Clay Club

Our friendly open sessions for budding potters of all ability levels. Hone your skills, try something new, and meet other local pot-heads...

Weekdays and Wednesday nights we open our doors to budding potters. From experienced potters who need space to work on their projects to beginners with a bit of knowledge who want to experiment with clay, all are welcome. This is an open access session, so feel free to use as much or as little of the time as you wish.

Clay club is not a taught session - however we will have a studio hand will be avaliable to answer any questions and offer guidance should you need it.

How does it work?

At Clay Club there are 2 starting points for your project:

You can either work on making something from scratch or select a pre-made pottery shape from our range in store.

  • Person hand-shaping a clay pot at ceramics studio Trylla Bristol

    Make a project from scrach

    By selecting to make from scratch you will need to start off by using RAW CLAY to make your project

    You can chose from 3 different clays to start your project. Ice white, gritty peach or terracotta earthenware clay - your choice.

    Then spend the session making whatever you like, focusing on the form of your project.

    In the same session you might have time to paint your piece with brightly coloured slips. We have a huge selection, with 20 different colours to chose from.

    Or if you would rather decorate them later, you can leave them with us to be fired and use another session to glaze your pieces.

  • A range of clay paints and glazes arranged on a table at ceramics studio Trylla Bristol

    Pottery Painting

    Choose a pre-fired bisque shape from our lovely selection to paint.

    For pottery painting we have a range of different shapes to select from, including things like mugs, plates and much more!

    You will have access to a HUGE selection (over 100) of underglaze paints, jazzy speciality glazes and transparent glaze topcoat to do this.


When is it?


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Session 1 starts at 12:00 and finishes at 14:30

Session 2 starts at 15:00 and finishes at 17:30



Wednesday evenings.

Session 3 starts at 18:00 and finishes at 20:30

Your Clay's timeline

This is where OPTION 1 starts from.

Make the clay into your desired form for your project. You can choose from Ice white, gritty peach or terracotta earthenware clay - your choice. There will be a small leaflet to help you with some of our top pottery tips, and also books about pottery available for you to look through. One of our studio assistants will help you get settled, and put you in the direction of anything you will need to build your perfect pots.

You may wish to add some colour to your clay work at this stage by using brightly coloured SLIP. Slip is made from watered down clay - which is why you can add it straight onto raw the clay, without firing it first! We have a large selection with over 20 different colours available to choose from.

Your work will need to be left with us for us to fire it so that it is a solid piece of pottery.

First we will dry it out for at least a week until all the water has evaporated completely from the clay, and then we will fire it for you in one of our kilns.

This is where OPTION 2 starts from.

Once you have a solid piece of pottery infront of you - whether that is one you have made yourself, or one one you have chosen from the pre-made shapes we have available - the next step will be to decorate it in your chosen design with underglaze paints.

Once you have completed your design you will want to add a shiny transparent topcoat glaze over the top.

If you run out of time or are not able to return to us we can glaze your work with a transparent topcoat glaze on your behalf at a cost of £5 (depending on the size and number of pieces)

Your work will then need to go through its final firing a to activate your glaze layer, and seal it in. This generally takes two or three weeks for your finished piece to be ready for collection from the studio.

Ways to decorate your work

There are a few different ways you can decorate ceramics. Some of them will require your work to be fired first.

Slip is actually made from watered down clay and so will need to be applied when your work is still wet and has not been fired yet.

Once you have painted your pieces with slip you will leave them with us to be fired solid.

Your slip will most likely need a transparent top coat of glaze applied to it if you would like your work to come out waterproof and shiny. Left unglazed slips will have a matte appearance - which can look kinda cool but wont be water safe!

Once your work has been bisque fired you might want to return to the studio to decorate your work with our brightly coloured underglaze paints. We have a selection of over 100 different underglaze shades to choose from - including some special effect ones!

Once you have completed your design, you will want to add a transparent topcoat to make it come out nice and shiny.

We are happy to add the transparent topcoat for you if you do not have time in your session or your design is not dry enough by the end of your time slot. Generally this costs around £5

Once your work has been fired to bisque you also have ability to paint it at home with acrylic paints to decorate it.

You will need to add a polymer varnish on the top of your design if you would like it to be sealed in - we sell this in store at Trylla as well as a selection of acrylic paints.

This option will mean your work is not water tight or safe for eating from.

Clay Club FAQs

Tickets are £20.00 per session. you will likely need 2 sessions to create a body of a few pieces of work.

Please make sure you read the cancellation policy before booking as tickets are not transferable to other dates!

We will ask for an additional £5 to cover the cost of firing your work at the end of the session should you wish to do so.

If you require us to place your work for you with a transparent topcoat we charge £5 for this service.

