Online Clay Sculpting Classes!

Week 2 of the Fall session is underway and we are having a blast!

New pottery students are making cups  and bowls, and we’re learning some basic hand sculpting next week. Stained glass students made sun catchers in week 1 and are diving into their personal projects this week. The drawing students just switched classrooms to work on easels for the rest of the class, as they continue to study perspective, portraiture and proportions.

We just added new clay hand sculpting classes (both online and in person) to the schedule. One session starts in October and the session after that starts after Thanksgiving in November. If you are interested in making some unique and personalized holiday gifts, or if you are interested in a safe and distanced hobby – join in one of these classes!

There is enough material covered in one class to keep you happily playing with clay all winter.

Fall Session is Coming up Quick!

September 8th: Online clay hand sculpting classes begin (View options here)

September 14th: In-person classes begin!

Adult & Teen Classes: Pottery, Clay Sculpting, Stained Glass, Drawing… Learn more!

Kids After School Classes (since they will need some NON-Screen time)… Learn more!

Monster Hunt 2020!

We are bringing a little light and laughter to downtown Manchester on August 22nd. We are releasing 100 small red clay monsters in downtown for the 8th year! This family-friendly outdoor hunt is open to anyone, but PLEASE keep only one Monster, even if you see more, so the joy can be shared by the most people possible. 

We hope that by spreading art around town, we can encourage people to slow down and find joy in searching their city for something special.  No purchase is necessary, but Monster-Seekers and Monster-Finders are encouraged to stay downtown to eat, to help fellow monster seekers, and to discover what our city has to offer. 

The hunt begins at 1PM and goes until they are all found – which is usually pretty quick! From 1PM-3PM Studio 550 is hosting a number of low-cost crafty outdoor activities. There will be a $1 Pottery Sale to benefit the Clay for Kids Fund, to-go art kits and more. 

There will be one colored monster which automatically wins the recipient a gift card towards a workshop at Studio 550. In the past this special one has been a white albino monster, but since Studio 550 just opened a Paint-Your-Own-Handmade-Pottery studio with a rainbow of colors available, they wanted to commemorate the occasion with a rainbow-colored monster! 

Monster Finders get the immediate reward of being able to keep the monster they find. Partnering business, such as the Dancing Lion and Bookery Manchester will also have something special for anyone with a monster in hand. Contact the individual business for specifics of their offering. Other partnerships will be announced on Studio 550’s social pages as they develop.  

Monsters will be concentrated in the heart of downtown, namely Elm Street between Bridge and Studio 550, but also in parks and side streets. All Monsters will be placed in public places with a lot of foot traffic and in locations that are easily visible to pedestrians. Typically, Monsters like to hide in places that people see every day, but normally do not have a reason to keep looking. A windowsill, the corner of a bench, or a flower planter are all places Monsters like to hide, but they could be anywhere.  Monsters LOVE public art.  

Summer Short Session Schedule Released!

After being open a month we are delighted to report that sanitizing every 2 hours is not that tedious anymore, we are used to wearing masks all the time, and some of the sanitation steps we’ve added actually make a lot of sense and we may continue them long term.

Anyway, the real reason for posting is because we are offering a short 5-week pottery wheel session starting July 27th, and a 4-week hand sculpting session with 5 different themed classes starting August 3rd. Most of the August hand sculpting classes will also be offered as an online course.

These are great options for anyone getting started with clay or anyone who wants to add hand sculpting to their clay skillset. It is shorter, so a little more affordable than a full 10-week class, but it is still jam packed with information and making time.

Browse the in-person clay schedule here.

Reserve a spot in one of the in-person clay classes here.

Reserve a spot in the online sculpting options here.


Welcome Back, Studio Friends!

As of June 22nd, we are open again for summer classes, camps, workshops, studio member visits! Any other visits are by appointment. It has been so heartwarming to see students back in the studio!

Generally, our hours will be 12-8PM on M, T, Th, F, and Saturday 3-8PM, but we will open earlier on Saturday if there are registrants in the workshops. Workshops will be offered throughout the week online and in-person.

We are offering 4 different themed online clay-at-home classes in July/August. Check out the options here.


