kiln and place them in contact with leaves, sawdust, and other combustibles and then quench them rapidly in water.  We will make pieces both on and off the wheel that are designed to take advantage of the exciting surface qualities Raku firing can impart.