Pottery Wheel

Throwing Lessons 

Taking a wheel throwing lesson with Steve Gordon is more than just about pottery. Everyone leaves his lessons knowing a little bit more about life, love and having fun!

NOTE: If this is short notice (day you’d love a lesson/experience)
or it looks like we’re already booked, please call us at 406-260-1559 to see if there’s still room for you!

Come take a Pottery Lesson at Art Escape in Beautiful Whitefish, Montana

If you’ve never used a pottery wheel before, this just may be for you. During your 3-hour beginning pottery lesson, Steve patiently takes you through the basics of wheel throwing from beginning to end.  Along the way, you will learn distinctions that may very well change your life… and don’t be surprised if you bust out laughing at least once during your lesson.

Note: Our lessons can host up to four (4) people at a time. This is a really fun ‘date’ activity by the way! 

Learning to throw clay on the wheel is a huge first experience for most people who have a desire to see if they have the ‘ceramic gene.’ It’s something in your blood. You see someone throw a bowl on the wheel or have a friend who hand-builds funny birds for a living and you just can’t shake the desire to see what YOU can create with your own hands with clay.

You’ll start your ‘pottery experience’ by learning the proper steps required to throw any type of pot on a pottery wheel. You’ll learn the following:

  • Exploring clay: what makes it do the things it does.
  • Wedging: what it is, why it’s necessary and when it’s not.
  • How the pottery wheel works.
  • How to prepare your clay for the wheel.
  • How to prepare your body for working on the wheel, including proper posture.
  • How to center clay on the wheel.
  • Coning: what the heck is it and why is it necessary.
  • Compression: what happens if you don’t.
  • Opening the center of the piece.
  • Raising the sides while creating the walls of your piece.
  • Shaping your piece.
  • Finishing touches.
  • Maintaining and restoring integrity to your thrown piece.
  • Removing your piece from the wheel and preparing it for the next steps.

When you finish your pottery lesson, you will walk away with the experience and have a greater understanding of what it takes to be a potter! Since it takes several weeks to create a finished piece, you won’t walk away from the lesson except for an amazing experience. Think of it kinda like a voice lesson or a kayaking trip!

Tessia Lewis
Tessia Lewis
I went in to this lesson looking to relax and get a mental break. I had a week full of stress and medical issues, and just wanted to sit, get my hands dirty, and not worry about anything. The atmosphere when I arrived was immediately very chill and welcoming. Steve and I chatted for awhile, before he showed me his clay process, then gave me a demonstration on the wheel. After that, he gave me clay and let me practice on my own, giving helpful tips along the way, but also letting me just get in my own chill head-space. I left feeling way more relaxed and happy. Thanks, Steve and Elisabeth, for being part of boosting my mental health!!
April Webb
April Webb
We had a great time learning how a wheel works! Steve was informative and fun! Elizabeth was very nice and helpful too!
Sarah Reide
Sarah Reide
Great experience with focus on fun, not a beautiful masterpiece (and if this is your first time or first few times, that’s wonderful)! Steve kept us entertained with a mix of facts, stories, tips, upbeat music, and stretches during breaks. We even took a few Ghost-esque photos since this was a date night - will definitely cherish those. Booking online was easy peasy. Highly recommend if you’re looking to try something new.
Wyatt Thomas
Wyatt Thomas
Really fun and relaxing time
Naomi Johnson
Naomi Johnson
Soo much fun and a great experience! Learned so much! Will definitely be coming back!
Megan Bovis
Megan Bovis
I had a really great time learning pottery with Steve. He allowed me to learn in a fun and organic way that has me hopeful for what I can create in the future.
My wife and I, experienced ceramics folks, were looking for a place to continue our pursuit of clay expertise while in Whitefish, Montana when we discovered Art Escape. My wife really enjoyed her handbuilding time with Elizabeth as I did while throwing on the pottery wheel with Steve. The Studio setting was in a beautiful, peaceful wooded area outside Whitefish, and they both went out of their way to make us feel comfortable while offering assistance, clay, tools AND timely bisque firing, glazes and repeat firing as we pursued our passion. If you're looking for a great get-away creative opportunity in clay, Art Escape is the place.
Kimberly Bridwell
Kimberly Bridwell
Steve was so friendly and truly wanted this experience to be positive, full of self expression and fun. He gave me me plenty of encouragement, time to work and is exceedingly patient! His apprentice Aaron was also so friendly and helpful! Elizabeth (Steve’s other half) is wonderful- warm and hospitable! The experience at Art Escape is one I can highly recommend. It is an artistic experience, in a beautiful wooded setting.
Matt Farris
Matt Farris
Steve and Liz have provided an experience that you won’t get anywhere else and our time on the wheel was rewarding and insightful. Their hospitality is second to none and the space that they have crafted provides an intimate and meditative get-away.
Catherine Cooley
Catherine Cooley
I had my first pottery lesson today with Steve Gordon at the Art Escape and I loved it! He is very organized and teaches with a lot of warmth and humor. He has interesting, creative and helpful ways of explaining why and how to do things. I can tell that he loves teaching pottery. The studio is a pleasant, spacious and clean place to work/play. It was a really special and memorable experience!

