Explore your creative side and indulge in the soothing tactile pleasures of molding wet clay on your next vacation. You’ll leave the kiln feeling both blissed-out and handy, not to mention with a personalized craft to show off to your friends.
For travelers hoping to brush up on raku, the Japanese art of handmade pottery, British artist David Roberts shares his expertise with classes at Castello di Comano in Massa, Italy. For five days, students of all ages learn how to create their own earthenware (DavidRoberts-Ceramics.com; from $1,000 for five nights).
Pottery Courses by the Sea, in the village of Welcombe in North Devon, England, also teaches raku. But fledgling sculptors will have the added bonus of surveying the coastal shore while glazing and firing up the kiln (PotteryCoursesUK.co.uk; from $350 for two nights).
Elsewhere in Europe, Dragon Ceramic Studio in Vallabrix, Gard, France, exposes students to more unique forms of heating, including horsehair and smoke firing (DragonCeramic.com; from $480 for five nights).
Art enthusiasts heading to Peru may want pick up tips from Lucho Soler in the town of Ollantaytambo. A ceramics art star, Soler has shown his pieces all over the world (KBPeru.com; from $44 per session).
In the U.S., Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, has been teaching the art of clayware for more than 50 years and offers a variety of courses revolving around the throwing wheel, along with others on blacksmithing, weaving, and glass-blowing (Haystack-MTN.org; from $360 for two weeks).
Another northeastern school, Hudson Valley Pottery and Ceramics in Rhinebeck, N.Y., offers courses ranging from hour-long sessions to six-week courses. The school lacks accommodations, so you’ll have to find another place to stay in the Hudson Valley (HudsonValleyPottery.com; from $15 per session).
And in Carlsbad, Calif., at the Lynn Forbes School of Sculpture, students focus on molding the human form with live model classes ranging from anatomy to classical Greek studies ( from $245 for a 10-week course).