Stressed? Throw a pot, Kennett clay studio owner says

Rich SchwartzmanBusiness, Headlines


Laurie Williams works the wheel at Centered Clay Studio on Ways Lane in Kennett Square. Photo by Rich Schwartzman

KENNETT SQUARE — Creating pottery is an ancient and functional art, sometimes referred to as throwing clay, throwing pots and throwing on the wheel.

It’s also a great way to de-stress, said Debby Wyatt, owner of Centered Clay Studio in Kennett Square.

“Throwing pots or working with clay are proven methods of relaxation, especially the wheel, its rotation and the spinning,” Wyatt said. “Your hands are busy. You’re touching earth and water. For me, it takes the stress right out of my brain, and I see that here a lot.

“Whether someone is working on the wheel or whether they’re working on the table, just being immersed in clay your hands are completely busy. You get very focused on where you are. I watch people come in at 6 o’clock. You can feel the stress on them from work. By 7 o’clock it’s lower and by 9 it’s gone,” Wyatt said.

One of her students, overhearing the conversation interjected that it’s a great way to disconnect: “My hands are so dirty I can’t even pick up my phone.”

Wyatt added that it’s a “great way for people to connect with their creative side and let go a lot of stress.”

And to center the clay properly, the potter has to be centered.

“That’s why we’re called Centered Clay Studio,” Wyatt added. “That’s my play on the word because it’s very true. If you can put all that other stuff out of your mind and just focus on getting the clay centered, it gives you a break from all that stress because you’re focusing on all the steps you need to take in order to get that clay to open. Then, your mind and body just form what’s happening on the wheel.”

pot throwing clay

One thing that will help potters disconnect from the outside world is that your hands are too messy to pick up a phone. Photo by Rich Schwartzman.

Clay classes

The studio is a classroom. Wyatt conducts eight-week classes and a variety of workshops geared for a broad range of age groups and skill levels from the beginner level on up.


She said beginners learn how to center the clay on the wheel to make bowls and cups.

“That’s generally what you make during the first session. It’s really that art form of working on the potter’s wheel. But then we have Basic Wheel and Beyond, which is also an eight-week class. With that, we’ll use clay in slabs that look like sheets of clay.” Those sheets are used to make things such as berry baskets, she added.

“I want people to know that we offer classes tailored for teens and adults at all levels. We offer a way for someone to start working in an art form, and try something new, someone who knows nothing about [making pottery]. They never took it in school. They just think it looks cool and they have an appreciation for pottery, whether you’re a teenager who needs a new outlet or if you’re recently retired” she said.

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The eight-week classes cost $350. They include three hours of instruction per week and the workshops, two to three hours of additional practice time per week, and clay. Workshops have different costs depending on the workshop.

Wyatt opened her studio in September of 2022. It’s at 67 Ways Lane across from the Italian American Club in Kennett Square. The building is the original building used by the Italian American Club and, Wyatt said, the basement was a speakeasy during prohibition.

The studio is open every day with a varied schedule of when classes are offered.

For more information about the studio and its classes and workshops, go here  or contact Wyatt at [email protected] or 717-860-1507.

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