Ceramics 101
6-Week Workshop

Instructor: Bob Davis, Froggy Mountain Pottery

February 6th through March 13th

at The Curious Forge Arts Center

(click here to visit thecuriousforge.org)

13024 Bitney Springs Rd
Nevada City, CA 95959

Ages: 17+

PUBLIC: $295.50 plus $35 materials = $330.50

MEMBER $247.50 plus $35 materials = $282.50

Pre-registration required.   Class is limited to 8

This new 18-hour workshop is for people who would like a broad understanding of how to work with the medium of clay. It is for people with no experience, as well as those who wish to gain a broader understanding of what makes clay such an amazing medium. We will be learning how to work on the potter's wheel, as well as hand-building. We will cover all the basics of embellishing your work, too. You will come away with a broad basic knowledge of the medium and have a blast making wares to take home. Come away with a focus on the direction you want to take next in your adventure of exploring the medium of clay.

"Bob Davis is an amazing ceramics teacher.  He is patient and comprehensive in his teaching, and his talent in almost all styles of work is astounding.  I highly recommend him as a teacher." —Sharon Robertson


Sunday February 6th

  • Introduction 15 minutes

  • Discussion of different types of clay

  • How to use a damp box- 15 minutes

  • Demonstration of centering on the wheel with a cup and a bowl, and altering form on the wheel- 15 +minutes

  • Talk about hand building with slabs/coils and extruder- 15 minutes

  • Work time- 2 hours with 15 minutes for cleanup.


Sunday February 20th

  • Discussion of working with slips and engobes- 15-30 minutes

  • Demonstration of making and attaching handles and trimming- 30 minutes

  • Work time 2 hours with 15 minutes for cleanup

    • Some folks may still be struggling with centering and making a form. Others will be trimming a bowl or applying a handle.




Sunday March 6th 

  • Discussion of understanding glazes and how to apply them. How to test for food safety. 15-30 minutes

  • Demonstration of how to use wax resist and why I hate it. Other types of masking. 15-30 minutes

  • Work time 2 hours with 15 minutes for cleanup.

    • Preparing work for bisque firing


Sunday February 13th

  • Discussion of techniques- 15 minutes

    • Stamping

    • Sprigging

    • Carving

    • Chattering

    • Steve’s Tool

  • Work time- 2 hours and 45 minutes with demos as needed with15 minutes for cleanup


Sunday February 27th

  • Discussion of underglaze versus overglaze decoration- 30 minutes

    • Underglazes

    • Oxides

    • Washes

    • Crayons

    • Pencils

    • Decals

  • Work time 2 hours 30 minutes (new forms) with 15 minutes for cleanup. Final prep for bisque fire


Sunday March 13th

  • Demonstration of glazing techniques 15- minutes

  • Review of what we learned 15 minutes to 1 hour- with demos as requested

  • Work time 1 hour for decorating/glazing with 15 minutes for cleanup

What Our Clients Say


Bob Davis, Artisan Potter and Sculptor

In 1970, I left home in the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue a career in art and enrolled in Fine Art at Long Beach State University in Southern California. I enrolled to study drawing/painting, but in my first semester I took a ceramics class, and that was it for me. I fell in love with clay and have not yet fallen out of love with it. Long Beach State was focused on functional stoneware pottery in the Japanese tradition.

I did not finish my four-year degree there but did find the love of my life, Susan. We were married in 1973 and I pursued a career in building, sailboats–actually, world-class yachts. At the same time, I produced pottery for sale through the California craft fair circuit, which I did for three years.

In 1976 we relocated back to the San Francisco Bay Area,  for me to finish my pursuit of a career in Art. I studied at San Jose State with David Middlebrook and Linda Rosenus, where the emphasis was ceramic sculpture. I put myself through graduate school working in the trades with the hard work, and help of my wife, Susan, and continued to create and sell functional ceramics.


Our first son was born in my last year in pursuit of an MFA in Sculpture, which I received in 1983.  At that point my family took priority, and I established a construction business that lasted 25+ amazing, wonderful years, in which Susan and I worked side-by-side. In 2011, we had to make the difficult decision to close the doors of our design/build firm, but this also opened up the opportunity to move to Nevada County, California, where we love living in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains and enjoy being part of the wonderful community, here.

I am finding my way reconnecting with my art and love of creating functional stoneware and porcelain pottery for others to use and enjoy.