July 06, 2023

Creative Family Fun Potting and Ceramic Painting

As anyone with children in the family will know, we are always on the lookout for kid-friendly and family-friendly activities for them to do or to do with them during the holidays, after school and on the weekends. We search high and low for things that will keep our young ones busy, entertained and amused, educate them and teach them new skills and provide exercise and allow them to burn off some excess energy.

Fortunately, Qatar is an extremely family-oriented place to live, with abundant recreational pastimes to offer. There is a profusion of play parks, theme parks, adventure parks, aqua parks, trampoline parks, amusement parks, indoor play areas, entertainment and edutainment centres, gaming centres, performing arts classes, dance classes, sports clubs, kids gyms, swimming pools, ice skating arenas, bowling alleys, kids cinemas, interactive museums, farm parks, wildlife parks, zoos and family beaches; the list is seemingly endless.

As wonderful as the many active activities are, it's nice on occasion to engage our kids in more relaxing pursuits. Again, Qatar has a host of alternative activities that slow the pace but keep the fun levels high, from cooking and gardening classes, arts and crafts workshops, storytime sessions at the National Museum of Qatar and calligraphy workshops at the Museum of Islamic Art, relaxing on bean bags and reading books in the beautiful National Library of Qatar or Maktaba Children's Library to spa days and Build-A-Bear workshops. However, one of our favourite chilled activities, suitable for the whole family, has to be potting and ceramic painting.

Potting and Ceramic Painting with Kids

Image: Sunny City Kids

Potting and ceramic painting are fun, imaginative, focused pastimes, and, as with many arts and crafts activities, it allows kids and families to do something creative in a calm, relatively quiet environment that enables conversation and interaction on a different level than some more active pursuits allow. 

At the majority of pottery and ceramic painting studios, kids and adults can join workshops and classes to create their own clay work (hand building or on a throwing wheel) and glaze the final product or paint base ceramics already made and waiting to be decorated. Either way, modelling, potting and painting allow everyone to express themselves artistically in their own way - great for kids to build independent thought, develop fine motor skills and boost self-esteem. The final pieces, made or decorated, are fired in a kiln and usually ready to pick up a few days later, meaning everyone leaves the experience with something unique and individual to show for their endeavours.

If you fancy unleashing your's and your family's inner artists, there are several potting and ceramic painting studios in and around Doha.

Potting and Ceramic Painting Studios in Doha

The following studios offer a variety of arts and crafts style activities for families, including potting and ceramic painting:

MUD Pottery Studio

Image: Freepix

The MUD Pottery Studio is a delightful little studio on the first floor of The Gate Mall. Bright, light and decorated with soft, neutral colours, the studio has a very relaxing and calming vibe. Recessed shelving holds an array of professionally made pottery goods for sale (which can also be custom-designed), potting paraphernalia and ceramics waiting to be painted. Long wooden trestle tables for moulding, decorating and painting create a communal feel, as does the line of throwing wheels allowing would-be potters to share in their successes and disasters.

Weekly classes and workshops are available for beginner and advanced potters, kids, adults and families. Kids' classes include:

  • Pottery glazing and painting on pre-made ceramics, available at the studio (ages 5-14); 
  • Wheel throwing, using a potter's wheel to create a pottery piece from clay (ages 7 - 14);
  • Hand building, moulding clay by hand to create a pottery piece (ages 5-14), and;
  • Imprinting, using various techniques and tools to texturise and pattern a slab of clay which is then moulded into a mug before firing (ages 5 - 14).

Family classes also include pottery glazing, wheel throwing and hand-building sessions. Family classes offer creative fun to mixed age groups with kids generally aged between 3 - 14 years, but for wheel throwing, children must be aged 5+ years.

All pottery pieces created or decorated during sessions at the studio are fired and available for collection after three weeks.

Experienced instructors host all the classes, events and workshops.

To embark on some pottery adventures, check out the MUD's website and Instagram for information and booking or contact the studio directly to register for one of its courses.

