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Our Farmhouse Pottery Wheel Workshop Experience

For Christmas, Josh got me such an amazing gift - a wheel workshop session for us both at Farmhouse Pottery. I've been so in love with this little special boutique for a few years, and their simple and clean aesthetic is something I really appreciate. On top of that, since everything is made in New England in one of my favorite Vermont towns, I especially love that I get to help support the business, which was started by a husband and wife team that felt passionate about creating beautiful pottery pieces.



I'm going to start by saying, if you're even just thinking about doing a wheel workshop at Farmhouse Pottery, just do it. It's not the most inexpensive thing you'll ever do, but you get to keep the pieces you make, share a great experience with someone, learn a few things about a new skill and also talk to true artisans. To me, it was more than worth it just for the experience alone.



So, that said, let's talk about what you can expect at your Farmhouse Pottery wheel workshop.

When you make your appointment, keep in mind that they only do workshops around 9a and 4p so you can plan your day accordingly. When you arrive at Farmhouse Pottery, you'll walk in to see the studio on your right, and the store on your left. One of my favorite things about the experience is how casual everything is. The studio is separated  from the rest of the store by glass, so you can see inside and watch the artisans at work. The door is also open, and they allow people to go inside. When you walk in, you'll just need to find someone to let them know you're there for your workshop, and they'll connect you with your artisan.

The workshop starts with walking you into the studio where you can put down your things, and then a tour where they explain the entire process of creating their pieces from start to finish. You'll get to see the kiln room and also their downstairs storage area, where hundreds of pieces are waiting on what seemed like endless shelving for their new owners. The building is an old bible binery, so there's a lot of history that goes with it, and it's all very interesting.

Once the tour is over, you'll begin playing with clay! For a 2-person workshop, you'll each take your turn at the same wheel separately, and you get enough clay to make one small cup, bowl or vase. Josh chose to make a mug with a thumb grip, and I honestly didn't know what I wanted to make, and it just kind of turned into a tiny cup with a spout. Your artisan will guide you through every step of the process and, let me just say, pottery creation is so much harder than it looks! Josh was way better at it than I was (I needed a lot of help), but it's also very relaxing. I kind of wish I could fine-tune my non-existent pottery skills and do it full time. At minimum, I'd love for it to be a hobby.




The whole process for you to create your piece is about 20 minutes. Once it's done, they'll carve your initials into the bottom of your piece, stamp on their signature laurel wreath design and take your pieces to the drying room to prep for the kiln. They take care of the kiln and glazing for you, of course, since it needs to dry for quite a bit beforehand.





After your workshop is over, definitely take some time to walk around the store if you didn't beforehand. It's small, but they have so many things to look at, including a section for imperfect pieces. I had my eye on a pie dish for about a year before coming to the store, and I found it at such a great price in this section, and the only imperfection was a tiny little blemish at the bottom. It also made me realize how much pride they take in their work by not selling anything for full price that's less than the absolute best.





You have the option to pick up the pieces you made about two weeks later, or have them shipped to you. Since we were just there for the weekend, we had our shipped, and they were wrapped incredibly well and arrived in one piece!





I'm just so happy to have done this with Josh. It was such a great way to start a wonderful day, and I encourage you to consider not just a weekend in Woodstock, but also a turn at the wheel. I don't think there's a chance you'll regret it.


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