Online Clay Classes

As parts of the state’s economy open back up, we are holding to our June date. Obviously we have little control over that, as it depends on community health and government regulation.  We have many folks in our community or in our homes who are elderly or at-risk, so we are offering two different hand-building online clay classes so that no one feels rushed to return to the community studio. They start next week. Click on the link below for details.

1️⃣Pots of Purpose: For Sipping, Scooping, and Serving
2️⃣ For the Love of Flowers & Plants: Vases and planters traditional and unique

Beginner-Intermediate. Materials kits available if you are new. Each week includes 1.5hrs making-together time, with images to inspire, demonstrations, and optional office hours if you need them!

Open limited hours for curbside pick up starting 4/17/20

We will be open 12-2 on Fridays and Saturdays for curbside service starting 4/17/2020! All purchases should be made IN ADVANCE through our online shop so we can get your order ready for a quick pick up. On good weather days we will roll a cart out front for hands-free service, or you can call when you get here and someone will bring your order to you.

Order online:

The open times can be used for:
✔️Drop off of unfired work students/members have made at home, BUT we will only fire work made with clay bought here. On good weather days we will just roll a cart outside for you!
✔️pick up of clay, tools, underglaze colors, etc.
✔️pick up of any Take & Make Project Packs
✔️pick up of workshop pottery made before March 7th
✔️pick up any of our curated limited edition handmade gift bundles

See you soon! Stay Healthy. Stay Happy.

UPDATED 3/27/20: As per the governor’s orders for a shut down of “non-essential” businesses, we are cancelling Spring classes and closing temporarily until June 8th. Our hope is to begin offering classes and weekend workshops then. The Summer Session of classes begins June 22nd.

We were going to try and hold out to give everyone a chance to stop in, get clay and finish up final pots, but it doesn’t look like we can do that. We are cancelling classes for the remainder of the week and will also only be open limited hours. The hours for the next few weeks are:

Tuesday 3/17: Closing at 3:15PM
Wednesday 3/18: 1-3PM
Thursday 3/19: CLOSED
Friday 3/20: CLOSED
Saturday 3/21: 11-4PM
March 22-April 5th: CLOSED

You can glaze any remaining work, pick up clay and clay tools, or trim final pots on Saturday. Alternatively, you can err on the side of caution and wait until we open up again. Any memberships will be extended by the period of time we will be closed and we will be flexible with any make ups that need to happen to finish up your work.

Please stay posted on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

A Happy Place. A Safe Place.

These are troubled times.

In times like these, where isolation is the cure and mass hysteria is at large, it is important to have a happy place to be. Just as important, it is important to have a safe place to be.

As a result, we are upping all efforts to keep the studio clean and safe for all users. We are hoping to stay open, but will only do so if it remains safe for the workers and all our studio friends. If you are feeling sick or have been in contact with anyone who has recently traveled, please stay home! With all these additional precautions (on top of all existing silica dust precautions), we are keeping the studio as safe and clean as we reasonably can, given that it is a community studio and a shared space.

Some of the precautions we are taking include the following:

1) Daily, often many times a day, wiping down door handles, light switches and common surfaces with disinfectant
2) Encouraging all users of the studio to wash their hands with soap right when they enter and before they exit
3) Providing hand sanitizer
4) Soaking common tools (ie. pottery sponges and throwing tools) in a sanitizing bath between users
5) Mixing in a small amount of bleach into the final rinse buckets in the clay studio
6) Opening outside doors and turning the HVAC fan on, weather allowing, to encourage clean air flow
7) Proving a lenient make-up schedule for any students or members, in case they get sick

We encourage you to make decisions that are right for you. Even if we close temporarily, we will be here when this all passes.

If you are looking for something to do to take your mind off the hysteria, the spring class session begins the week of April 6th! We still have space in many of our pottery, stained glass, watercolors and drawing classes. Acrylic Painting is off for the session. Learn more:

See you in the studio, Friends. Stay Safe and Stay Healthy Out There.

Kick off 2020 with some YOU time.

Everyone can be creative! Sometimes you just need to give yourself time to do it.

The Winter Session of classes begins the week of January 13th. We will be offering pottery (10-wk), acrylic painting (8-wk), drawing (6-wk), and stained glass (10-wk) classes for the winter session!

Jump on in to a class, try it out in a 1 day workshop, learn something new, have a little bit o’ fun, and then create something handmade while you’re at it!

Browse classes & workshops and sign up here: