Write: Throwing Clay & Having Fun / by Sonya Paclob

Kirsten Firlik, co-owner of Clay Path Studio, uses her fingers to guide the clay as it spins on a potter's wheel in York. The studio holds classes for beginners, advance and children. Photo by Sonya Paclob

Kirsten Firlik, co-owner of Clay Path Studio, uses her fingers to guide the clay as it spins on a potter's wheel in York. The studio holds classes for beginners, advance and children. Photo by Sonya Paclob

Published for FlipsidePA

A Pandora radio station plays in an otherwise quiet room as students work on their potter's wheels, learning the tricks of the pottery trade.

Remnants of dry clay dot the floor and seats, playing a stark contract to the bright lime green and purple walls.

Fourteen students, most pottery beginners, work diligently — though sometimes frustrated — on their pieces. It's something that wasn't possible in the previous Clay Path Studio location in Central Market.

But since co-owners Kristen Firlik and Brooke Teter moved to 33 W. Market St. a few weeks ago, they have not only space for students to learn the craft, but a gift shop full of local art for sale.

If you want to come take a crack at the potter's wheel, you might want to wear old clothes, Firlik advises.

"You just end up getting dirty," Firlik said, using her wrist to push her glasses up as she worked at the potter's wheel with wet clay hands. "There's just no way around," she added, a clay smudge left on the bridge of her glasses.

They offer single, four-, and eight-week sessions. Anyone can sign up and attend a three-hour class offered weekly. Students have individually guided instructions and have access to eight pottery wheels and glazes to help color the clay. Tools and blocks of clay are sold separately.

Beginners can make mugs or vases, but should not expect to make a dinner set in an eight-week session. Firlik encourages her students to be creative and not be frustrated.

Sarahjane Posner, of York, has three years of experience working with pottery. What's most difficult for her, she said, is centering the clay as it spins on the wheel. She adores the craft and feels satisfied in making a functional piece. "I'm hooked on pottery," Posner said.

Danny Scarborough, of York is a beginner who signed up two weeks ago. He hopes to make personal gifts for his family and friends, just in time for Christmas.

"I haven't done this since I was a kid," he said "And it's still fun."