Ongoing, Multi-Week Workshops

Ceramic Sculpture: Expressive Vessels, Forms, and Environments

Wednesdays or Thursdays starting September 12 or 13, and October 31 or November 1 (six-week course)
10 am–1 pm (plus optional studio time 1–5 pm)

Create unique vessels and sculptures for your home or garden in this six-week course. Sessions will introduce new techniques, projects, and concepts inspired by Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism and installations in the Sculpture Park.

Workshop includes:

  • Three weekly hours of demonstration and instruction in developing ceramic sculpture techniques and meeting technical challenges from 10 am–1 pm.
  • Four weekly hours of optional open studio time for participants to focus on building their projects and receiving additional support from the instructor from 1–5 pm.
  • Individual guidance with personally-designed projects.
  • Introduction to working artists and new winter and spring art installations in deCordova's 30-acre Sculpture Park and indoor galleries for inspiration.
  • Discussion of relevant art and ceramics history and concepts.
  • Related presentations on ceramic art and spatial design, color, and painterly techniques in ceramics, and alternative approaches and concepts to ceramics and ceramic "art" in the environment.
  • Discussion of the siting and context for outdoor ceramic work.

No experience necessary. For ages 16+.

Six-week courses: $355 for members, $415 for nonmembers (plus firing and materials fee based on usage)


Wednesday Workshops (Six Weeks)
Wednesdays, September 12–October 17


Thursday Workshops (Six Weeks)
Thursdays, September 13–October 18




Wednesday Workshops (Six Weeks)
Wednesdays, October 31–December 12


Thursday Workshops (Six Weeks)
Thursdays, November 1–December 13



Family Clay Saturdays: Parent-Child Ceramic Series (NEW!)

Saturdays, October 13–November 3 (four-week course)
10 am–12 pm 
Get your hands dirty and join us for a 4-session family clay workshop. Work side by side with your child(ren) to create two projects, a hanging mobile and a seasonal spirit house. Learn basic hand-building and glazing techniques and stimulate creative ideas in a fun-filled, collaborative environment for both age groups.
For ages 6–9 with adult.


One-Time Workshops

“The Sweetest Day” Date Night Clay Workshop

Saturday, October 20, 5–7:30 pm

Similar to Valentine’s Day but in October, The Sweetest Day is a celebration of love. Grab your spouse, partner, or friend for a ceramic sculpture project for pairs.

Workshop includes:

  • Instruction and assistance in building and decorating a unique collaborative artwork
  • All tools, materials, and firing
  • Refreshments

All levels are welcome. No ceramic experience is necessary.

Although clay will not permanently stain garments, participants are encouraged to wear protective garment or casual clothes.

For ages 21+



Holiday Ornament Clay Sculpture Workshop 

Saturday, December 8, 10 am–12:30 pm

Create a clay ornament of your own design inspired by winter at deCordova!

All levels welcome. Great fun for individuals or multiple family members. No experience necessary.

For ages 10+.  Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Workshop includes:

  • Instruction and assistance for all ages and experience levels in building and decorating a unique holiday ornament or object
  • All tools, materials, and firing
  • Holiday refreshments



About the Instructor

Resident artist Bruce Barry is a studio arts graduate from Bates College with advanced coursework in ceramics, etching, drawing, and painting. Barry’s teaching style encourages individual experimentation and personal growth and exposes students to contemporary art and ceramics practice. His work consists of organic, vessel-like ceramic pieces with painted-on writings declared as journal entries.

A finalist for the Massachusetts Cultural Council Crafts Grant in 2007, Barry has taught at deCordova since 1997. Bruce Barry is represented by Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MA and Elaine Baker Gallery, Boca Raton, FL.

Barry leads workshop participants in the development of hand-built sculptural works for architectural and natural environments. Along with deCordova’s emphasis on sculpture, our ceramic workshops focus on the sculptural possibilities of clay inspired by the ever-changing works in the Museum galleries and 30-acre Sculpture Park.