The Best Ceramics Workshops in Dubai, According to a Pottery-Making Expert | Savoir Flair

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The Best Ceramics Workshops in Dubai, According to a Pottery-Making Expert
article COTTONBRO STUDIO/PEXELS
by Brittany Singleton 5-minute read February 2, 2024

Get your hands dirty at Dubai's best ceramics studios.

article COTTONBRO STUDIO/PEXELS

In 2020, when Covid lockdowns struck, the socially isolated sought out new hobbies to keep their hands and minds occupied and, as a result, found themselves falling into new “tribes.” Home chefs baked up a storm, perfecting their sourdough starters. Fitness fanatics took workouts to another level, frantically pedaling away on their Pelotons. The DIY-ers went to town on home renovations, emerging from lockdown with freshly painted walls and Insta-inspired furniture (while also causing a worldwide lumber shortage).

During lockdown, I fell into a tribe of my own — the ceramics community. Always artistically inclined, pottery is something I had dabbled in before, mostly through clunky high-school attempts at creative expression. Those formative years in the studio left a strong impression, and I’d always dreamed of having the time and space to return to ceramics in a more meaningful way. Working in a fast-paced industry, with more screen time than studio time, it seemed unlikely to happen, until lockdowns dropped us into a new world of work-from-home schedules, limited social interactions, and perhaps, a fresh perspective on what matters most. Many of us realized that if we only get one shot at life we’d better start making more time for things that bring us joy.


COTTONBRO STUDIO/PEXELS


It was with a little trepidation and a lot of hope that I started researching ceramics studios in Dubai. Did they even exist? Yes, it turned out – in relative abundance. Dipping a toe into the water with some group classes, I felt something special. The total focus needed to work on a pottery wheel has an incredible effect. Akin to meditation, the rest of the world seems to melt away. All that matters is the movement of the clay, the angle of your hand, the pressure of a fingertip. Start to mentally wander, and you’ll soon be looking at a lumpy mess on your wheel instead of the beautiful bowl you’d hoped for.

Of course, I was one of a whole community who found themselves gravitating to pottery at the time. Something about the elemental, basic appeal of hands on clay, and the pride of building something from nothing, captured a collective imagination. Covid lockdowns ended up being a springboard for the craft, with more amateur potters than ever before looking to take classes, and many even leveraging that new skill into businesses.


COTTONBRO STUDIO/PEXELS


While lockdowns feel like a distant memory, my relationship with ceramics has become a valuable part of my life. Classes in Dubai evolved into studio memberships and friendships with other artists and makers in the community. Now, with my own studio at home, my time on the wheel is a little slice of peace in an otherwise too-busy world, and perhaps one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Whether you have a fleeting interest in ceramics or a long-term passion, there are so many ways to engage with the craft in Dubai. There are studios dotted around the city offering a variety of styles, approaches, and resources. So get out there! Try it out, take a friend, and see what happens. You might just find your own tribe.

Scroll through for my curated list of the five best studios to visit.


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Frog Pottery

Zaabeel 1

Founded by Emirati potter Farah Ahmad, Frog Pottery is a boutique studio in Zaabeel 1, where Ahmad creates her nature-inspired work for clients around the world. On a different and much more intimate scale than most studios, she only takes on students for one-on-one classes relating to specialized skill development or specific projects. Her extensive personal experience as a Dubai-based ceramicist makes her an invaluable resource, and her passion for what she does shines through everything in the space.

Zaabeel 1

2

OKA Ceramic Studio

Al Quoz 3

Founded by Mitra Moser, an incredible ceramicist in her own right, OKA is a warm and welcoming space in Al Quoz that offers group classes, private classes, studio memberships, and more. In addition to being a studio space, OKA sells Mitra’s work in a small boutique at the front, showcasing her amazing skills with hand-building. With teachers specializing in wheel throwing and hand building, there are plenty of options for newcomers, as well as advanced and specialized classes for those who already have some experience. An extra bonus is the excellent specialist coffee, served in Mitra’s own cups, which keeps the studio buzzing with energy. If you’re looking for a group activity with friends or colleagues, OKA also offers the option to privatize a whole class for a single group booking.

Al Quoz Industrial Area 3
+971 (0)4 298 8939

3

Slō

Al Wasl Rd

Located on Al Wasl Road, and neatly connected to an ice cream bar and cafe, Slō is a ceramics design and production space run by a team focusing on interior and homeware pieces. While the space is mainly dedicated to the work of the Slō team and their pieces, their Instagram hints at interesting things to come in terms of workshops and classes.

Al Wasl Rd, Umm Suqeim 1
+971 (0)4 548 4749

4

Studio CLAY

Abu Dhabi

For those in Abu Dhabi, you’re also in luck. Studio CLAY is a beautifully designed studio offering classes, workshops, and materials for potters. Beyond ceramics-only classes, they host activations for the community, including a recent tea ceremony hosted by Japanese Tea Masters. If you don’t feel in a Zen creative mode before you arrive, once you step into the space, the warm minimalism of its beautifully designed interior will put you in the mood.

Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed St, Al Manhal
+971 (0)2 666 1017

5

Yadawei Ceramic Studio

Al Quoz 1

Another studio tucked away in the backstreets of Al Quoz, Yadawei is a large space that also offers a number of options for beginners through to advanced potters. In addition to the usual class and membership options, Yadawei sometimes hosts visiting experts such as Eric Landon who I was lucky to attend a workshop with on his recent visit. These immersive programs are a great opportunity for skill development and exposure to the philosophy and techniques of global experts.

Warehouse 30, First Al Khail Street
+971 (0)4 379 1312

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