A new pottery studio in Leyton is turning heads, writes Rachael King
Remember when you were a kid at the seaside, plunging your hands into wet sand and loving the feeling as you squelched it between your fingers? That tactile connection to the earth is what I love about working with clay and if you haven’t tried it yet, I really encourage you to do so.
The popularity of pottery in London is on the rise, with hundreds of people signing up for classes across the capital. Unfortunately, a lot of colleges are closing down their ceramics departments, so finding a class or studio that doesn’t have a long waiting list has been close to impossible – until now.
Turning Earth, which first opened in Hoxton four years ago, has just opened a second studio in a huge new space in Leyton. As a resident of Walthamstow, and an avid if somewhat amateur potter, I was very excited when I heard this studio was opening up just down the road from me, so I signed up for membership straight away.
The new studio is a fantastic space, set in a large warehouse with big windows letting in natural light. There’s plenty of space for hand-building, loads of wheels, a separate room for classes, and everything else you would expect a pottery studio to have. Plus, there are communal spaces where members can get to know each other over a cup of tea.
For me, the best thing is the flexibility – you pay a monthly membership fee and you can come and go as you please between 10am and 10pm, every day, up to a maximum of 15 hours a week. Whether you’re completely new to pottery, dabbling in your spare time (like me), or looking to turn your hobby into a profession, you will be well supported here. There’s always a mentor or technician around to help you, the community vibe means that fellow potters will always help if they can and there are plenty of classes available to help you get started or develop your skills.
Pottery is an opportunity to step outside of my normal life and do something different. I love the feel of clay in my hands, the making process helps me switch off from the day, and there’s nothing better than drinking from a cup you made yourself. Why not give it a try?
For more information on Turning Earth: