Where to Take Pottery and Candle Making Classes in Philadelphia

Because nothing says self-care better than shaping clay or pouring wax.

These pottery and candle-making spots in Philadelphia are sure to bring an unexpected twist to self-care. / Photography by Ananda Connolly Photography courtesy of Black Hound Clay Studio (left) and John Michael courtesy of Wax + Wine (right).

If you’re looking for a new hobby or just want to pass the time in a fun way, you should consider a pottery or candle-making class. They both allow you to find a meditative rhythm, focus on the task at hand (literally), and expand your definition of self-care.

Fortunately, Philly has a number of DIY ceramics and candles for a few hours of “me time”, a night out with friends, or even a quirky date. Below is a list of places in town offering pottery and candle making classes. Bonus: most of them encourage BYOB so you can responsibly imbibe during the creative process.

Pottery Classes in Philadelphia

Black Dog Clay Studio

715 50th Street South, West Philadelphia

This West Philly ceramics spot offers multi-week classes with everything from beginner wheel throwing to special topics in hand building. (Registration for their Winter courses 2022 just opened last week!) They also run day-long workshops on skills such as making your own mug, funky planter and light fixture, offers oven rental, and can even organize events that include all the materials, tools, and personalized instruction from a professional teaching artist who will get all your projects off the ground.

The clay workshop

137-139 North 2nd Street, Old Town

The Clay Studio offers year-round hand-building and wheel-throwing Classes, as well as workshops for different skill levels and ages. The non-profit organization also hosts exhibitions of works by national and international artists, and organizes Claymobile, their mobile arts education program that introduces pop-up ceramic studios to schools, community centers and seniors’ facilities. (To note: Although they are almost ready to move into their new location in Kensington, Winter 2022 classes will be held at their Old Town location.)

The expressive hand

622 9th Street South, Bella Vista

If you’re not ready to create pottery from scratch, don’t worry. Bella Vista’s expressive hand lets you paint pre-made pottery, fused glass and mosaics – all supplies, pads and stencils are included – so all you have to do is sit back, relax and to let your creativity come to life. For a two-hour painting session, you’ll pay a table fee of $10, plus the cost of the item you’re painting (prices range from $10 to $65 per piece). Oh, and BYOB is allowed for outdoor seating!

Fleisher Art Memorial

719 Catharine Street, Bella Vista

Also in Bella Vista is the Fleisher Art Memorial, whose mission is to make art accessible, regardless of your financial means or skill level. In addition to their many pottery sessions, they also offer a wide variety of other modalities, including painting, photography, and drawing for comics. Fleisher also runs a handful of community programs like a free art fair for teens and Art for the Ages, their initiative for lifelong artistic engagement.

Neighborhood potters

2034 Fairmount Avenue, Fairmount

Owners Sandi Pierantozzi and Neil Patterson have been manipulating clay into beautiful pieces for years and opened Neighborhood Potters in 2010 to share the love of art with Fairmount and surrounding communities. promote creativity, diversity and sustainability when making pottery – every clay scrap is recycled. They lead adults and young people pottery class which includes all materials, firings, instructions, and tools, as well as a retail store open every Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

outlaw arts

20 East Mt. Airy Avenue, Mt. Airy

Founded by second-generation potter Cornelia Kietzman, Outlaw Arts out of a shared clay studio in Mt. Airy. This means that to attend classes or workshops you will need to complete a six week training course which covers studio etiquette, clay basics, glazing and surface decorating. They also organize clay classes for children from 4 to 14 years old.

Philadelphia Art Center

Multiple locations

With locations in Queen Village, Fairmount, Mt. Airy, and Cherry Hill, the Philly Art Center has been offering art and music classes for adults and children since 2004. When it comes to ceramics, you can expect to learn the basics of hand building and wheel throwing in a multi-week course. Their fall sessions – which run through December – are currently full, but keep an eye out for their Instagram for updates on registering for upcoming courses.

College Town Arts League

4226 Spruce Street, University City

At the heart of UCity is University City Arts League, a non-profit organization offering adult classes, after-school programs, and art day camps for students. Their Registration winter 2022 is now live and offers hand and wheel sessions in the evenings, wheel-only sessions on Sundays, and pottery for families and teens on Saturdays.

Yippee Clay!

3237 Amber Street, Port Richmond

Opened in 2014, Yay Clay! hosts adult and youth clay classes, private BYOB-friendly events (with access to their free arcade!), open studio, and oven rentals. Here you can also book, what they call, a clay date: A two-hour instructional wheel throwing course that includes all materials, firing costs and choice of glaze color for $75 per person (minimum of two people).

Candle Making Classes in Philadelphia

Loomen Laboratories

620 5th Street South, Queen Village

Opened nearly two months ago, Loomen Labs is a do-it-yourself candle and seltzer bar with a zero-waste and eco-friendly mission – not only do they use locally sourced natural wax and don’t never use plastic, but they plant a tree for every reservation made. While you’re mixing perfumes and dye wax in a glass or concrete jar, you’ll be served drinks in beakers and measured with graduated cylinders and pipettes (hence the “laboratory” part of their name !). According to co-owner Jordan Cook, Loomen’s most popular flavors are Queen Village, Fishtown, and Bella Vista — all named for neighborhoods in Philly, natch — and pair really well together.

Studio Candle Light

830 South Street, Bella Vista

This Bella Vista candle-making location lets you choose from over 100 homemade scents to create a custom scent, then hand pour your candle for $20 to $30 depending on the jar size you choose. Lumière also offers BYO jar refills and DIY candle making supplies so you can create your own at home whenever the flame calls.

Paddywax candle bar

1733 Chestnut Street, Downtown

The Paddywax Candle Bar is the perfect “pop-in” candle distribution center because you don’t need a reservation to make your own. (However, if you don’t want to worry about a possible wait, reservations are available!) $30 covers the pouring process, which typically takes 45 minutes to an hour. Plus, they have a coffee and espresso bar to give you an extra energy boost before or after your session.

Wax + Wine

1034 Pine Street, Washington Square West

Wax + Wine was created by father-son duo Alan and Jordan Beletz to create a space for people to connect and be creative. Over the course of 75 minutes, you’ll have the opportunity to make two eight-ounce candles, hang out with friends, and chat about your BYO wine and light snacks. For the holidays, the Wax + Wine team recommends scent combinations like cypress and balsam, and Christmas hearth and blood orange.


3400 J Street, Unit G04, Kensington

The Waxery in Kensington gives you the creative freedom to make two eight-ounce candles with your choice of scents in one 90-minute session. They also encourage BYO wine and snacks, host private parties, and even handcraft their own candle containers.

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