Location: Mud Pottery StudioThe Gate Mall, West Bay, Doha

Nearest Metro: DECC Metro Station on the Red Line

Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 10 am - 10 pm; Friday, 2 pm - 10 pm

Costs: Kids ‘Paint and Play’ - glazing (1 hour): QAR 200 pp inc. ceramics x 2 / QAR 150 pp excl. ceramics

Kids ‘Playtime with Clay’ - throwing (1 hour): QAR 300 pp

Kids ‘Clay on Creative’ - hand building (1 hour): QAR 250 pp

Kids ‘Prick, Press and Print - imprinting (1 hour): QAR 350 pp

Family Glazing Class (1 hour): QAR 300 pp inc. ceramics x 2 / QAR 200 excl. ceramic

Family Pottery Class - wheel throwing (1½ hour): QAR 350 pp

Family Pottery Class - hand building (1 hour): QAR 250 pp

Contact: +974 3035 7801

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.mudpotterystudio.qa/

Instagram: @mudstudio.qa

Arts and Crafts Qatar

Image: Facebook - Arts & Crafts Qatar

Arts & Crafts Qatar is a certified art centre on the outskirts of Doha (certified by IWS Globe Art - a global network platform for art), which aims to help budding artists discover and enhance their talents, be that in painting, drawing, pottery, sculpture or other crafts. To that end, they run a host of fun and creative workshops and classes for all ages across various art mediums. 

Pottery classes for adults and kids are offered on a regular basis at the centre's Ceramics Studio. In addition, the studio also provides ceramic painting - with over 1,700 designs available, there are plenty of choices for the whole family! The venue also offers sketching, drawing and painting classes and special ad hoc craft workshops, such as calligraphy and Islamic art. 

While the class types are subject to change, the Arts & Crafts Centre generally offers separate pottery classes for kids and adults. Kids classes, at the time of writing, include:

  • A 'Fun with Clay' workshop for kids between 4 and 7 years;
  • Two 'Hand Building Pottery' sessions, one for 5 - 10-year-olds and one for 8 - 15-year-olds, and;
  • 'Wheel Throwing' classes across two Levels (Level 1 and 2) - Level 1 offers two classes, one for 5 - 10 years and one for 8 - 15 years; Level 2 provides a class for 10 - 15 years.

Pottery classes are generally held once or twice a week. Costs per class are dependent on age and activity. However, all classes are charged per session, though block booking classes work out cheaper. 

Ceramic painting is available seven days a week and is open to all ages.

Experienced instructors host all the classes, events and workshops.

So, if you and yours want to get creative, check out the Arts & Crafts social media for information or contact the centre and register for one of its courses.

Location: Arts and Crafts Qatar Villa No.4, Al Amal Street, Umm Salal Muhammad, Doha

Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 9 am - 9 pm; Friday, Closed

Costs: Fun with Clay workshop (1 hour): QAR 130 per session

Hand Building Pottery session (1½ hours): QAR 200 per session

Wheel Throwing class (1 hour): QAR 180 per session

Ceramic Painting (1 hour): variable depending on ceramic choice 

Contact: +974 6686 7993 

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://artsandcrafts.qa/index.php

Instagram: @arts_crafts_doha

Facebook: @ArtsAndCraftsQatar

Clay Encounters

Image: Qatar Living

Clay Encounters is a small, independent design and ceramics business that operates out of two studios in Doha, one at The Pearl's Qanat Quartier and one at Old Doha Port. Visitors to either branch can mooch around the studios admiring the handmade pottery and custom-designed pieces for sale (which can be spotted all around the city bought by various cafes, restaurants, businesses and hotels, and even in the National Museum of Qatar) or get involved in the multiple classes and workshops on offer. If you are a serious potter, you can also apply for membership, which allows you to use the studio space to practise and make your own pieces.

Kids and family one-hour classes are offered regularly and, though the schedule of classes is updated every few months and subject to change, generally include Kids Wheel Throwing classes, Kids Wheel and Hand Building classes and Parent and Kids Wheel and Hand Building classes. In each session, beginners are introduced to wheel or wheel and hand-building pottery techniques, making two functional, food-safe pieces, such as a cup or vase (wheel) and a plate (hand).

Aside from the pottery making, both venues are a pleasure to visit or spend time in. The Pearl's studio sits alongside a stretch of the Venetian-style canal system running through Qanat Quartier, with tall, brightly coloured buildings on either side of the water, wide promenades and brick bridges linking each side. The Old Doha Port branch is housed in a traditional-style Arabian building on the gentrified wharf's waterfront. The studio looks out over the crystal blue waters of the Gulf and, with an outdoor terrace, provides visitors with extra space to try some open-air pottery. Both locations are great places for kids to explore when they've finished their artwork.

To join in the fun and make some fantastic memories, check out the Clay Encounters schedule online and make a reservation.

