Pottery Classes In Singapore: A Beginner’s Guide


When I was doing my research for this article, I realized that there are only two places in Singapore where you can take pottery classes (loosely defined as throwing clay on a wheel to make pots), and they’re both at the same location.

One of them is “terra & ember” It’s not surprising though; because of its popularity, there isn’t much-required marketing for this class. It’s an open secret among pottery fans, and it’s been going strong for many years now.

In this guide I’ll be taking you through the history of the classes, what you can expect when you join a session, what sort of equipment is required and how much preparation is needed to attend a pottery lesson most effectively.

History Of Pottery Classes In Singapore

The first-ever pottery class in Singapore was opened by Siglap resident Henry Tay in 1958. Back then the classes were only open to children, and it took place at his home in Siglap where he used a small kiln to fire the pots that his students had made. Within two years it had become so popular that he bought a larger kiln, and his wife took over the classes while he opened an art shop in Katong.

He held classes there for 27 years, having converted some of the areas into pottery workshops. Then in 1984, he moved to Bukit Merah Central where he holds all of his classes until today.

The students he had taught over the years eventually formed a school of sorts which they called The Singapore Potters’ Society, and in 1981 they added a permanent gallery for exhibitions. After adding a second exhibition space in 1991, it was no longer deemed appropriate to call it society, so they changed their name to The Singapore Ceramics Centre.

You can read more about Henry Tay, his classes, and the Singapore Potters’ Society on their website (click here for the link). The next pottery class in Singapore was opened by ceramic artist Rajah Puria in 1986. This class is held at 475A Upper Bukit Timah Road which is where she has her studio. In my opinion, this class is still the more successful of the two. The facilities are more high-tech than Henry’s and she offers a wider variety of classes which include clay sculpture, stone carving on clay, and even glass blowing!

The popularity of her pottery classes has led to increasing demand for workers in the ceramics industry, so she was instrumental in the establishment of The Singapore Ceramic Society which helps to train pottery students in various aspects of ceramics. Rajah Puria has also won many awards for her work, including the Cultural Medallion in 2000. Read more about her history on her website here.

What Pottery Classes In Singapore Can Offer You

I know it’s hard to be taken seriously as an interest, but I am a fan of ceramics. Most people think of porcelain fixtures in the bathroom or kitchen when they hear the word ‘ceramics’, but if you’re interested in pottery classes you’ll know that there’s more to it than that.

I’ve had my interest for a while now and I’ve tried to learn as much as possible about the history of pottery and how to make my own. Since joining Henry’s classes, however, I really don’t think that there’s anything else that could offer me what they do. Whether you’re interested in having fun with your friends, learning some serious skills, or making pottery a career, these classes are the way to go.

Before I get into what you can expect when you join a pottery class in Singapore, let me tell you that the fun and meaningful experiences (no matter whether they’re for your job or not) don’t happen by accident. You need to prepare yourself before signing up for these classes.

What You Need To Do Before Pottery Classes In Singapore

I know I’ve made it sound so simple to go pottery-ing here, but there are several things you’ll need to do if you want to get the most out of your time at the pottery wheel. Most ceramics classes require some sort of ceramic knowledge, so it’s best to know a little about ceramics before you sign up. This will help you appreciate the things you’re learning later on.

The first thing you should do is think about what sort of pottery classes in Singapore you want to join. If your goal is to learn how to make big pots for plants or even to take them home as a souvenir, you’ll want to look at different classes than someone who wants to learn the basics of ceramics.

Learn about the history of art pottery and its main styles. Then go online and use a search engine like Google or Yahoo to find out which schools offer those types of classes in Singapore. Check out their websites, attend open house events, or even ask the school’s director what exact skills you’ll learn in their classes.

When you make your decision on which pottery class to join, register as soon as possible before the courses fill up. I know it may seem like short notice, but they do fill up fast! There are only around 10 to 15 spots available in a class, so you’ll want to sign up as soon as possible.

Once you’ve decided on your pottery class and registered, here are some things you’ll need to prepare before hitting the potter’s wheel: