Workshops and Classes at Westwood Art Studio

I will always teach, it is part of who I am. I have been teaching ceramics in Seattle since 2005. Pottery classes are wonderful social setting to get inspired, experiment with new techniques, and expand your voice in clay. The process of forming and firing clay is transformative. We teach tools and techniques, so you can become confident in expressing your mind and achieving your goals. Absorb the experience at Westwood Art Studio.


 Workshops

Weekend Soda Firing - Saturday 10am - 6pm, Sunday 9am - 8pm: $250 - Email damiangrava@gmail.com to reserve your spot and make payment.

I began firing with soda in 2002 when I became a studio potter at Pottery Northwest in Seattle. I was immediately attracted to the process and the colors that formed on slips and clay bodies. I saw the kiln as a tool that could achieve similar effects as the wood kilns I fired in college. I began my research on high resist flashing slips based off Gail Nichols work and a slip recipe from fellow artist Tom Hoffman.  In 2005 I worked with Gail Nichols as her assistant during her first visit to Pottery Northwest from Australia. That short, intense experience blew open doors and clarified my path as an artist with a passion for science. Today I continue to push boundaries and test limits in soda fire ceramics with a desire to map the uncharted waters.  

  • 2019 SODAFIRE WORKSHOP DATES:

    • April 27-28

    • June 1-2

Workshop Details: Saturday 10am - 6pm; slide show, slip & glaze, load kiln. Sunday 9am - 8pm; fire kiln, discussions, forming demonstrations.  We unload Tuesday evening or an agreed date.

The kiln is a glazing tool.  Bring cone 10 bisque ware, use my flashing slips if you like, learn to fire a soda kiln!  I converted an old soft brick electric kiln into a propane fired downdraft soda kiln, and it continues to work beautifully!  The kiln is small, each participant will get roughly 1 cubic foot of work out of the kiln.  In this workshop you will learn: 

  • The history of soda firing including Gail Nichols crumble introduction method, which I practice.

  • How and why I came to developing the high resist flashing slips (for bisque ware) that you will have access to, and the scientific material discussion behind their success.

  • Approaching the kiln as a glazing tool instead of just a kiln.

  • How to build a Grava Upcycle Downdraft kiln of your own!

  • Soda Fire Participants:

    • Use any high fire (cone 10) clay you choose. They all work beautifully in their own right. I have slips that work for all clay bodies.

    • Line the inside of the pot with whatever cone 10 glaze you like, I have a few ash glazes and a slip glaze you are welcome to use when you're here.

    • Potentially fluid glazes should not be applied to the outside of pots, we will put a notable amount of soda in the kiln and most glazes will run off the pot. You are welcome to bring a small container of your own glaze for exterior accents if you like. small test tiles can be half dipped in a glaze and loaded.

    • Each participant should plan on roughly 1 cubic foot of stacking space, give or take. Mostly focus on small objects (cups, bottles, sugar bowls, bud vases, desert bowls, etc...) 4-6 inches high so we can have a variety of interactive pieces for the load. The kiln can accommodate a 4-6 inch diameter plate stack, and some 9-12 inch slim pieces, but they would need to work with the group.


One Time Sample Classes

Dates to be announced shortly!!!!!

  • Friday Date Night, 6:30-9:30pm - $50 per participant, age 21+. Grab a friend for Date Night! This is a one-night class for adults to have fun on the wheel. There will be a quick demonstration to get you started, and then the fun begins! All experience levels are welcome. Each person can take home up to 3 pieces, which we will glaze and fire when they are ready. E-mail damiangrava@gmail.com to reserve your spot and make payment.

  • Sunday Samplers, 10am- 1 pm - $50 per participant, age 6+. This is the opportunity to experience a day in the clay studio! Classes are structured to give you enough time make a pot and add some color. We will glaze & fire it for you to take it home within a few weeks. Kids age 6-13 must be accompanied by an adult who is also registered. E-mail damiangrava@gmail.com to reserve your spot and make payment.


Potential workshops in 2019:

We are currently installing a restroom for student use, classes will begin upon completion!!

  • 8 Week Wheel Throwing Class - Learn to make pots or refine what you have already learned in this 8 week wheel throwing class. All levels welcome.

  • Two weekend Building and Firing Workshop - Make a body of work the first weekend, then come back the following weekend to slip, glaze and fire in the soda kiln.

  • Eco friendly kiln building workshop - Learn to build an economic, easy to fire, Grava Green Kiln for your back yard! Walk away with the designs for a 9 cubic foot downdraft kiln that fires evenly to cone 10 in 12 hours using less than 30 gallons of propane!

  • Build it Big workshop - Learn coil and throw techniques and 2-3 part jar construction techniques.


Outside of Westwood Art Studio you can take class from me at Seward Park Clay Studio (Monday MorningMonday evenings & Tuesday mornings) where I have been an integral part of the community since 2007.  In 2009 I started a ceramic art studio in Redmond, WA called Redmond Clay Studio. The City of Redmond gave me a small space with 9 old Shimpo wheels, 2 small electric kilns, and a modest budget for equipment. From that I built a school where I offered clay classed for all ages, hired artists to teach, and curated art shows. A wonderful clay community grew in the city Microsoft calls home.  In 2017 I moved my studio and community building efforts to my bonafide Westwood Art Studio.  I am excited to be offering clay art opportunities to my home town community!!