Who We Are
The ClayGround Studio & Gallery is a combination art studio and retail gallery located in Old Ellicott City, MD. Our studio offers instruction in wheel throwing, hand-building pottery, polymer clay, mosaics and fused glass.
Classes are held daily, throughout the day, and evening
and are BYOB
Our gallery features a wide selection of one-of-a-kind functional and exhibition quality artwork crafted by local artists.
Stop in and see us today…
Click here for our list of class offerings!
The ClayGround Studio and Gallery
Our Mission: to engage the enthusiasts in creative experiences through The ClayGround pottery classes in Ellicott City and other locations we are serving.
Presenting a combination of art studio and retail gallery, The Clay Ground offers cutting edge exhibitions focused on non-mainstream art and diversified culture, as well as an array of classes, community and a retail store.
Our Vision: No matter the hobby, The ClayGround has a great array of items for you to collect, build, and play with in your pottery classes in Maryland US.
Adorn your deck with the perfect decorative piece by picking a breathtaking piece of handcrafted artwork at this store. If you’re in the market for some new wall decor, be sure to clear some space for items like curtains and mirrors.
Brighten up your space with a piece of artwork made in The ClayGround pottery studio. Whether you need off-the-wall art supplies or something cool and crafty, chances are The ClayGround will have it.
Pottery Studio for All Ages
Painting at The ClayGround pottery studio is perfect for all ages and levels! – It’s fun, friendly, and affordable.
We have hundreds of fun & Functional pieces of pottery to display in our exhibitions. We always strive to bring something new and stock up with seasonal & holiday-themed pieces.
We invite you to come and enjoy the local atmosphere, whether you are looking for pottery classes in Baltimore or Ellicott City, Maryland. While spending quality time with friends, family, or just yourself, you will see how much fun – and rewarding – makes your own pottery can be!
If you’ve ever pushed your hands into a piece of wet clay, you’ll likely have a sense of the therapeutic properties of the material. The physicality of clay, and its vast potential for creativity, have attracted artists, artisans, and amateurs for centuries. Those practitioners have long lauded the restorative and meditative benefits of creating ceramics—and today, it’s a proven method for art therapy.
Hong Kong-based art psychotherapist Joshua K.M. Nan recently devised a study to measure the effects of clay art therapy (CAT) on adults with major depressive disorder (MDD). A potter himself, Nan had observed that his patients enjoyed working with clay, and recognized that “art therapy literature has documented very little on the therapeutic effects of pottery work, especially with more rigorous scientific methods of research.”
In 2016, he conducted the study alongside Rainbow T. H. Ho, a fellow professor at the University of Hong Kong. Their findings, published in theJournal of Affective Disorders in April 2017, suggest that creating objects out of clay can help adults with MDD to improve mood, decision-making, and motivation.
The World Health Organization projects that by 2030, depression will affect 350 million people and become the “leading cause of disability-adjusted illness in the world.” Yet individuals suffering from depression currently have little option but to take antidepressants (which can cause negative side effects). Nan and Ho proposed CAT as a viable alternative treatment.
They hypothesized that CAT could alleviate elements of depression in adult outpatients with MDD and predicted that through engaging with clay, participants would “be able to improve their general health, holistic body-mind-spirit (BMS) well-being, and cognitive ability to articulate feelings,” Nan says.
The method is designed to actively engage depressed individuals both physically and mentally through a variety of exercises with clay, ranging from simple to progressively more complex projects. Through the process, the theory goes, adults can discover new ways to understand and express their thoughts and emotions.
For the study, Nan and Ho recruited 106 adults from mental health outpatient clinics in Hong Kong. Aged 18 to 60, the patients in this sample set had been diagnosed as having at least a mild form of depression.
The participants were split into two groups. Individuals in one group engaged in traditional visual arts and crafts with social workers or tutors; in the other group, they learned to create ceramic objects from trained art therapists who were experienced in working with clay. This latter group employed various ceramic techniques and processes like kneading, making pinch pots, glazing, and firing, and eventually graduated on to making small ceramic sculptures.
“These sculptures were associated with their significant life experiences, loved ones, or embodied inner self-representation,” Nan explains. “This exercise helps patients utilize various neurological functions, like visual judgment, sensory motor processes, and high level of cognitive functions.” These decisions and judgements could relate to a participant’s choice of color or the particular formal qualities given to an object.
Throughout the study, Nan notes, they used quantitative methods to measure various aspects of emotion regulation, like positive and negative mood, and interactions between cognition and emotion—all of which “are closely related to the conventional understanding of the signs and symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder.” They found that those who were taking CAT had lower levels of depression and improved “daily functioning, general mental health, and holistic BMS well-being.”
CAT, Nan found, activates patients’ “innate creative abilities” and transforms negative emotions (such as despair or despondency) into positive ones (like hope, surprise, satisfaction, and joy). What sets it apart from other forms of art therapy, he believes, is clay’s distinctive malleability and the physical exertion it requires.
“It is especially significant that CAT has shown effects on the abilities to arouse positive emotion in MDD individuals,” he continues, adding that these areas are particularly valuable given that depression prohibits the ability to generate positive emotions and memories.
He notes, however, that as with the consumption of antidepressants, art therapy and CAT must be practiced for a significant period of time before an individual can feel their effects.
But, in his estimation, the benefits of finding one’s artistic potential through clay can far outweigh the necessary commitment to the medium. “The experience of witnessing how clay transcends into a beautifully glazed ceramic art piece after firing,” Nan notes, “is parallel to the transformative process of discovering an artist’s identity after carrying a stigma of mental illness.”
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Joshua K.M. Nan is a psychologist and art therapy researcher. He is an art psychotherapist and assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong.
My husband and I took a few classes using the pottery wheel before all the damage from the flooding last July - while under previous management! We were planning on going to do the glazing - but the flood happened and we were not sure if and when it would re -open. We finally got back this weekend to learn our 4 pots were not there anymore - something happened to pots A through M between the old owner not re-opening and the new owner cleaning things up and re-opening the shop. I was not happy, but the pots were gone... After talking to the new owner Michael, I am sure the shop will be better than before in many ways! He cares about customer satisfaction and that everyone has a good experience (pot or no pot - lol). The dog is wonderful and we will be coming back for more classes, buy from local artists and pet the dog. Thank you Michael and Bree!
I just took a class on using the clay wheel. The verdict is now out. I loved it! The owner and staff are extremely nice and the instructor was excellent. I cannot wait to glacé and then see my finished piece. I signed up for two classes and I am sooo glad I did. I love I will have two pieces when done. Thank you staff for being so nice
My husband and I have taken both a pottery class and a fused glass class. We had an absolute blast!! Everyone there welcomes you with a smile and open arms. Their love for what they do and for the art is contagious. Whether you are interested in taking a class or simply looking for a unique hand made gift for someone special, visiting the Clayground is a must!