Clay Encounters @ The Pearl

Location: Clay Encounters Unit 152, Boardwalk, Qanat Quartier, The Pearl

Nearest Metro: Legtaifiya Metro Station on the Red Line (take a free Metrolink bus from the station to The Pearl)

Hours: Monday - Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 am - 9 pm; 

Friday, 3 pm - 9 pm;

Sunday, closed

Costs: Various depending on the class or workshop type and adult or child booking. However, a class for children generally costs QAR 200 and QAR 400 for adults. Private lessons or a course of classes are more expensive.

Contact: +974 5564 0729

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://clayencounters.com/

Instagram: @clay_encounters

Clay Encounters @ Old Doha Port

Location: Clay Encounters Old Doha Port, Doha

Nearest Metro: Souq Waqif Metro Station on the Gold Line

Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 10 am - 10 pm; Friday, 3 pm - 10 pm

Costs: Various depending on the class or workshop type and adult or child booking. However, a class for children generally costs QAR 200 and QAR 400 for adults. Private lessons or a course of classes are more expensive.

Contact: +974 6001 1277

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://clayencounters.com/

Instagram: @clay_encounters

Ceramic Cube

Image: Facebook - Ceramic Cube

Ceramic Cube is a pottery studio designed for pottery enthusiasts to practise their craft and make their own pieces, with a pottery shop selling supplies, workspace and equipment all available. However, the studio is also a pottery design shop and a workshop for community classes. Located in the heart of Lusail in an urban, industrial-style space with exposed breeze blocks, concrete floors and ceilings, Ceramic Cube offers an array of pottery classes, including a specific children's workshop and a 'Glaze Your Own Mug' drop-in class.

The Kids' Pottery Making Workshop offers younger potters the opportunity to learn hand-building basics. Kids are guided through slab and mould construction and decorating techniques. And, once fired, their creations can be painted or glazed. 

The 'Glaze Your Own Mug' is a walk-in workshop available Saturday to Thursday from 1 pm - 8 pm. The studio offers mugs of various sizes and designs that can be painted or glazed, depending on the painter's personal preference.

All pottery pieces created or decorated during sessions at the studio are fired and available for collection after two weeks.

The Ceramic Cube is an excellent destination for potters and would-be clay artists, so check them out on their website and social media for information and booking. As an added bonus, the studio is a short walk from Crescent Park and Lusail Stadium, perfect for a run around after a creative burst.

Location: Ceramic Cube 2nd Floor, City Investment Plaza, Fox Hill South, Lusail City

Nearest Metro: Qatar University Metro Station on the Red Line (take a free Metrolink bus from the station to Fox Hills South)

Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 1 pm - 9 pm; Friday, Closed

Costs: Kids Pottery Making Workshop: QAR 180 pp

Glaze Your Own Mug: QAR 140 small mug / QAR 180 medium mug

Contact: +974 6665 5986

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://ceramic3cube.com/

Instagram: @ceramic3cube

Facebook: @ceramic3cube

Heenat Salma Farm

Image: Freepix

Heenal Salma Farm in Ash Shahaniyah, 30-40 minutes northeast of Doha, is a working eco-farm dedicated to agriculture and community development. The farm, offering farm-to-table produce and healthy on-site dining, traditional camping facilities, yoga and a host of holistic wellness and educational activities, classes and workshops, is the perfect place to experience the natural world and traditional, sustainable desert living in a calm and beautiful environment.

Aside from culinary classes, wellness and yoga activities and creative workshops in painting, aromatherapy, botanical art and weaving, the farm also offers pottery classes, in particular, kids' clay hand-building workshops. The kid's session incorporates learning elements such as the processes related to clay - extraction, modelling and drying, and creative methods - coiling techniques, slab building and pinching. Kids are taught to make small animal toys and other objects they can keep.

Since there are plenty of other activities to experience at the farm, including tours of the grounds, it is well worth spending a few hours there with you and yours, soaking up the tranquil atmosphere. For more information, contact the farm directly or book online.

Location: Heenat Salma Farm Umm El Qahab, Shahaniya, Doha

Hours: 24 hours

Costs: Kids Clay Hand Building Workshop: QAR 250 pp

Contact: +974 5096 0007 / 4441 1195

Email: [email protected] 

Website: https://heenatsalma.earth/

Instagram: @heenatsalma

Facebook: @HeenatSalmaFarm

Main image: Painting Studios

Published: June 30, 2023
Last updated: July 06, 2023
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