Ultimate Pottery Experience
25 June 2023
2.0 out of 5.0 stars
I love pottery and would really like to learn how to properly throw things on the wheel. So when Joice suggested we try out Token Studio’s “ultimate pottery experience”, I was so up for it!
Expecting a brilliant learning experience, we headed down to the studio at our booked time, for what was advertised as a 90 minute experience learning all about wheel throwing, customising, and painting pottery. The photos show a variety of items being created and we were very excited to try it out.
However, pretty early on it was evident that this was more of a cookie-cutter rinse and repeat type session rather than a custom experience. We were guided through creating one item on the pottery wheel, with very little learning of actual techniques and lots of banter from the teacher. It wasn’t a bad experience in and of itself, but it felt very samey and dry, and didn’t encompass any actual technique or theory learning.
After the first work was done, we were told to customise it by carving, shaping, adding clay, etc. There was no teaching for this part, no explaining or help, it was more of a “do whatever you want” kind of setup. This whole process took about 40 minutes maximum, and we weren’t allowed to create another piece or try out what we had just learned to make something we actually wanted to make. It was even pointed out that we only make one cylinder, no pots, bowls, vases, just a cylinder.
After customisation, they showed us where the glazes were and left us to it while preparing the next session. I’ve done pottery before, so was able to explain to other attendees how it all worked, though for the price of the session I’d have expected more hands-on help from the studio staff.
We also had to use a microwave to dry the pots in between paint layers, because they were not bisque fired and didn’t absorb the glaze, resulting in very wet and unstable pots.
Once we had finished painting, we had to purchase a “glazing ticket” for another £10 to have our work properly glazes and fired. If you do not purchase this add-on, you have to dry the pot at home and it won’t be waterproof or actually fired. Considering the experience itself costs £46 at full price (we got a small reduction through a voucher), the extra cost seems quite cheeky.
Despite taking our time painting our creations, we left just an hour after the start time of our session, so it is not a full 90 minute session as advertised. We had to wait two weeks for our creations to be fired, and this is when the next disappointment struck. My little bowl had a few cracks at the top, and the colours came out super pale and dull. I had used a combination of several of the brighter colours they had lined up, but they didn’t come out as expected at all and stayed extremely pale and barely distinguishable from each other instead. Joice’s pot came out mostly pink when she had also used several colours for hers and neither of the pots have the high shine, glassy finish that I’ve come to expect from glazed pottery. I suspect they didn’t actually glaze the pots, though we did pay for that service on top of the actual class.
Overall, I was quite disappointed with the experience. While I did get to make a small heart-shaped bowl, I had wanted to learn techniques and tricks for pottery throwing, and the bowl didn’t come out looking very nice at all either. Considering that, at full price, making, painting, and glazing a small pot would cost £56, I really can’t recommend this experience to anyone. It’s just too pricey for what it is and felt very rushed and formulaic with disappointing results.