Desert-Inspired Pottery with Elizabeth
  • Yucca Valley, California, United States
  • 12 hours over 3 days

Desert-Inspired Pottery with Elizabeth

Step into a world of natural textures, colors, and shapes of Yucca Valley and the Mojave Desert, all while immersing yourself in the ceramics knowledge and skills of potter Elizabeth – from basics to throwing large vessels, surface enrichments, textural applications, glazing and other special techniques.
  • Snacks, Coffee, & Tea


One Guest
USD $1300
Additional guest(s) (max 4)
USD $360

Meet the Artist

Elizabeth is a potter with a fine arts background whose work straddles the divide between pottery and sculpture, while drawing inspiration from the textures, colors, and shapes of the Mojave desert.

Every object is handmade by Elizabeth on her potter’s wheel and fired in her studio.
She finds harmony between her minimalist aspirations and maximalist tendencies by creating items that have clean lines and elegant forms but showcase a wide array of glazes with exuberant colors and rich textures. Her “Ripple Vases” feature a unique technique originally pioneered by George Ohr, a potter and eccentric artist working during the turn of the 20th century. Using just her hands and a light touch, she collapses the neck of a vase into a beautiful ripple pattern, reminiscent of waves or a whirlpool--two phenomena that are essentially the opposite of hard stoneware. This technique is challenging, but produces gorgeous, totally unique results every time.

When she is not in her studio, she can be found hiking in Joshua Tree National Park, exploring the desert east of Wonder Valley, or sitting on her back porch watching the sunset. Besides that, she is a cat lover, Dodgers fan, likes to shoot pool, and dreams of owning a Datsun 240z some day. This is when you say "I'm packing my bags for the desert!"

VAWAA Includes:

  • Finding inspiration in Joshua Tree through sketching or photographing natural elements to inspire your ceramic piece.
  • For beginners: learning the basics of wheel throwing, as well as how to build a simple pinch pot.
  • For more intermediate level guests: throwing a variety of vessels on the potter's wheel, and learning techniques in trimming as well as surface enrichment (carving, embossing, stamping, etc.)
  • For more advanced level guests: learning how to throw a large vessel (or platter) and practicing unique textural applications.
  • Techniques for achieving various designs and surface textures for your piece like stenciling, attachments, sgraffito, tape-resist, and crackling.
  • Glazing techniques.
  • Going on a sunset hike in Joshua Tree National Park (weather-permitting).
  • Visiting local art galleries and another pottery studios.
  • All tools and materials needed to complete your piece.

Explore Yucca Valley, California

Yucca Valley is known for its stunning scenery and diverse creative community. Not only is the area one of the few habitats on earth for the Western Joshua Tree (yucca brevafolia) which thrives in the beautiful Joshua Tree National Park, but it is special for many other reasons. At the southern end of the Mojave Desert, you’ll be surrounded by incredible geological phenomena, rich biodiversity, and a landscape that includes sand dunes and snowcaps. There is abundant inspiration for artists, which is why it has drawn artists and thinkers of all kinds for generations. Each and every sunset in this beautiful place offers enough color inspiration to last a lifetime. In addition to enjoying some of California’s best hiking trails, discover numerous art galleries, vintage shops, and other oddities that are unique to the high desert.

Additional Details

The best time to visit Joshua Tree is the spring and fall, when temperatures are most comfortable.

Guests must be 18 years old and have a valid driver's license.

This VAWAA can be adapted for the elderly and people who use wheelchairs by focusing on hand-building instead of using the potter's wheel.
Elizabeth's Availability 3 days

Guest Reviews

  • Sara Jane R., United States

    Our time with Elizabeth was absolutely amazing. She is an incredibly cool, thoughtful and kind person. My daughter and I have vastly different experiences with ceramics (she's been working at the wheel for many years, I haven't touched clay since grade school), but Elizabeth helped us choose projects that matched our abilities and managed to give both of us the instruction we needed without either Read more

  • Charles H., United States

    Our pottery and ceramics experience with Elizabeth exceeded all of our expectations. She's a terrific teacher and has ideas and techniques to offer no matter your experience level or specific interest. My wife and I pursued completely different projects over the week (a set of orchid pots on one hand and a multi-part sculpture on the other), and Elizabeth kept up with both of us, sharing her kno Read more

  • Claudia Reyes, United States

    Lizzy is an amazing teacher and a warm person. In the past four days, I've learned so much to help elevate my skills and work—and feel so excited about testing it out all with new throws and techniques. Highly recommend this experience. Also, she has awesome recommendations for the local area.