NOTE: If this is short notice (day you’d love a lesson/experience) or it looks like we’re already booked, please call us at 406-260-1559 to see if there’s still room for you!

And if you would like to schedule a private lesson or book a different time for your group, please call us at 406-260-1559! We’ll find the perfect spot for you!

Pottery Lessons for Couples

  We’ll make it fun for you and your Sweetie-Num-Nums… 

Every master was once a disaster…

Come be a disaster! LOL

We provide a perfectly judgement free zone where you can feel free to be as much of a disaster as your little heart desires.

Make a mess! Do it again, We have zillions of towels and sponges and when the day is done, a fully stocked laundry room to wash all your clothes.

Come work on one of Steve's pieces!

We’re all learning all the time:

Here’s Haily learning how to detail one of Steve’s big wheel thrown pots. .

The stand-up pottery wheel is perfect for students who don’t want to sit all day…

This couple had a blast creating together. The studio was filled with laughter that day.

From our teachers to you…

Passing along life lessons that we’ve learned from our teachers.

It’s not like we’re some enlightened gurus, bestowing our gifts upon you, no.  But, we’ve both been blessed with amazing teachers during our many years of personal development.

We love nothing more than to pass along some of the wisdom and distinctions we’ve learned.

You will not just learn ceramics. You just may learn something that will be a complete surprise to you and change you to your very core.

Lighten Up!

If you’re the type of person that liked to get dirty as a kid, you’re going to love this. It feels great to have your hands back in the mud.

Take a Seat or Stand Up… Why do we have stand-up and sit-down pottery wheels?

If you’re like most people, the only way you’ve ever seen anyone throw pottery on a wheel is in the sitting down position. 

In reality, people lose themself in the mud in every conceivable position.

There’s no rules. Standing up works best for both of us. 

Learning to center clay on the pottery wheel.

Learning to center clay on the wheel is a lot like learning to be centered in life.

Sometimes when you’re new, just when you think you’ve got everything under control, the whole piece slides right off the wheel.  The best piece you’ve ever made can go South in an instant while a “mistake” turns out to be the best thing that could have ever happened. 

But don’t worry, no clay goes to waste around here.

We’ll recycle it and use it again.

Focus - Focus - Focus

If you’re like a lot of beginners, you’ll become mesmerized by the wheel.

The question is, what will you focus on? Whatever you stay focused on, you’ll create. 

Vacation plus pottery equals fun

So are you ready to play in the mud like a kid?

When you’re here, you’re on vacation. Let’s not take ourselves too seriously.

Learning to throw pottery on the wheel can be tons of fun, but first, you must be willing to leave your expectations along with your out-dated past outside.

A Trip to India: This was a peak experience for me, and I know it was for the kids as well.

One day just for fun, I posted on Facebook that I’d like to travel. I asked if anyone with a pottery studio outside of America would like to have me visit and maybe do a few classes.

The response I got from a studio in India looked interesting so I jumped on it.

A few weeks later, there I was, up to my elbows in mud, in the middle of India.