At Monkeytown Pottery students have class as well as free lab time. Students also have the opportunity to participate in student sales, an Empty Bowls fundraiser, and of course, when we can think of a reason to celebrate, we do!
We like to have fun at Monkeytown Pottery but teaching and learning are our first priority. When I plan each session I do so thinking of our goal, for example, teapots. Then I plan projects that lead up to that goal. Some examples of what we will cover are: Vases and form, forms with different lids, and candle stick holders and collaring. I find that students learn best when there is structure to the class and goals set in place.
Over the years I have come up with a language and steps to throwing post on the wheel. In class we go over these steps often, as I find that repetition of words that define the steps bring about a quicker learning process. Consequently, this leads to nicer and better quality pots.
Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced student, there are always something more to learn or review. Sometimes there is a new and exciting technique in altering, surface design or glazing that will benefits students of all experience.
Come join us whatever level you are at, whether a beginner, or haven’t had your hands in clay for a while, or even if you have a wheel at home. Our classes have something to offer you.
What do I teach?
I teach everything from wedging, centering, and throwing pots. I also teach carving, altering, making lids, working with oxides and slips to the final glaze process.
How do I teach?
I’m a project-oriented teacher. I demonstrate the project and talk through the steps all while keeping a close eye on the students. I help them tackle any problem, remind them about the process and guide each student to complete the form.
Why I teach?
I have always been a natural teacher. In high school and college art classes I always helped others learn after I’d finished my own work. I teach because I love it. When my students accomplish something big or small, I feel as if I have accomplished something great as well.
I studied art at Northern Virginia Community College and James Madison University. Originally, I was working on my teaching certificate so I have under my belt many art education and education classes. My studies, in addition to education, was two-dimensional art taking drawing, design, painting, and art history. After I took my first ceramics class, I switched gears and graduated from James Madison University with a B.S. in Fine Art.
After university, I apprenticed with potter, Scott Supraner of Hawksbill Pottery. I had the opportunity to work at a civic center in Georgia helping students during lab times. Here I was able to meet new ceramics teachers learn additional techniques from them.
When we returned to Virginia in 2000, I started Amy O’ Pottery. In 2001 we moved to buy family property in Loudoun County, an old general store called Freeman’s once owned and operated by my great grandfather who had a zoo with monkeys on the property. I renamed my business Monkeytown Pottery after being told that our village, Bloomfield, was actually called Monkeytown long ago.
Freeman’s store is now my studio and that’s where I now teach classes.