Each session you have the ability to do Clay work and Colour work, you will be let loose on all of the equipment to make whatever you like. You may use as much clay as you like.

At the end of the session you are free to store your work in the studio or leave it to dry out to be fired for you it takes us 2 weeks to complete the firing for you.

Glazed work sometimes gets put through slightly faster than 2 weeks as it doesn't need any drying time - if you have a deadline please speak to us about your timescale.

Clay work means working on creating projects from raw clay.

If you opt for clay work you will be provided with as much ice white, gritty peach or terracotta Earthenware clay as you like - your choice. You can then spend the session making whatever you like, focusing on the form of your project. We have all the tools you might need like cookie cutters, loop tools, rolling pins, slab guides, pottery knives, modelling tools, kidneys etc.

Once you have created your work and you might decide to paint it with decorating slips, or have it fired and return for another session to decorate your pots using all of our glaze paints. You will have access to a HUGE selection of colours including decorating slips, underglaze paints, jazzy speciality glazes and transparent topcoat to do this. As well as paintbrushes and lots of different sized sponges for application.

Yes you can do both in the session if you have the time within your 2.5 hour slot.

Feel free to also bring along snacks, drinks, or whatever you would like to enjoy while you make.

The studio has disposable aprons for you to use but we advise you bring along your own or just wear clothes you don't mind getting messy. We reccomend hanging up coats and bags on the back of your chair as the floor is always clay dusty - no matter how much we sweep it!

WARNING: Terracotta clay may stain white clothing. You have been warned!

We have portable ramps to cover the two small steps into the entrance of the shop and a third step up to the back of the shop. Please get in touch if you would like dimensions and gradients for these ramps. The basement ceramics studio is only accessible by stairs. However there is ample seating space on the ground floor.

If you are unable to use the stairs please let me know and we can arrange to move equipment up to the ground floor for you, or help you by transporting your work downstairs at the end of the session for firing on your behalf.

If you would rather work on the ground floor because of the low ceiling in the basement studio, this can also easily be accommodated.

We are happy to turn off our music for the hard of hearing.

The toilet is at the back of the ground floor. Unfortunatly it is fairly narrow - but we are happy to accompany you next door to the Steam Crane to use their accessible toilet should you prefer.

The pottery wheel is not a piece of equiptment we would advise for beginners. It is something that should really be used by people who have prior experience of using the wheel, or for us to teach you how to use it properly. If you have experience on the wheel and you would like to book it for a longer period of time privately. We do that! You can find more information on that HERE

As big as you like! However if your work is larger than a 20cm x 20cm box, we may ask you to donate a few extra pounds towards the firing costs for your piece.

If you would like to add a material that has not been bought in our studio and has been sourced elsewhere we require you to check with our head technician that we are able to fire it for you.

Anything that is brought from outside into our studio has not been tested with the materials or firing programs we use, and so we will need to test it first.

When your pieces go into the kiln they are surrounded by other peoples work that has been made at the studio. Work that they probably really care about, and so it is really important that we protect the safety of their work.

Experimentation is encouraged here at Trylla, but we also want to make sure that we don't damage our equipment or any of the pottery inside it!

Yes! We are more than happy for you to paint a pre-fired shape like a mug or plate - we even sell them in our shop and so you could turn up and purchase a piece from the variety of shapes we have available when you arrive.

You may also bring along your own Bisque bought elsewhere. However it must be earthenware bisque (not stoneware), and we take no responsibility for how your glazes react with any pottery that you bring along. Essentially anything that wasn't made in our studio with our materials has not been tested with our glazes, and so the outcome is only an estimation.

The short answer is no, as we need to protect the integrity of our equipment.

The glazes that we use the clay club are all designed to be used with the clays that we provide. Errors in how a glaze reacts when it is put onto a different clay are common, and so to avoid this from happening our glazes have all been tested on the clays that we provide to ensure that you get a good outcome from your class (... that is if the kiln gods are on your side).

When you bring along a mystery clay from a different studio that we haven't tested, we cannot guarantee how it will react with our materials. It may ruin your pieces - or create a problem in your firing which ruins other peoples pottery. And so for this reason we do not allow you to use clay club as a way of renting out our glazes.

It takes us two weeks to fire your work. We need to allow it to dry on the shelves for at least one week first before we can even consider firing it. Then we allow a week for us to get it through the kiln for you as we offer lots of different classes and have lots of different things to fire!

Please be patient with our technicians they work as fast as they can.

NOTE: an exception to this would be if you have made the walls of your work too thick. When your work is too thick it takes much longer to dry out than a week. We cannot put your work into the kiln when it is still wet as it will likely explode and ruin all the other pottery in close proximity to it. For this reason if your work has been made too thick, we will put it to the side and fire it when it seems dry enough.